United Continues To Leave Kosher Travelers Hungry. Here’s What You Can Do Now!

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Update: It has now been 19 months since United has stopped offered kosher meals on most routes for “safety reasons.”

The airline has added back other meals and snacks, and is adding new flights, reopening United Clubs and Polaris Lounges, and handing out bonuses to employees due the turnaround. However there is still no update on when kosher meals will return, despite a promise in June that they would continue adding kosher meals back to their network.

Later this month I’ll be taking 3 flights lasting more than 30 hours, but still won’t have a kosher meal from United on a nonstop flight length that is greater than 15 hours!

Please take a minute and write to United to give feedback on the continued lack of kosher meals on their flights, while American and Delta have long since restored those meal options. Feedback is critical to United’s decision making process.

If you’re on Twitter you can also DM and Tweet to @United to restore #KosherMeals #LetMyPeopleEat

You can also Like and Retweet these:


Originally posted on 6/30:

While many airlines cut the ability to request kosher meals during the pandemic, nearly every airline has restored that option.

Except United.

That’s surprising to me as the airline has continued to rebrand themselves as a premium airline. They also took big steps to improve their kosher offerings before the pandemic and were hoping to rollout those changes to more destinations.

OK, maybe not too surprising. After all, this is the airline that diverted and stranded a plane full of kosher passengers from Tel Aviv in Cleveland overnight and refused to help me get food to them. We eventually got food to them despite United’s refusal to even issue a TSA gate pass to us.

This has been United’s special meal policy during the pandemic:

Last year, United media relations told me that, “For the safety of our customers and crew, we have made changes to our inflight food and beverage service. This includes pausing special meal requests on flights other than offering Kosher meals on our flight between Newark and Tel Aviv.”

But how in the world would kosher meals only be safe if they were being served on Tel Aviv flights?

Back in June United added the ability to request kosher meals between Newark and London starting on 7/1 and between San Francisco and Sydney starting on 8/1.

I asked United when they will bring back kosher meals on more routes and why they have not done so yet and they responded that, “We do hope to continue to expand our kosher meal service to additional routes in the near future, but don’t have a timeline for any further additions.”

This is absurd already!

Before the pandemic United offered kosher meals in all cabins on most international flights as well as in premium cabins on domestic flights that were at least 2,000 miles long. Here is what kosher meal policies on several airlines looked like back in the pre-pandemic days.

There’s simply no excuse as to why United is refusing to restore kosher meals as other airlines have.

Of course, United is a private business and they can decide not to offer kosher meals at all if it suited them. But it would also place them at a competitive disadvantage.

Yes, you have the option to fly American, Delta, or other airlines that have restored kosher meals, but people have built up status and loyalty to United on the premise that they have showed respect and even innovation to their kosher observant passengers in the past. But as travel returns to pre-pandemic levels, there’s just no excuse for United’s frugality here.

What can you do to help?

Take a minute and write to United to give feedback on these changes on their site here. After all, that’s exactly what United advised me to tell my readers at KWFE NYC. If you have 1K or Global Services status, you should also write in to your elite email addresses to let them know your concerns. If you or your company are booking other airlines that are serving kosher meals, be sure to let United know that they are being penny wise and pound foolish.

Sure, kosher meals may not be the greatest. But it beats eating bags of chips on a long flight if you didn’t have time to bring your own food.

Sometimes I’ve even been pleasantly surprised, like with this fresh meal catered by Oahu Kosher on a business class flight from Honolulu to Newark in February 2016:

 

If you are flying United, you can try to bring your own meal, double wrapped in foil, and ask a flight attendant nicely if they can warm it up for you. This has gotten tougher than it used to be, but I still find that many flight attendants will do so.

Have United’s lack of kosher meals moved you to book travel on other airlines? Will you provide feedback to United about this issue?

Leave a Reply

60 Comments On "United Continues To Leave Kosher Travelers Hungry. Here’s What You Can Do Now!"

All opinions expressed below are user generated and the opinions aren’t provided, reviewed or endorsed by any advertiser or DansDeals.

Celso

You could leave a template text so that people can send more easily. I’ve had so many issues with their flights not having kosher but live next to Newark so easiest option.

