United has been testing giving out amenity kits in coach on Chicago – Honolulu and Chicago – Tokyo flights.
— Aleksandra Mietus (@AM_UA13) February 8, 2020
They’ve also been testing giving out complimentary sandwiches in coach on the Chicago O’Hare – Honolulu flight, and the inimitable Brian Sumers reports that:
- Customers like it
- United is expanding the test to other long flights to and from Honolulu
Here's the latest in @united catering memos. This month, the airline has tested free food on Chicago-Honolulu flights. You'll be shocked to know passengers like it. The trial is expanding to other long-haul domestic routes, according to an internal communique. Yum. pic.twitter.com/OU1jI8KxZW
— Brian Sumers (@BrianSumers) February 20, 2020
For now West Coach – Honolulu (and other Hawaiian islands) don’t see complimentary sandwiches – it’s their longest Hawaii flights only.
Previously neither Houston – Honolulu nor Honoulu – Guam received complimentary food in back. A passenger flying Houston – Guam via Honolulu (the flight schedule offers just a 45 minute connection in Honolulu) would travel over 17 hours without a complimentary meal. There’s ‘buy on board’ of course but no guarantee there’ll be anything left by the time a flight attendant reaches a passenger’s row.
This is a test which could expand to other long routes that don’t see meal service today. A cold sandwich is a far cry from the days when United was installing special galley carts to keep hamburger patties warm while the fixins’ were kept chilled, and a long way from when celebrity chef Sheila Lukins was designing meals for United economy. Still, it’s an improvement for most passengers from what they get today.