United First U.S. Airline to Offer Economy Customers Option to Pre-Order Snacks and Beverages

New pre-order option builds on the airline's contactless payment technology and is another example of the customer experience transformation underway at United

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Starting July 28, 2021 on select flights, all United customers – no matter what cabin of service they’re flying in – can use the airline’s award-winning mobile app and website to pre-order meals, snacks and beverages up to five days before they’re scheduled to travel. United is 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.

“Our new pre-order option reflects the customer experience transformation taking place at United – customers in our economy cabins will have an easy, convenient way to choose their snack or drink, and our flight attendants can move through the cabin faster, delivering more personalized service,” said Toby Enqvist, chief customer officer for United. “This new feature also builds on our existing contactless payment technology, which has enabled us to safely resume our inflight food and beverage program on select flights.” 

United First U.S. Airline to Offer Economy Customers Option to Pre-Order Snacks and Beverages

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. 

About United’s Contactless Payment Technology

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. 

About United’s Newly Enhanced Buy-On-Board Menu

United recently unveiled its refreshed buy-on-board menu, which includes a wide variety of food and beverage offerings including: 

  • Adult Beverage Options: 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; a Recline snack box with movie theater themed treats. 
  • A la Carte Snack Options: Including chips, dips, trail mix and chocolate-covered dried fruit. 

New Domestic Premium Cabin Menu Items

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. 
  • United 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 our employees and customers.

United’s pre-order technology is available beginning July 28 for flights departing on or after August 2. The technology will initially be available on flights from Chicago O’Hare International Airport to San Diego International Airport, Sacramento International Airport, Orange County’s John Wayne Airport and Honolulu’s Daniel K. Inouye International Airport. 

For information on snacks available, United’s contactless payment technology and FAQs, visit United.com/snacktime.

SOURCEAero Crew News, September 2021
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United Airlines and United Express operate more than 4,500 flights a day to 339 airports across five continents. In 2015, United and United Express operated more than 1.5 million flights carrying more than 140 million customers. United is proud to have the world's most comprehensive route network, including U.S. mainland hubs in Chicago, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, New York/Newark, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. United operates more than 720 mainline aircraft, and this year, the airline anticipates taking delivery of 21 new Boeing aircraft, including 737 NGs, 787s and 777s, as well as six used Airbus A319 aircraft. The airline is a founding member of Star Alliance, which provides service to 192 countries via 28 member airlines. For more information, visit united.com, follow @United on Twitter or connect on Facebook. The common stock of United's parent, United Continental Holdings, Inc., is traded on the NYSE under the symbol UAL.

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