Josh zak

@dan I’m flying American next week first class to Miami then business to lax both on 777 300er and there is no option to request kosher food online. I also called in and was told that they are not offering meal requests of any kind on flights yet and are barely even offering food.

Anyone here have a different experience?

joe

who cares about kosher food in any airline? I never had a good experience, for which reason do i need to to get on a $4000 business class flight overcooked beans and mashed baked apples? i asked the flight attendant to get it out of my way, was so gross

yelped

So write that in your email. Let them know that you need edible kosher meals.

yelped

Sent an email. Thank you!

Kashrus

I remember asking a neighbor of mine many years ago as we were travelling in ELAL business class together, as I saw his wife take out home made food. His response – this way I know what I’m eating.
Well said!

Mendy

I flew two weeks ago EWR-BRU and was able to get an economy plus seat after complaining

Chaim

Does the UA TLV-ORD flight have kosher meals?

aaron

just saying, that on my AA flight to London, there was no option to add special meal online, (at least after booking), and tried calling, 15 hour waits, just gave up. for the way back I called chase (my travel agency) and they were able to add it.

AYZ

Flew last week United EWR-LHR with dozens of frum Jews and no kosher but Austrian LHR-VIE provided kosher where we were the only frum Jews and short haul.

PS United business check-in in EWR is a disaster. Took us almost an hour.

Tiger

Sorry about your check in problems. I also flew last week United but EWR-TLV afternoon flight and check in was very smooth. Also many frum Jews (including me) with no problems. Fresco meals are a great improvement. Too bad they are not out of Israel.

miriam

im flying united to tlv with stop over in FRA wud i be able to request kosher

Ari k

Copy of comment I sent in

I’m writing you as a TA,i mostly service a Jewish clientele who can only eat kosher
United is the only airline still not offering kosher meals (accept EWR-TLV)on its flights
When clients are shelling out 3-4K for a ticket to travel overseas in business cls it’s totally unacceptable not to offer kosher meals
I have many clients who travel to Europe from all over the US connecting in NY and have chosen DELTA over UNITED because you don’t offer kosher
You saved perhaps 10-15 dollars but lost a 4K revenue sale
I’m talking business sense I’d kick this e mail up the chain until someone with decision power and common sense reads and sees the benefit of offering kosher meals on all your flights as was done pre Covid-19

R1kua

I flew ewr-tlv 2 weeks ago Polaris and no kosher meal option online had to call sent email to complain

Josh

What ever happened with all the changes United was supposed to make pre-pandemic like hot food in Polaris lounge, kid’s kosher meal, and kosher wine for Polaris? Do they still plan to implement these changes?

David

I sent this to United. It is particularly irking to those of us who fly Israel LAX via SFO!
I have recently flown Polaris/business from Hawaii, cross country, as well as internationally (Athens to Newark). I have upcoming business tickets from LAX to TLV (roundtrip) for my wife and I.

Its more than enough time already to re-introduce Kosher meals on these flights. Most are frozen and rewarmed anyway.

For the price of Business, we should not have to be hungry on long distance flights.
Obviously delays occur : our Athens to Newark to LAX was significantly delayed to the point of missing our connection. Eating nuts for 24 hours is excessive!

Things happens, but not providing food for flights that are 11 hours plus (or to Israel approx. 14 hours) is excessive. If you can restore Kosher on some flights, please restore it on all long distance flights!

The flight attendants have all been attentive and understanding. The crew is excellent. But I still chafe on getting nothing to eat on several business flights for my wife and I.

Restore the Kosher option, thanks!

Jack out of the Box

When I flew United TLV-EWR back in November surprisingly there was full meal service. As far as I understood, at that point anyway, many airlines were not offering meal service or had just some fully packaged versions – no open food of any sort. I didn’t realize it was only this route which United provided for.

Aryeh

Wrote to them.

Al

Copy of what I am writting if anyone wants an idea of what to write

Recently it came to my attention that United does not currently offer special meals because of “safety concerns”. How is it that its safe to offer normal meals on flights but not special meals. Even more confusing is the fact that United currently does offer kosher meals to tel aviv but no other destination except possibly London. How is it that its safe to serve kosher meals on flights to Tel Aviv but no where else?

