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United Buy On Board Snack Box  
User currently offline727EMflyer From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 547 posts, RR: 0
Posted (9 years 2 months 2 weeks 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 5545 times:

Please excuse me if this really old news, but I don't recall it before and forum search turned up nothing....

http://www.united.com/press/detail/0,6862,52805-1,00.html

A couple months ago United "Expanded it's snack box service" from TED to mainline. I only found out about this because I just picked up some coworkers from the airport and they complained about the food! I have flown UA since this release and got a traditional meal, so what gives? Is buy on board being slowly and quietly phased in, or is it just on flights that otherwise wouldn't have a meal? The flight my coworkers were on was UA53 LAX-HNL and would have departed at about noon LA time, a proper "lunch" time no? So what's really going on with these snack boxes? Should I make sure I have my $5 cash next time I get on board????? Thanks!!!!!

26 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineAirportPlan From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 469 posts, RR: 3
Reply 1, posted (9 years 2 months 2 weeks 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 5491 times:

UAL really need to clarify the whole meal situation. On some mainline non Ted flight over 3.5 hours you get a meal and on others they have buy on board meals.

Also, on a slightly different subject, I wonder why UA or another carrier has not thought of the idea of offering a couple of free buy on board meal coupons for every 10,000 miles that status level frequent flyers fly. Sorta like the SWA free drink coupons. I know that it is a cost issue, but $5 it is small price when compared to the money that airlines spend other FF promotions that no one really uses.


User currently offlineBaw716 From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 2028 posts, RR: 27
Reply 2, posted (9 years 2 months 2 weeks 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 5466 times:

The problem is provisioning and spoilage. I have never been a big fan of the buy on board program in its current form, because of the potential for bad provisioning or not enough provisioning and/or spoilage. At the end of the day, some of those meals are pretty ready for the trash and they are wasted.

This is not the right way to do paid meals.
baw716



David L. Lamb, fmr Area Mgr Alitalia SFO 1998-2002, fmr Regional Analyst SFO-UAL 1992-1998
User currently offlineAirportPlan From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 469 posts, RR: 3
Reply 3, posted (9 years 2 months 2 weeks 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 5391 times:

Quoting Baw716 (Reply 2):
The problem is provisioning and spoilage. I have never been a big fan of the buy on board program in its current form, because of the potential for bad provisioning or not enough provisioning and/or spoilage. At the end of the day, some of those meals are pretty ready for the trash and they are wasted.

This is not the right way to do paid meals.
baw716

Good point.


User currently offlineHalls120 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (9 years 2 months 2 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 5277 times:

What I don't understand is why people think they need to be fed on a flight that lasts three hours or less.

No wonder obesity is a growing problem.  Wink


User currently offlinePanAm747 From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 4242 posts, RR: 8
Reply 5, posted (9 years 2 months 2 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 5170 times:

Here's the problem: CONSISTENCY in letting us know!!

I am a big United Airlines fan AND I do not have a problem with airlines taking away some of the freebies, but it should be clearly and concisely stated: "No free meal service on this flight!!" and/or "buy on board is available" and the limitations if applicable.

In September, 2003, I flew America West BWI-SAN via PHX. Almost an hour before boarding, a gate agent made an announcement, stating (in effect), "folks, this is a long flight and there is only beverage and snack service. We STRONGLY recommend that you visit one of the restaurants in the terminal and have them pack you something for the plane. You are welcome to bring on your own food."

Now, granted there are always going to be those who, despite twenty different announcements, will be thoroughly shocked to find out there are no longer linens, china, or even a meal. But then again, these are the same people who believe they are flying a JetBlue 747 from the USA to Europe (make up your own airports). But for those of us educated travellers, just a polite "this-is-what-we-have" would be nice.



Pan Am:The World's Most Experienced Airline - P(oor) S(ailor's) A(irline): San Diego's Hometown Airline-Catch Our Smile!
User currently offlineSeptember11 From United States of America, joined May 2004, 3623 posts, RR: 21
Reply 6, posted (9 years 2 months 2 weeks 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 5125 times:

Quoting PanAm747 (Reply 5):
In September, 2003, I flew America West BWI-SAN via PHX. Almost an hour before boarding, a gate agent made an announcement, stating (in effect), "folks, this is a long flight and there is only beverage and snack service. We STRONGLY recommend that you visit one of the restaurants in the terminal and have them pack you something for the plane. You are welcome to bring on your own food."

