United’s long-haul economy menu gets a ‘significant’ upgrade

April 28, 2015

United is touting its new long-haul economy class menu as no mere tweak. Contending it’s introducing a “significantly upgraded food and beverage experience” this spring on long-haul international flights to and from the United States, the airline hopes to claim the culinary high ground when it comes to non-premium class passengers’ palates.

June 1 UA rolls out the new complimentary selections on transatlantic and most transpacific flights – as well as trips ‘twixt the U.S. and Argentina, Brazil and Chile.

First off, basic beer and wine in the back of the bus will be free with the new multi-course meal service. United Economy passengers also get a complementary bottle of water. You pay for premium spirits and wines.

The food itself is more fulsome, and it’s served up in three courses. The service starts off with something to drink and a snack of cheese and crackers, baked whole-grain bruschetta chips or Kiri cheese spread and crackers. That’s followed up by the main course. Chef-designed fare includes:

 – Home-style turkey in spicy barbecue sauce, served with sweet potato mash, mixed veggies, an artisan ciabatta roll and amaranth mango salad;

– Tuscan ravioli with roasted pepper sauce. It’s served up with a petit artisan ciabatta roll and mixed salad;

– Udon noodles with stir-fried vegetables and ginger soy sauce. This dish is offered with the multi-grain baguette and an apple wheatberry salad.

 Rounding off the meal service is gelato, sorbet, ice cream or mousse.

Flight attendants will continue to offer a complimentary pre-arrival service, something to get you going before you land. Depending on the route, there’s a croissant with jam, a warm sandwich or a hot meal with a fruit and roll.

United, which has received its share of criticism when it comes to service, is hoping all of this will warm customers’ hearts when it comes time to book their next flight. In a prepared release, Sandra Pineau-Boddison, UA’s senior vice president of customers, says the new intercontinental eats “will offer travelers the high level of service they expect from a global airline.”