United Air Adds Preflight Snacks-Order Option in Economy Cabins



© Reuters.

(Bloomberg) — United Airlines Holdings (NASDAQ:) Inc. will let passengers sitting in its economy cabins order snacks, meals and drinks before longer flights, a change that could better align galley provisioning with customer demand and help the carrier convey a more premium travel experience.

Pre-ordering one’s meal selections was a common amenity in first-class air travel on numerous global airlines before the pandemic. United will become the only U.S. airline to offer food and beverage pre-ordering in the economy cabin, the company said Wednesday in a statement.

United will begin testing the service Thursday on flights from Chicago to Honolulu and to three California destinations before expanding in the fall to all flights of more than 1,500 miles. 

Beyond the potential for higher food-and-beverage sales, the initiative is likely to give United more data about customers’ in-flight selections and inform the company’s future decisions about products and services, spokeswoman Christine Salamone said. The pre-order options won’t affect United’s regular snacks and drink service. 

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