United Airlines Is Still Not Offering Special Meals. Blaming COVID Is Silly
United Airlines is still not offering special meals to its passengers. Their reasoning is ridiculous. When the pandemic broke out, meal service all but stopped on all airlines. Now that travel is normalizing, United Airlines says it can’t offer special meals. Their reasoning is a joke.
What Other Airlines Are Doing
During the start of the pandemic, many airlines eliminated meals. Then, they went to pre-packaged meals in a box. A good example of this is Turkish Airlines. They have updated their in-flight service to say that meals are back on international flights only. Turkish hasn’t added back all of their special meal options, but they are offering the 5 meals requested most often.
American Airlines and Delta Air Lines are offering the full spectrum of their meal options. The logic is simple: if you’re having meals, there’s no extra “COVID risk” between meal type A and meal type B.
So what’s the deal with United?
They are only offering the Kosher meal and only on limited routes. You cannot request any of their other special meals on any routes.
The kosher meal is only available on these routes:
- Flights between the U.S. and Tel Aviv
- Between New York/Newark and London Heathrow (starting July 1, 2021)
- Between San Francisco and Sydney (starting August 1, 2021)
Their reasoning: “limit potential exposure to COVID-19 on board”.
It’s ridiculous. You can’t tell me with a straight face that making a special meal for someone’s religion or allergies increases the risk of COVID. Either you have meals or you don’t. And this logic means they have to claim that vegetarian meals and Hindu meals increase COVID risks while Kosher meals don’t. And apparently Kosher meals don’t increase COVID risks on those particular routes, just on others.
I’m not buying it.
I find United Airlines’ explanation about their special meals here to be anything but logical. My wife and I have flown United twice in the past year. On the first flight, the purser was friendly and even said that the policy was stupid. On the 2nd flight, the staff was again friendly and apologetic, despite this being beyond their control. They tried to round up something for us to eat, since the company HQ wasn’t helpful.
If you are like us and need special meals for flights, I recommend avoiding United Airlines until they fix this. Paying for meals that you won’t be eating is dumb, and so is United’s reasoning. Blaming COVID for this nonsense in United Airlines’ catering is a disservice to everyone.