Flights on United Express are typically not anything special. Nearly all of my trips begin with a CRJ-200 hop to O’Hare. Occasionally I am able to mix that up, but there still aren’t great options. I recently had a trip routing via Houston (IAH), which I got on the Skywest CRJ-700 that have done some longer flying from IAH. While these planes contain 6 first class seats and Economy plus, they are far from luxurious. First class catering consists of plastic cups and if the flight is long enough, a snack box. My recent flight had something I hadn’t seen before; a choice in snack boxes for those in first class.
In recent months, the typical meal service for F class on ExPlus flights is a snack box containing breadsticks, crackers, some processed-cheese spread, Oloves, mini-cookies. On one flight between MKE and IAH, I was offered a choice of a box “with olives” or one “with fruit”. Just for the sake of variety, I chose the latter.
This box isn’t too exciting, but at least its a change, and maybe slightly healthier than the previous option. It contains baked bagel chips, Rondele processed cheese spread, yogurt covered raisins, Premier Snack Mix, and a tropical fruit mix.
As this was a longer flight I would assume that the for purchase boxes are available for passengers in Economy. I didn’t ask if I could exchange the United First box for one of the others, but maybe I’ll try that sometime.
On a related note, these CRJ-700 flights from legacy Continental hubs are a bit of an anomaly. They are operated by Skywest, painted like United Express, but follow the rules of Continental with regard to upgrades. I believe these are set up to get around the CO pilots scope clause. As a passenger, I prefer the (very) relative comfort of the CRJ-700 compared to the E145, but both are a far cry from an E170 or mainline. Based on my experiences, these flights during the merger transition can be a bit of a hassle, with neither airline taking responsibility in the case of issues. Among various matters, upgrades are processed at the gate. The difference between F and Y on these plane is significant.