No (Airline) Food For You
Starting Oct. 1, there will be no such thing as a free meal on United Airline's flights between Washington Dulles and Europe. The airline will become the first major carrier to start charging economy seat passengers for food on transatlantic flights (first and business-class passengers will continue to receive free meals).
There will be no hot meal option. Snack boxes, which contain food such as bagel chips, cheese, granola, juice, candy and a pastry, will be $6. Or you can pay $9 for a salad or sandwich. The $9 breakfast includes fruit, cheese, crackers, yogurt and pastry.
No word on why Dulles was picked for this experiment. Passengers on flights from other cities will continue, for the moment, to get a main meal of "salad, appetizer, a choice of hot entrees and dessert," plus a pre-arrival meal on longer flights.
No other airline has jumped on the bandwagon yet, although if the recent pattern re: fees for checked bags, seat assignments, etc., is an indication, it's only a matter of time.
Most foreign carriers are still very generous when it comes to food and drink on international flights. From Dulles, British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, Austrian Air and Air France are a few that offer free hot meals and alcohol. Most U.S. carriers still offer meals, but you pay for booze.
Is a free meal important on an international flight? Would it make you more likely to go with a foreign carrier if price is similar?
By Carol Sottili |
August 22, 2008; 11:07 AM ET
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