Sometimes, it’s the small things in life that leave big impressions.
Yesterday, Rocky wrote a post about stumbling upon Eggo waffles at the Delta SkyClub in Detroit Terminal A. Although not P-90X diet-friendly, a syrup-infused, fluffy hot waffle is one of those life creature comforts that add some welcomed variety into the dining experience, especially for the road warriors who rely on airline club food for sustenance.
I’ve been a United Club member for over a year now, and I’ve always found that the UC breakfast options are the most replete food offerings of the day (relatively speaking). In the mornings, United Clubs offer complimentary bagels (with a toaster!), muffins, donut holes, cold cereal, fruit and yogurts for members. In addition, most United Clubs also offer a wide array of coffees, teas and juices, with an espresso, cappuccino and latte machine.
The offerings are less substantial during the PM hours, as United only offers bar/snack-type foods such as crackers and cheese, packaged cookies, pretzels, chocolate-covered M&Ms, trail mix, and carrots. Of course, a full-bar service is also available all-day.
This morning, however, I was shocked to see a NEW addition, that seemed to keep pace with Delta’s surprise out of Detroit, when I noticed that the United Club in Terminal C, near gate C-15, was offering HOT cereal!
I was thrilled to see United thinking outside of the box on this one. I consume some form of oats/oatmeal on a daily basis, more or less (Starbucks, anyone?) and it is great that United is adding a slightly healthier option for its UC customers. Moreover, the offering comes replete with the fixin’s such as dried fruit, granola and brown sugar.
The unfortunate thing was, I did not actually get a chance to try out the oatmeal. The UC Club in the C Concourse at Terminal 1 in O’Hare is very large, and there are two food stations. Frustratingly, the oatmeal was placed at the smaller, less-conspicuous table closer to the windows rather than the larger, more prominent serving area closer to the bar and center of the Club. I accidentally stumbled upon the oatmeal dish AFTER I had already consumed my morning bagel and yogurt, and by that point, I had to make my way out of the Club in order to catch my flight to Minneapolis.
Regardless, I was able to snap the picture and wanted to share it with the upgrd community. I hope that United continues to retain the Oatmeal offering, and hopefully expand it to more UC stations throughout the system. I’m honestly not sure if this is just a test situation, or if its something United intends to keep for the long-run. I did not see any announcement about the Oatmeal anywhere in the Club or on the website. It’s definitely something worth promoting!
On another exciting note, I also tried out the United Club’s new automatic self-scanner system that they’ve piloted at O’Hare. Members can now swipe their United Club card, or their boarding pass, rather than have the lounge supervisor process them manually. Here are some photos of what was shown at Terminal C this morning:
I liked how the electronic swipe system also displayed a “Welcome Mr. XXX” when the membership was validated. It’s a nice touch. Way to go, United!
Again, these small, but significant improvements to the United Club experience are noteworthy and I commend United for taking the steps. The Club was in a very clean, pristine condition this morning and they seemed to have more attendants/staff than usual on-site helping to keep the stations stocked and clear service items from tables and other work stations to free them up for other members.
All-in-all, another pleasant traveling experience with United today, which is in consistency with my last journey on-board United flying from Dallas to Chicago (via Houston) last month on the 787 Dreamliner in domestic BusinessFirst. My only complaint is that United (or I guess United Express, as I seem to only encounter this issue flying on UX) needs to be more transparent about boarding times. My scheduled boarding time for my flight to MSP was at 7:07 AM this morning, and when I arrived at the gate at 7:03 AM, the agent was calling all rows, all passengers.
Am I crazy, or is something awry here?
What are your thoughts on the UC improvements, or just traveling on United in general these days? Share in the comments below!