I hope he did not get into trouble for that announcement.



Airliners.net of the Future
User currently offlinePanAm747 From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 4242 posts, RR: 8
Reply 7, posted (9 years 2 months 2 weeks 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 5087 times:

Nope, not at all! In fact, some people didn't realize that the flight had only snack service. There was quite a movement of people to the food court.

After boarding, my two seatmates and the f/a serving drinks looked at the chicken salad I brought with great envy  yummy  ...I guess they'll know next time.

I hate to say it, but the only way some people ever learn ANYTHING is the hard way.  no 



Pan Am:The World's Most Experienced Airline - P(oor) S(ailor's) A(irline): San Diego's Hometown Airline-Catch Our Smile!
User currently offlineN62NA From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 4447 posts, RR: 6
Reply 8, posted (9 years 2 months 2 weeks 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 5073 times:

Quoting Baw716 (Reply 2):
This is not the right way to do paid meals.

See my topic from a few days ago.

Song Is Doing Meals Right! (by N62NA Jun 7 2005 in Civil Aviation)


User currently offlineBudyboy From United States of America, joined May 2005, 64 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (9 years 2 months 2 weeks 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 5057 times:

I flew SFO-ORD last month and my orbitz printed out 'meal' as it was a noon flight. UA only offered a selection of snack boxes, a variety of trans-fat goodies in a cellophane box with a shelf life of five years at $5 a pop! And no announcement pre-boarding or I'm sure people would have run to the food court.
On the return I was heads-up and ate in ORD before the two hour late flight.


User currently offlineCarmenlu15 From Guatemala, joined Dec 2004, 4757 posts, RR: 31
Reply 10, posted (9 years 2 months 2 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 5027 times:

When TA introduced their Buy on Board service on certain flights, on every applicable call we had to repeat like parrots (or maybe guacamayas? Silly) the choice of meals for that flight, the price, and form of payment. Paxs were given the option of reserving their meal, either by phone or at the time of check-in. That way, airport staff would have an estimate of how many meals should be packed for a specific flight. It appears to have worked well - the service has been expanded to all flights.

Saludos airplane 



What do I know, I'm just an 'immature troublemaker with only a passing interest in aviation' (or so they say)
User currently offlinePaul From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2005, 374 posts, RR: 3
Reply 11, posted (9 years 2 months 2 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 4911 times:

After looking at the itinery for my flights to MIA in the summer from LHR I decided to check the likelyhood of being fed on the flight. I am in Business class for both flights, clearly the long haul will provide food but I am unsure on the shorter haul flight. The flight time is 2hrs 10 mins and it is during dinner time.

Will I get fed on IAD- MIA?

However going back to the snack boxes, they are full of crap. No wonder 1/4 of the country is morbidly obese when what is on offer is so damn unhealthy. All it is is a mountain of hydrated packeted shite, unhealthy junk food being classed as a meal. How UA can justify offering that load of nonsense as a meal substitute is beyond me.

I love UA and always will but seriously try offering something nutricious on your flights, especially if people have to pay for it!

Paul



Veni, vidi, vici.
User currently offlineUALFAson From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 715 posts, RR: 4
Reply 12, posted (9 years 2 months 2 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 4793 times:

I agree that UAL's policy has been confusing as they rolled out and started the BOB concept.

Before this press release, food was typically available for purchase on most flights longer than about 3-3.5 hours EXCEPT for all transcon and Hawaii flights, which continue to offer free meals.

Recently United announced it was eliminating ALL free food on domestic flights, but I'm not sure when that starts, and I can't find the announcement on NewsReal, although I think it's soon. I was offered free dinner on IAD-LAX last week, FWIW.

The problem with non-snack box BOB, as has been pointed out, was provisioning difficulty. Demand would vary from day to day on the same flight and there was frequently either too much food or not enough.

