Back in the "good old days" legacy United FAs would sort meals orders by status, giving preference to full-fare passengers and top-tier elites. Continental FAs would simply move from front to back, without regard to OnePass status or fare paid. As with most things, the Continental policy won out post-merger. Until now. An e-mail that went out to all UA FAs yesterday has instructed them to again sort meal requests by status, at least for Global Services and 1K members. A token gesture, but an appreciated one for this 1K.
In the pre-merger United days, a number of stars would show up next to a passenger on the flight manifest--
F/J Ticket (non-upgrades) ***
FAs would sort meals orders by the number of stars next to the passenger. Some would hop through the cabin, literally taking orders in chronological order based on stars. The more professional ones would ask each passenger (except for Global Services) for first and second choice as they worked their way down the aisle from front to back.
Now FA's will sort meal orders in the following way:
1/ Global Services (GS): our invitation-only membership program exclusively for our top members.
2/ Premier 1K customers (1K): 100,000 Premier qualifying miles or 120 Premier qualifying segments.
3/ All other revenue customers
4/ Pass riders
It's not like airline food is a great thing, but since the merger I have made seating choices with meal orders in mind, opting to sit as close to the front of the cabin as possible (though never in row one). Now that won't be necessary--I can return to 6B/F on the 757s, my favorite seat on the plane I seem to fly most on United. Before, if I ended up in row six, there would be no hot breakfast for me on morning flights or I would offered a wrap on lunch flights when all salads were exhausted.
And I must admit, I do like eating on airlines, particularly when flying out of ex-Continental hubs where Chelsea still caters (versus the Gate Gourmet slop I usually endure ex-PHL and LAX). I had a cheeseburger for lunch ex-EWR and the spinach tortellini for dinner ex-IAH (on the 787!) earlier this week--longtime Continental stapes--and I truly enjoyed them both. But then again, it doesn't take much to please me--my idea of good Mexican food is Taco Bell.
The new UA still fails to understands the importance of long-term loyalty versus transactional loyalty, but this is a small victory for legacy United loyalists and for 1Ks.