MIAMI — After a seven-year hiatus, the free snacks are back at United Airlines Economy Class. The Chicago-based carrier announced that this perk will be offered as of February 2016, together with the preparations to bring illycafe’s coffee to United Club locations at the airline’s mainland U.S. hubs beginning this month and to flights worldwide next summer.
“We’re refocusing on the big and little things that we know matter to our customers and shape how they feel about their travel experience,” said Jimmy Samartzis, United’s vice president of food services and United Clubs.
The free snacks will be offered on all United Airlines flights in North America and Latin America, Customers on flights departing before 9:45 a.m. will receive a morning stroopwafel – a Dutch, caramel-filled waffle, while for flights departing after 9:45 a.m., United will offer packaged savory snacks, such as an Asian-style snack mix of rice crackers, sesame sticks and wasabi peas or a zesty-ranch mix of mini pretzel sticks, Cajun corn sticks and ranch soy nuts.
“We’re bringing back complimentary snacks that are a nod to our global presence. They also add that extra level of service our employees will be proud to deliver and will make a big difference for our customers.”
The free snacks will come together with the airline’s Choice Menu for purchase on flights that offer these options today. Additionally, United has expanded the availability of complimentary snacks and free alcoholic drinks to more Latin America Flights. Last June, the airline significantly upgraded the food and beverage service in Economy Class on long-haul international flights.
This once-common airline perk comes as the Chicago-based carrier is making strides to improve the overall passenger experience and customer service. The new United Airlines CEO Oscar Munoz acknowledged last October that that the airline has failed to fulfill the expectations of both travelers and employees.
Most airlines do serve some kind of complimentary snack already; Delta, for example, serves its Biscoff cookies along with other options, while JetBlue and Southwest come around with a basket of choices.