United Adding New Kosher Food And Wine To Tel Aviv Flights And Newark Polaris Lounge, Plus Kosher Snacks In NYC United Clubs

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Giving feedback on Kosher Meals:

A couple of years ago I asked if awful kosher meals on airplanes were our own fault. That was based on a conversation between DDF member ChAiM’l and the owner of Hermolis about the issue who told him that airlines served bad kosher meals because “NOT ENOUGH PEOPLE ARE COMPLAINING!”

Trust me, I complained when I got this Stogel long-life cat food in business class on USAirways and Lufthansa, but I guess others don’t complain about it?

 

Hermolis serves what’s generally considered the best kosher airline meals in the sky, but no airline offers their meals from the US.

Most airlines in the US serve food from El Al’s Borenstein caterers, where the food is typically mediocre, with some exceptions of actually decent or completely inedible meals.

As I was about to publish this post, Zalmy Silver, who is currently en-route to Vietnam in Cathay First Class from this deal, sent me a picture of this vile Borenstein Regal breakfast. Yes, this was served in Cathay Pacific first class from JFK to Hong Kong!

No word yet on whether Borenstein/El Al charged extra for all of that mold on his omelet.

I don’t eat those rubber omelets even when they’re not covered in mold. Gross!

United’s New Newark-Tel Aviv Meals:

United says they have heard feedback about these meals and they have switched to locally made Fresko meals on their Newark to Tel Aviv route in all classes of service. The meals are under the hashgocha of the Star-K and Tartikov.

“Partnering with New Jersey-based fresh food provider Fresko, meals on the Newark to Tel Aviv flight will feature an entirely new menu. Options will include dishes such as fresh bagels, a cheese omelet, blintzes, chicken marsala, a kale quinoa burger and traditional bakery items like rugelach and black and white cookies.”

OK, those press images looks pretty, but what do they look like in real life?

DansDeals reader Charles Herzog flew from Newark to Tel Aviv yesterday and shared his images of the new meals. He says that the food was very good and a marked improvement over the previous offering:

Sure seems like an improvement over the previous offerings! Meals on other Tel Aviv routes are being enhanced as well, though only Newark to Tel Aviv will get the Fresko offerings.

New Kosher Wines:

As previously reported, they are also serving Herzog Lineage Cabernet Sauvignon and Herzog Lineage Sauvignon Blanc on the Newark-Tel Aviv and San Francisco-Tel Aviv routes in business class. They will bring kosher wine to the Washington DC-Tel Aviv route next month.

United previously served Covenant Mensch wine in 2017, but it was discontinued when there weren’t many takers, so be sure to have a glass or 3 this time!

 

New Kosher Food Options For Kids:

If you are flying from Newark to Tel Aviv or San Francisco to Tel Aviv, you can call United to request a kids kosher meal in all classes of service.

United is testing this out to see if there is demand for the option, so be sure to request it if you’re flying in March!

Illy Kosher Coffee Packets:

United is switching from Sanka coffee packets to Illy coffee packets. That’s already in effect from Newark to Tel Aviv and will be phased in on other Tel Aviv routes from now through the summer.

Hot Kosher Meals In The Newark Polaris Lounge:

United currently offers kosher wines in the Newark Polaris lounge.

United will be adding hot kosher dining in the Newark Polaris lounge for business class customers starting at the end of February or early March.

There is no need to pre-order these, you can request them when you arrive in the lounge.

Customers on all business class routes who have access to the Polaris lounge will be able to request the hot kosher meals.

Post a comment to let us know if you are able to order these meals and how they are!

New Kosher Snacks In NYC United Clubs:

Passengers at the United Clubs in LaGuardia and Newark can now request bagged kosher snacks, such as pretzels, chips, crackers, cookies, whole fruits, and more.

Kosher Mid-Flight Snack Bowl:

United has added more kosher snacks to their mid-flight snack bowl. It seems like several of the snacks are dairy, which doesn’t help much after a meat entree or for those that keep Cholov Yisroel. But there are some parve options as well:

 

Summary of Changes:

I’d say overall this is a great start for United. They fell behind other airlines to Israel that serve kosher wines in all classes, so it’s great to see some effort being made to improve their offerings.

While Delta offers kosher meals on all domestic premium cabin routes with meals, United only does so on 2,000+ mile flights. It would be great to see some kosher food improvements systemwide.

But Kudos to United for these changes and let’s hope there are more to come!

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55 Comments On "United Adding New Kosher Food And Wine To Tel Aviv Flights And Newark Polaris Lounge, Plus Kosher Snacks In NYC United Clubs"

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

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mosh

That is a welcome change. Fresko has the contract with my company as the kosher menu option for our corporate lunches and the food is always tasteful. Its wait and see if on the airline it will also be fresh

Chaim

Great write up. With everything else being equal, a nice kosher menu would definitely tip the scale in making my decision with which airline to fly.
Thanks United and thanks Dan for bringing us the update.