Even if the gate agent doesn't make an announcement, passengers can always take the iniative and ask what type of meal service is available. But I like Halls120's point--why do you even need food on a 2-hour flight? Read a book. Or listen to Ch. 9!

And Paul, I seriously doubt you will get fed on IAD-MIA. At least this summer it will still be mainline UA before it switches to Ted in the fall. Although IAD-FLL is long enough to get a snack service on Ted, so who knows?!?



"We hope you've enjoyed flying with us as much as we've enjoyed taking you for a ride."
User currently offlineJonathan L From United States of America, joined May 2001, 171 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (9 years 2 months 2 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 4711 times:

I was on ORD-SEA about a month ago and they were offering these boxes. I didn't see many takers beyond a kid who coerced his mom to buy one. For five bucks I'm not surprised.

User currently offlineLACA773 From United States of America, joined Nov 2004, 4006 posts, RR: 2
Reply 14, posted (9 years 2 months 2 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 4637 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

From what I know UA is still offering full meal service on their nonstop transcons and Hawaii flights. Flights over 3 (?) hours a BOB option is available and on flights shorter than that, nothing other than beverages, etc. F remains unchanged. Their transcon "PS" flights have a nice meal offered in Y, better than what they offer on their other trans cons (BOS, BWI, IAD, PHL). I didn't think they'd go the same way AA, DL, & NW are.

Can any UA employees enlighten us a bit more? I know I'll apreciate it.

Have a great day everyone.
LACA773


User currently offlineOrion737 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 15, posted (9 years 2 months 2 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 4622 times:

I wholeheartedly agree with my compatriot Paul's comments. These 'snack' boxes are pathetic, full of little packets of rubbish. If they insist n charging for meals at least offer a sandwich or a salad for purchase instead of these stupid snack boxes.

User currently offlineChristao17 From Thailand, joined Apr 2005, 940 posts, RR: 8
Reply 16, posted (9 years 2 months 2 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 4513 times:

Quoting Halls120 (Reply 4):
What I don't understand is why people think they need to be fed on a flight that lasts three hours or less.

No wonder obesity is a growing problem.

A three hour or shorter flight with no food isn't a problem. The problem is a 2-3 hour flight with a very tight connection at the hub and another 2-3 hour flight after that. No meals along the way and by the end of it you're a bit peckish. Some airports have pretty decent food selections (SFO Terminal 3 for example) and others aren't so good (ORD, IMHO).



Keeping the "civil" in civil aviation...
User currently offlineSNATH From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 3238 posts, RR: 22
Reply 17, posted (9 years 2 months 2 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 4484 times:

Quoting Halls120 (Reply 4):
What I don't understand is why people think they need to be fed on a flight that lasts three hours or less.

Last year I flew MIA to BOS on AA (a two hour or so flight) and we were 2-3 hours late. This resulted in getting home around 11pm. If I hadn't got upgraded and given some decent food, I would have got home totally starving. And, no, at the terminal I wouldn't have got a chance to get something to eat. We spent all our time next to the gate since we would start boarding "real soon now".

Quoting Christao17 (Reply 16):
The problem is a 2-3 hour flight with a very tight connection at the hub and another 2-3 hour flight after that.

Very well put.

Now, my views on BOB meals: during long-ish flights I would be willing to pay $10-$15 if I had the option to get a half decent hot meal (emphasis on hot). If I'm only given a cold option, I'd rather get something from the airport which will probably be more expensive but it will also be considerably tastier too.

Tony



Nikon: we don't want more pixels, we want better pixels.
User currently offlineNUair From Malaysia, joined Jun 2000, 1181 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (9 years 2 months 2 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 4481 times:

Quoting PanAm747 (Reply 5):
I am a big United Airlines fan AND I do not have a problem with airlines taking away some of the freebies, but it should be clearly and concisely stated: "No free meal service on this flight!!" and/or "buy on board is available" and the limitations if applicable.

I just bought a United ticket (IAD - SFO) and it is clearly stated:

UNITED 951 COACH CLASS
LV: WASH/DULLES 525P NONSTOP MILES- 2419 CONFIRMED
AR: SAN FRANCISCO 813P
FOOD TO PURCHASE-MOVIE

In this situation I just bring my own grub.



