What an unbelievable obnoxious post. Let me guess - you and your 1K "friends" are all corporate types right? You guys aren't paying to earn 1K status out of your own pockets, right? Your corporate travel desk is? And yet you're taking UA's side in this? Seriously? You don't think that those of us who actually pay for an F flight during a mealtime should get an edible meal? Wow.
UA's recent meal cuts are pathetic, plain and simple. Far below DL and AA's standards. Your attempt to rationalize UA's poor treatment of you and your friends is comically out of touch. You are aware that there is a significant amount of paid F? And many of those who pay for F do so because they can afford it and want a better experience, not because they're the over-entitled corporate types. And yet paid F doesn't even include lounge access except on premium transcons!
I'm sure upgrade rates on UA will improve as they're certainly not incentivizing anyone to pay for F with such a horrible product. But on AA at least, there are very few (if any) upgrades available on most flights.
That's extremely rude of you and none of your "guesses" are true. I don't work for a corporation, 100% of my trips are paid out of my own pockets. I don't have a corporate travel desk. I don't work for UA, nor do any of my relatives, nor do I travel on a buddy pass, nor do I work for any other airline or anywhere near that industry. Get out of the business of guessing, you're not good at it.
The omelettes they used to serve are disgusting, as were a couple other things. No loss to me. If you feel different, write UA and complain, it's your right as a paid flyer. My impression is that UA won't ever match what *A clubs and Centurion have to offer to us on the ground and 90% of the time when I fly I've already completed my meal and if I feel like drinking something, that's available in much better quality on the ground as well. The lounge access you covet and don't get in your post is a UA club, you didn't miss a thing, unless you highly value Minestrone with a dash of hot sauce. Go to Centurion instead.
What you will get with UA is better seats, often even a bed on domestic hub to hub flights if you can tell the difference between a 737-900 and a 777-200 and thus book yourself on flatbed flights with your hard earned dollars. The other thing you'll get is awesome exception handling. In addition you get to take lots of luggage when you come back from shopping in Europe, and at the very least economy plus for me and my family. Based on your user name you should be a flying professional, somewhat international, though likely not a 748 capt on Jet Airways. If so, enjoy your ID90 or whatever you get in rebates and study seat maps a bit. Provided you have that choice of plane while traveling on your ID90, pick a 777, 767 or 757 with flat beds instead of a 737. You'll see the difference the second you step aboard. And try the bloody mary mix instead of the super bland tomato juice.
I agree with much of your post, but I think food is a bigger deal to premium passengers than you think. I don't want to buy overpriced airport food, or pack a sandwich for first class. That's ridiculous, in my opinion. Food in premium cabins on flights over 2 hours or so is something most premium pax have become accustomed to. When I pay for upgrades on a 4 hour flight around mealtime, I expect a fulfilling meal to pass the time and satisfy me as part of the added ticket cost and standard first/biz class fair. As I stated, looking forward to the "surprise" of what nice meal I'll have to dine to a movie and wine or a cocktail in cruise is something that more people look forward to than some of you on these boards seem to think. Premium pax pump enough money into the airlines in these days of massive record profits for the airline to feed us.
As far as liquor goes, drinking on the plane is much more appealing and relaxing than just taking shots before boarding...very, very different way of drinking...
This notion of an airline making more and more money, but ramping up outsourcing, forcing employees to part time to shed benefits, and taking away services and amenities is the true race to the bottom for the carriers participating. United possibly at the forefront, especially with their decades of passenger abuse(I wore a UA uniform at SFO for 4 years) and non-stop negative media attention these days.
It is a big deal, and you'll see good food on region 2 flights. Region 1 is rather stale / utilitarian. No US 3 has pulled out all the stops there. The closest you can get is a premium transcon, which will have better service than a flight to say BOG.
On the liquor front, my favorite is aged Havana Club, but I don't expect any US 3 carrier to serve even aged Flor de Cana, let alone fancy cocktails. UA has the Moscow Mule, and that's about as good as it gets for domestic / region 1 cocktails, unless you prefer the pre-mixed mai-tais or cranapple vodka or something. The F/As seem to try as much as they can
with the resources they are given, but the fact that they have "too little" at their disposal isn't new. If I'm seated in Y+, there isn't much of an experience to induce excessive drinking anyway. My group was happy to see the mimosas and the bloody marys pop up when Polaris was rolled out, but that episode also illustrated quite nicely the constrains UA seems to face when expending beyond that.
I and my 1K friends aren't in favor of outsourcing any work btw, every time we see a true UA uniform we feel like "welcome home" because over the years there have been countless decades where actual UA staff (not some contractor) made a difference in our travel experience. We don't see any passenger abuse first hand because we aren't first in line to get offloaded or last to board. On the few occasions where someone is stuck in a club at the bar for too long the plane is either gone or the F/A puts our carry on in the F closet. But that's all part of long-term loyalty and year after year of sinking one's money into the same airline / hotel chain / rental car company / other supplier of goods and services.
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