United Airlines wants to let its first class passengers pre-select meals on domestic flights. The carrier is in the early stages of a trial to deliver this improvement to its travelers, with the first test flight to occur on Wednesday, July 31.
Passengers in the first class cabin departing on select flights from Los Angeles and Washington-Dulles received an email earlier in the week inviting them to select a meal for the trip. United will adjust the catering loads for the flights based on the requested meals, helping to ensure that more passengers than ever receive their first choice when dining on board.
Eligible passengers are welcome to make a choice starting five days in advance of their flight. The pre-order window closes 24 hours prior to departure so that the caterers can prep the meals appropriately. Travelers who do not select a meal in advance will request an option from the flight attendants once on board.
Following Wednesday’s trial run United will evaluate feedback from passengers, cabin crew and other stakeholders as it presses forward with the offering.
A renewed customer commitment
A spokesman described the new program to PaxEx.Aero as part of United’s efforts to “focus more than ever on our commitment to customers” and improve the inflight experience.
Adding the pre-order option brings United up to pace with Alaska Airlines, American Airlines and Delta Air Lines. Providing better service to premium cabin passengers is a big part of attracting that revenue premium and market share. With investors looking closer than ever at revenue growth in non-core segments, including loyalty, ancillary fees, and premium cabins, the investment by the carrier to match its competition is a smart move for the stock price, in addition to being good news for travelers.