"How Many Assholes we got on this ship?" - Lord Helmet
User currently offlineShawnnyc From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 241 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (9 years 2 months 2 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 4472 times:

The problem with no meal offered is that it really hurts the business pax. Business pax pay outlandish fares and can't even get a meal (even to buy). There usually isn't time to grab a bite. Airlines going after business pax should offer free food to pax of a certain fare class and then food for purchase for others (with no guarantee there will be enough for lower fares - ie if you are super discount fare and didn't buy in advance, no meal if too many full fare Y board the flight). Right now I prefer being booked on Song over Delta as I know I can buy a meal (not a snack box, but a meal). If this no meal even to buy crap is going to become the norm, than at least have a hot dog guy by the gates or something.

User currently offlineAeroWesty From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 20500 posts, RR: 62
Reply 20, posted (9 years 2 months 2 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 4465 times:

Quoting Orion737 (Reply 15):
If they insist n charging for meals at least offer a sandwich or a salad for purchase instead of these stupid snack boxes.

You mean something like "Northern Bites" available on Alaska?

http://www.alaskasworld.com/news/2005/05/13_buyonboard.asp

The buy-on-board meals are available to and from the Mexico destinations of Los Cabos, Loreto, Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan, Manzanillo, and Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo (except on flights between Los Cabos and San Diego) for $5 a piece ...

... The meal offered on morning flights is a grilled sausage and egg breakfast sandwich with a cup of fruit yogurt. In the afternoon, southbound passengers can buy a chipotle turkey sandwich wrap with tomato salsa or a ham sandwich with carrots and ranch dip. Northbound passengers are offered a quarter-pound U.S. Certified Angus Beef cheeseburger and a bag of potato chips.



International Homo of Mystery
User currently offlineSNATH From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 3238 posts, RR: 22
Reply 21, posted (9 years 2 months 2 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 4457 times:

Quoting NUair (Reply 18):
I just bought a United ticket (IAD - SFO) and it is clearly stated:

WOW! Did UA just introduced BOB meals on transcons? I flew them BOS-SFO in May and we got complimentary meals. I posted a trip report (with pictures of the meals!) on that forum if you're interested.

Tony



Nikon: we don't want more pixels, we want better pixels.
User currently offlineSNATH From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 3238 posts, RR: 22
Reply 22, posted (9 years 2 months 2 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 4445 times:

Quoting Shawnnyc (Reply 19):
The problem with no meal offered is that it really hurts the business pax

That's a very good point you raise. On another thread, someone complained that he flew a short hop within Europe, for which he paid EUR1,500, and he even had to pay a couple of EUR for a bottle of water. That's just not right.

Tony



Nikon: we don't want more pixels, we want better pixels.
User currently offlineLACA773 From United States of America, joined Nov 2004, 4006 posts, RR: 2
Reply 23, posted (9 years 2 months 2 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 4351 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Right now UA has the upper hand on inflight service over the main competitor on transcons-AA. They still offer complmentary meals on those flights as well as Hawaii. I feel they should still offer full meals at least on these routes, and stay ahead of the game by a little at least.
LACA773


User currently offlineTrex8 From United States of America, joined Nov 2002, 4745 posts, RR: 14
Reply 24, posted (9 years 2 months 2 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 4264 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

instead of these snack boxes I think they would be better off just selling individual packets of potato chips, candy, bagels, fruit, whatever rather than as a prepacked box with specific items. I know I would rather pay 2 bucks for a pack of chips etc than 5 for a box of stuff , most of which I can't stand . Who dream't up their combinations anyway! Maybe I got weird taste but some of those combinations are mind boggling.
As for the provisioning of perishables onboard, maybe they should sell boxes of sandwichs, etc at the gate for people to bring on board. they could buy a bunch of quiznos subs from the shop around the corner etc at a discount and sell it at a profit! heck, this may even turn around their whole operation!


25 NUair : Well according to the ticket I just purchased (Reply 18) they don't!! It is also my understanding that this just started. I was on the same flight, s
26 Post contains links SNATH : According to this page: http://www.united.com/page/article/0,6722,1057,00.html UA have gone BOB on Y on all domestic flights, including the transcons
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