Is United Only Prioritizing Meals For Global Services Members Now?

The other day I flew from Newark to Fort Lauderdale in United First. As a Premier 1K member on a very leisure-heavy route, I figured it was a safe bet that I would get my meal choice, despite sitting in row 4 of 4. Turn out I was wrong – by the time they got to me, I was only asked if I wanted the salad, which was the only option left at that point.

It was slightly annoying to not have the choice, but to be honest, I may well have chosen the salad anyway (the burrito / wrap thing that almost everyone in rows 1-3 seemed to have chosen). I chalked it up to a crew not following the guidelines, and life moved on. The salad actually wasn’t half bad:

united-first-meal-shrimp-salad

Out of curiosity, I decided to check the thread on FlyerTalk where I’d first heard about this policy being (re)instituted (a similar policy had been in place pre-merger on United, but not on Continental). This most recent post from user demosthenes1 suggests that a new memo recently came out, indicating that meals would only be prioritized for Global Services members going forward. I haven’t heard anything official from United on this subject, but it would be consistent with my experience from the other day.

Has anyone had experiences lately that would either confirm or refute this rumor? How would you feel about it if were indeed true?


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  6 comments for “Is United Only Prioritizing Meals For Global Services Members Now?

  1. Miles, Points, and Mai Tais
    June 7, 2013 at 5:06 pm

    I had that same shrimp salad a few weeks ago- I usually couldn’t care less what I eat and let the “surprise me”. I’ve noticed the CO crew go front to back, and the UA crews seem to prioritize. While I was flying home from ANC, the guy next to me (1K MM) seemed miffed he didn’t get his first meal choice. The newly trained CO-uniformed crew member acted like she had no idea what he was talking about when he brought up his status.

  2. Darren
    June 7, 2013 at 7:26 pm

    I wouldn’t be surprised if this is indeed the case. 1K is the new Premier Gold and while it wasn’t perfect at pre-merger United, 1K still had it perks back then. A passenger’s overall revenue contribution will increasingly be the (sole) segment to reward the greatest, even if it’s just meal preference.

    • June 8, 2013 at 10:51 am

      Unfortunately, I think you’re probably right. It does feel like 1K and Plat are continuing to converge from a perks perspective (obviously 1Ks are higher on the upgrade list and get more bonus miles, but beyond that, there really isn’t very much anymore)

  3. June 8, 2013 at 11:53 am

    I’ve had the same experience lately. Doesn’t bother me at all, really. None of the food is so good as to make me care.

    • June 8, 2013 at 2:54 pm

      I’m generally with you – not a big enough deal to worked up about, at least on domestic flights. I’ve definitely had international flights when one or two of the entree options are much more appealing though.

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