Yisroel

Unfortunately, a downgrade in the hechsher. This is Harav Babad, not the Tartikov Beis Din which is considered to be a much higher standard than Babad Tartikov.

Mickey

Nu nu

Berry

So don’t eat the food. This food has to be better than the drek they have been giving me for years when they actually remember my kosher meal.

Mendy

Downgrade from Borenstein OU?!!
Besides, the OU has found kosher malpractice at Borenstein in the past.
While it might not be the best Hechsher it is definitely better then Borenstein

Yisroel

United served Regal which is from Borenstein with an additional hechsher Volove. I believe OU is considered better than Star-K (I may be wrong), but sources in the kashrus field I’ve spoken to in the past have definitely said that Volove is much higher standard than Babad.
Everyone can and should do their own research. I’m just bringing to people’s attention that this is NOT Tartikov Beis Din, just another hechsher. From my research, it seems to be a lower level that Volove (or Tartikov Beis Din). Again, I’m c”v not here to disparage any hashgacha, just to bring awareness.

AS

Are the kosher wines mevushal?

Yitz

Are the new kosher means offered on UA Economy? I just flew EWR-TLV 1/30-2/6 Economy and got regular Borenstien (which actually was quite decent this time) on the outbound and something else on the return.
Also are the Fresko meals offered from TLV-EWR or just EWR-TLV?

dave

How can we get into the polaris lounge if we are not flying business class?

David

So on a domestic 2000 mile in premium cabin We’re still getting Regal?

Alexander

Biggest problem I seemed to always have with United to Israel in business was that salad, appetizer, roll and desert usually came frozen!

Dave

Any chance to purchase kosher wine in economy ?

Eitan

Far and away the best kosher meals are on Qantas to Australia, provided by a Los Angeles caterer. I’d go to a restaurant to get the same meals again (and I flew economy!). The meals on the returning flight from Australia were mediocre at best.

Shaul Morrison

Crazy that it takes 6 months to change the coffee!

Sammy J

Dan, great write up. Over the last three years I have amassed around 10,000 dollars of etc’s from spoiled or missing meals in United business class. One lead purser told me that they screw up kosher catering 70% of the time! I actually preferred the etc’s to the food as it paid for my family’s Pesach tickets,lol. I guess I might be stuck with their good food now.

I met with the head supervisor of all Polaris lounges in the USA three months ago. All United lounges are third party managed by Sodesko. The woman, Kirsten, was amazing and promised me there would be kosher meals for the Newark lounge in the future. I am glad to see they made good on their promise.

L

Can all Dan’s Deals followers petition for Kosher salads and sandwiches in United Club ( with a good hechsher)?

Berry

What’s a “good” hechsher?

Itchakadoozie

Food made by your wife/mother/grandmother. Everything else is….wait for it…just OK 😉

Wolf

Let’s hope other airlines get the message!! This is great news as until now you were never sure if it is even worth it to open those layers just to take a look!!

Bruce Bublick

I would like UA to offer burgers and fries from the McDonald’s at TLV on the TLV-EWR route.

Big joe

The food served out from montreal on air canada and air transat with the local catering is pretty decent

Jon

On SFO-TLV I once had meals by Emuna catering which were very good. Unfortunately I’ve only seen this once and generally it’s Borenstein…hopefully they’ll bring back Emuna on SFO-TVL route again.

Glushtygiz

I also got a moldy omelette on my first class jfk hkg flight. Complaining hasn’t worked for change or compensation

J

Currently on the tlv-ewr flight in business and there is no kosher wine

ilherman

The main course actually does not look too appetizing.. I am flying on UA to MUC this week, i guess Fresco is only served to TLV? Any chance the lounge will already have the Kosher Food available?

Shia

I just got back from Tel Aviv I fly with virgin Atlantic vi London no the flight from jfk to lhr they served surprising good food and kosher wine it was in economy class it was a good surprise

West

I just flew EWR-TLV 2/8 in economy. The chicken marsala was nothing like your friend posted, it was 2 chicken nugget sized pieces, enough to feed a baby, and was pretty tasteless. I didn’t bother tasting breakfast. The snack looked pretty good.

mark

Just came flew from Newark to Tlv Feb 11 on B. class the food was excellent!

Alexander

Did the Polaris lounge have heated Kosher meals? I am going to Israel next Tuesday!

Dubjays

Just flew and received the Fresko meal.

It was from the better kosher meals I have had on a plane. Main dish portion was a bit too small (seemed smaller than Regal) but seemed fresher and tastier.

Alexander

At Polaris – no kosher meals yet!!!!!

Schnorrer

Sunday February 23. Polaris lounge Newark no hot kosher meals yet. Tray of kosher snacks upon request.

morak

just flew on United to/from Israel Freska meals were much worst then regal and 2 tiny pieces of chicken with a heap of hard rice
masbia from israel how they do it. their food is also an issue no competition?

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