If you think your customers are dumb and don’t see this for the cost cutting move that it is you are sorely mistaken. After getting hundreds of millions, if not billions, of dollars from the government in aid during the pandemic, the fact that United is still not offering special meals on a system wide basis is shameful especially as the CEO of United said just days ago that United is now profitable again

Ben

American is still not offering kosher meals on any domestic flights in first or business.

Pol

How come when I go to your Twitter feed I don’t see your tweet where you tag united and their response, I only see the second Twitter post ?

Joel

Sent in feedback!

Eli

I wrote to united on July 2. They responded today on July 30.

Hi Eliezer,

I am sorry that we are currently not offering the Kosher meal option from Chicago to London –

Special Kosher meals for Passover meals are supplied during Passover

All Kosher meals are Glatt Kosher and are only available on flights between:

U.S.-TLV
EWR-LHR
SFO-SYD
I hope this helps to at least allow you to plan accordingly.

Regards,

Denise
Customer Care

Oleg

I had to book a flight to Europe, would i be able to bring our own food to the plane, and will United heat it up for us?
Is there any restriction on what type of food could be brought on the plane?

TIA

David

As suggested when you originally posted, I wrote United about Kosher meals. I emphasized that paying for Business on long haul should include Kosher meals. (In May we flew Business to Athens and did not get Kosher). Got back a larger worthless email that United was reinstituting Kosher ‘over time’, but no specifics.

My question: we are flying LAX to TLV via SFO for Chagim on United. Can any of Dan’s readers tell me if they are actually receiving Kosher meals out and back from SFO to TLV?
Thanks!
David

Abe

The question is where is Dan flying to?

JSquared

I’m leaving Tuesday from EWR, I have meals showing in the system…

Traveler

Kosher
Special meal
FLIGHT
EWR – TLV
TLV – EWR

Traveler

Kosher
Special meal
FLIGHT
EWR – TLV
TLV – EWR

M

I have flown twice in the last few months out of Tel Aviv (once to Chicago and once to EWR) and both times, the kosher food was so tiny the kids asked for more. We flew Premium Plus seat on two flights and it didn’t help. Kosher food is one thing but it need to be a reasonable sized portion. Next time, I will bring from home.

Fjdo

Just write: “Why the anti semitism???”

CB

flew FRA-EWR last month Polaris, crew were very apologetic and offered me fruit she even found a whole avocado 🙂 almost felt bad for them how hard they were trying..

nd

I do the same when I fly Polaris, I ask them for a box from the Hemisphere magazine the usually give lots of snacks and are very apologetic.

Soggy sponge cake

Ksml suck anyway. What’s the point?

CB

New Fresko Ksml has good reviews

159Dallas

Just blasted them in an email for the second time

Avi

Sidenote: their kosher meals ewr>tlv are catered by fresko and are better than any I’ve ever seen

happy yid

i flew united ewr-tlv 3 times in the past few months and every time i got a badatz yerushalayim prepackaged meal. acctualy they had the kosher meals for people who didnt even reserve them.

why can’t the food be decent

The Delta and AF ksml I had in Augustwere sooo bad, it’s no loss.

M

I just flew between Newark and Tel Aviv and while there was kosher food it was not enough food for 11 plus hours. I went in back to ask for any snack, even a piece of fruit and was told they have no food at all. The meals were so tiny that my daughter begged to have something more.

BT

The real question is what kind of compensation you’ll get for not having KSML.

Something tells me you’ll come out ahead…

Levi

For many years, the kosher food was just so terrible. I would order it in case it wasn’t, but we always packed out own sandwiches. Eventually, I would just look at the outside of it and already know it was terrible. Presumably, the airlines are paying a lot of money for those meals and for many years we’ve all been ripped off. Maybe this is just how it has to be now: no kosher meal options because it’s always just terrible.

moe

Rule #1 of flying: Always bring at least 2 meals worth with you (can be filling snacks as well).
Rule #2: Bring a change of clothes (or at least socks and underwear + pjs)
Rule #3: Bring something non-electric to keep yourself busy (sefer, book, magazine)

Mogul

How can you email United? I don’t have Twitter but I’d like to send them an email.

Jack

I called and got $100 voucher

Eric

I was pleasantly surprised to get two kosher meals on United premium economy class on their LHR-EWR route last week (Oct 6). I was told by the flight attendant that kosher is the only special meal they reintroduced since Covid. I did nothing special to order it, I just have “kosher” in my profile.

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