Friday, February 24, 2012

3/3: United will extend BusinessFirst -- and improve business class meals

Despite what they say about airplane food, I think UNITED has continually improved its meals in business class.  

During my recent trip to Europe, I took time to read more about the brand improvements they're making: from the demitasse of fresh tomato shellfish soup with bay scallops, to the pan-seared turbot fish and grilled shrimp with lobster Newburg sauce, to the freshly brewed Emilio Caffe Italian espresso.

My flight from Berlin to Newark featured James Canora, a 12-year member of the Congress of Chefs. James is chef and co-owner at Valentino's on the Green in Bayside, NY. He also serves as corporate consulting chef for the world famous New York City Delmonico's and is co-author of Dining at Delmonico's. Through his company, NYC Culinary Events, Canora specializes in catering and menu consulting for private events. Previously at Tribeca Grill, James managed production of The Tribeca Grill Cookbook and The Shared Table, as well as special events and promotions through which he became known as "Chef to the Stars."

Starting next week, United will further extend its BusinessFirst service, offering an elevated business-class service with new amenities. These will include an additional entree option, for a total of four, designed by United’s Congress of Chefs. United is also changing the way it prepares business-class meals to improve the quality and taste. In BusinessFirst, the airline will also offer expanded wine selections chosen by Doug Frost, Sommelier and Master of Wine; and a new ice-cream sundae dessert option, with a choice of six toppings.

Additionally, in its BusinessFirst cabins United will offer improved in-flight entertainment, including noise-reduction headsets; new amenity kits featuring Philosophy-brand skin-care products; and duvet-style blankets and higher-quality pillows and hot towels.

“The re-branded cabins offer premium-cabin customers the highest levels of service, every time they fly,” says Mark Bergsrud, United’s senior vice president of marketing. “We are keeping the products that our customers tell us they value the most as we continue to build the world’s leading airline.”

United will offer premium snacks including all-natural pop chips, Emerald nuts, Clif organic energy bars, Toblerone Swiss milk chocolate and fresh fruit. It will also offer warmed nuts, presented in a small china bowl, on all lunch and dinner services; and ice-cream sundaes offered with a choice of six toppings, available on many transcontinental lunch and dinner services.

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