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Fresh Food Returns To United Express – Live and Let's Fly

Fresh food has returned to premium cabins on United Express, a long-overdue step that will greatly improve catering when flying in the front cabin on a longer regional jet flight.

Fresh Food Now Served in Premium Cabins On United Express After Three Year Hiatus

If you’ve flown first class on a United Express flight over the last couple years, you have may have noticed that the meal was shelf-stable. Think cheese plate in a sealed plastic container with a packaged bread roll, packaged olives, and a sealed fruit cup:

image: 1200GS / Flyertalk

Some flights were not catered at all, despite being over 800 miles.

But that has now changed.

Per an internal memo reviewed by Live And Let’s Fly, “fresh food” has returned to premium cabins on flights over 800 miles on the following aircraft:

This comes after a three-year absence. Fresh meals were eliminated in March 2020 on United Express and had not returned…until now.

Here’s what to expect for breakfast:

Overnight oats topped with coconut and blueberries
Served with fresh cut fruit bowl, croissant, butter, jam, cinnamon streussel biscotti, and Erin Baker’s oatmeal raisin breakfast cookie

and for lunch and dinner:

Carved roasted chicken on Italian flatbread
Served with grape cluster, mesclun salad, and mini “Pie in the Sky” chocolate chip pie

The pre-packaged cheese plate pictured above will remain a second option.

These aircraft are not quipped with ovens, so hot meals are not possible.


I rarely get on a longer regional flight and had forgotten that up until this month, United was still serving pre-packaged meals on these aircraft. The change is long overdue. Prior to the pandemic, there were two substantial options on United Express, one of which was typically a fresh salad. Hopefully the return of the entree salad is not too far off. With regional jets serving longer flights, providing a consistent customer experience with mainline is an important consideration.

top image: CApreppie / Flyertalk


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