United Clubs Getting Real Food

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For the past few years we have been relatively regular visitors of United Clubs during our frequent travels on United flights, but we have been less and less impressed with domestic lounge access as the months have gone by.  First, we simply didn’t need a family room as much anymore with a 5 year old as we did with an infant/toddler (though that will change again soon), then the complimentary drinks got worse, and then we saw how good a domestic lounge and food could be thanks to the Centurion Lounges.

I have pretty much decided not to renew our United Club credit card again when the time comes as we just aren’t getting our money’s worth anymore, but today’s official announcement that the United Clubs are getting “real food” may help bring some added value to those who do visit United Clubs.  Of course this isn’t going to be Centurion Lounge type food, but it is better than trail mix…

As was officially announced today United Clubs will experience several improvements beginning this week in Chicago:

New complimentary food menu
Days are numbered for carrot sticks and ranch. This year we’ll upgrade our complimentary food offering with a modernized menu, higher-quality ingredients, and hot items in both morning and afternoon/evening. Here’s what you might see:

  • Morning: A Greek yogurt bar and hot oatmeal station, with assorted toppings of mixed fruit, granola, cinnamon, raisins, and brown sugar, assorted cereals and milk, scones and bagel sticks with cream cheese and assorted jams. Cage-free hard-boiled eggs with paprika and fresh chives will also be available during key morning hours.
  • Afternoon/evening: Garden vegetable soup; Mediterranean salad; fresh hummus with pita chips, Greek olives and freshly-sliced red peppers; cheddar cheese with hearty wheat crackers; all accompanied by artisan breads with olive oil and additional condiments. Sliced, cured salami will also be available during key afternoon/evening hours.

United Airlines Food Offering

The new menu rolls out at our ORD Clubs this week, expands to the rest of our domestic hubs by the end of the summer, and will be at our remaining locations by the end of the year.

Overhauls, renovations and new locations
We will make significant investments in multiple new and existing locations this year. These include a complete overhaul of our flagship ORD locations, along with major renovations at HKG, NRT and DCA. We’re also moving ahead with new Clubs at LAX, SFO and yes…ATL. To be sure, all of our clubs will get attention this year, and over time, we intend to bring the design aesthetic you currently see in some of our newer locations, to the rest of our network.

…and more to come

Stay tuned for additional Club investments this year, including:

  • An upgraded beverage-for-sale program, featuring Laurent-Perrier champagne and Trinchero Family Estates wines;
  • A pilot of a food-for-sale program;
  • Wi-Fi printing; and
  • A comprehensive customer service training program specifically tailored for the lounge experience.

I am very excited to see the United Clubs getting some better things to nibble on, and I look forward to trying out the new food at some point.  I’m not sure that is really enough to get us to keep the United Club credit card in our wallets, but it will make the one time use passes we often come across a bit more useful.

What do you think of United’s announcement today?

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  1. United is a Delta copycat. They have zero innovation and just copy everything Delta does. Even their menu is basically a copy of what Delta serves in their lounges which I find too heavy for you to eat prior a long plane trip.

    • I’m okay if they copy good things, but I agree they they are hardly leading the pack on anything these days. Obviously the jury is out until I actually sample the food, but in theory I’m happy enough with a yogurt bar, hummus, crackers, bread, bell peppers, and salad type options before a flight. Doesn’t necessarily sound too heavy to me, but time will tell how good it is, or isn’t.

      • I definitely don’t want to sit next to someone that loaded himself with hard boiled eggs with paprika and ate cured salami before boarding the plane 🙂

  2. United would be better off copying Lufthansa’s lounges. I used my United Club card to visit their lounges in Munich and Frankfurt recently was blown away by how much nicer they were: food, beverages (including beer on tap), furniture, and SHOWERS!

    • Paul, well that would be amazing, but I’m not holding my breath for that. If it makes you feel any better the Lufthansa lounge in Detroit was more on par with what United will start offering (though still a bit better).

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