United Offering Customers Option to Pre-Order Meals

United has started offering all its customers—no matter what cabin of service they're flying in—the option to pre-order meals, snacks and beverages up to five days before they're scheduled to travel. The pre-order technology, available on select flights for now, is an extension of the airline's contactless payment platform that allows customers to store payment information in a digital wallet.  

The launch of the new service makes United the first and only U.S. airline to offer economy customers the option to pre-order snacks and beverages, "a reflection of the customer experience transformation underway at the airline."

The pre-order option is currently available on select flights departing from Chicago to Orange County, CA, Sacramento, CA and San Diego, and will expand to all flights over 1,500 miles by early fall.

How It Works

Five days prior to departure, customers will see an option in the "Reservation Details" section of the United app or on United.com to pre-order food and beverage items available for their specific flight. Customers will also receive an email notifying them when pre-order is available.

In economy cabins, customers can pre-order snacks and beverages from United's buy-on-board menu. They will be asked to enter their credit card information but will not be charged until the items are served to them onboard. In premium cabins, customers can select their meal option directly from the United app or website. Once they make their selection, they will get a receipt emailed to them.

For customers looking to purchase drinks and snack items while onboard, United's contactless payment platform allows them to store their payment information in a digital wallet on the United app and on United.com prior to departure.

Once in flight, customers can access a menu to view available items either on the United app or in Hemispheres® magazine. Rather than handing the flight attendant a credit card, the flight attendant will ask for the customer's name and seat to confirm the card on file. Once confirmed, customers will receive their products and the card on file will be charged.

The New Food and Beverage Options

United has also recently unveiled its refreshed buy-on-board menu, which includes a wide variety of food and beverage offerings, including adult beverage options, like Mango White Claw; red, white and sparkling wine, and new beer options, such as Breckenridge Brewery Juice Drop Hazy IPA and Michelob Ultra.

Three new snack boxes, a "tapas" snack box with European-inspired offerings; a "takeoff" snack box with high-protein options and a "recline" snack box with movie theater themed treats, have also been introduced. A la carte snack options include chips, dips, trail mix and chocolate-covered dried fruit.

United also introduced brand-new meal offerings to customers seated in domestic premium cabins on flights over 1,500 miles and hub-to-hub flights over 800 miles. The enhanced meal service includes a choice of entrees—including fresher options like egg scramble with plant-based chorizo and grilled chicken breast with orzo and lemon basil pesto—sides and dessert. The airline has also teamed with Eli's Cheesecake to create a uniquely United chocolate pie flavor called "Pie in the Sky."

The meals will be served on one tray, with items individually wrapped, to limit person-to-person contact and further the safety of the airline's employees and customers.

United's pre-order technology is available beginning July 28 for flights departing on or after August 2. 

United Adds Six Flights to London 

With the announcement of England reopening to fully vaccinated travelers from the U.S. beginning August 2, United is making it easier for business and leisure customers to jet across the pond with the addition of flights to London.

In August, United will have six daily flights between the U.S. and London, including a second daily flight from Washington, D.C. and increasing service from Houston to daily. United also aims to resume additional London service in the coming months as well as launch new nonstop service between Boston and London. Customers traveling to England must be fully vaccinated in the U.S. with vaccines that have been approved by the FDA and must take a test before departure as well as a PCR test within the first two days of arrival. Passengers vaccinated in the U.S. will also need to complete a passenger locator form prior to traveling to England and provide proof of U.S. residency.

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