United Airlines sells a burger in coach that’s hugely controversial. Some passengers swear by it, and think it’s the best $10 they could ever spend in coach. They’ll even order it up in premium cabins. While other passengers deride it as a “grey burger.”
Why was the $10 cheeseburger in a bag I had on a @united flight one of the best burgers I’ve had in a long time?
— olen holm (@olen) January 6, 2023
Here’s how United describes it:
A brioche BBQ burger will feature a beef patty with Grand Cru cheese, bacon, caramelized onions, and BBQ sauce and be offered on domestic flights longer than 3.5 hours that depart after 9:45am.
A great burger starts with quality beef. It should have processed cheese that melts well. And it should ideally be inside of a potato bun that’s big enough to contain it but not so large that it overwhelms the contents. Everything you put on the burger needs to fit inside so it doesn’t fall apart when you eat it. You want to balance the flavors inside, getting a combination of everything with each bite.
But sometimes the burger itself isn’t enough. You need something on the side, and what enhances the burger experience more than great fries? United Airlines will actually make the huge step of trying to deliver fries with their burger – heated in the oven on board and available on hub-to-hub flights starting May 10, as revealed by aviation watchdog JonNYC.
— 🇺🇦 JonNYC 🇺🇦 (@xJonNYC) May 4, 2023
Delivering fries on a plane is challenging. They’re not deep frying them on demand – these are fries that have been precooked and are being re-heated. This can work but it’ll be interesting to see how well United is able to deliver.
I’ve had perfectly nice fries in Etihad first class, but the execution has had a high variance.
And honestly I’ve had better fries than burger in Cathay Pacific first class.
United’s Polaris lounge burger is overrated but the standards in the air are much lower. The airline once served McDonald’s on board using specially-designed galley carts meant to keep the meat hot and separated from the cold items. Delta, for its part, has served Shake Shack but that’s different than serving a good side of fries.
One of the best burgers you’ll find in an airport you can get free with Priority Pass inside the American Airlines terminal 8 at New York JFK. But if you don’t grab a great burger on the ground, United offers a substitute many people like – and starting next week on a handful of key routes, fries too.