My chat with United Airlines’ Onboard Product team on Twitter this week

United Airlines hosted another “Plane Chat” series this week on Twitter where they bring in a few people from one of their work groups to answer questions related to that department’s function. Previous chats were with reservations agents, pilots and the aircraft scheduling department. This week, the Onboard Product team was featured and I was keen to participate for a couple of reasons.

First, if you haven’t already figured out by reading my blog, I collect amenity kits and this department at United manages that program. With the merger, I soon expect to see new amenity kits rolled out even though the current version featuring Murad products must still have a while to go contractually. Here was my first question (and pardon my typo… it should read “improvements“:

As expected, I received a “corporate” unrevealing answer:

Ah ha… but then the same rep came back and asked:

I couldn’t help myself and responded:

To which I received a reply of:

Okay, time to switch gears. The Onboard Product team also handles everything related to cabin interiors – from seats to upholstery to WiFi to in-flight entertainment – anything inside the cabin is their domain. I’m an airline geek to the max, so with the upcoming overhaul of United’s premium service 757s that fly exclusively from New York’s JFK to Los Angeles and San Francisco, I asked about buying a pair of the Business Class seats once they start the refurb:

Now before I reveal their response, let me share that there are many like me who actually want used airline seats in their homes. There are websites out there like this one and this one, and you can also find listings on Craigslist. The “President” of this uber enthusiast group is Anthony Toth who spent $50,000 to recreate a Pan Am 747 nose section in his garage. I’m not (so) sure I’d go to that level. A pair of p.s. Business seats would be my dream acquisition. Anyway, here’s United’s response:

Yes! You can believe I’ll be contacting them later in 2012. My reply:

Then I decided to try “KF” again and come back to the amenity topic. United’s 100,000-miler 1Ks (me) and Global Services members get alcoholic drink certificates in their membership credentials each year. Drinks run probably $7 now, but I’d like to use them for (almost) similarly priced snack boxes if I’m stuck in coach, so:

I was happy with their reply of:

Continental Airlines currently sends out their similar certs with the option of either a drink or snack box, so given the new United is basically Continental managed, I think my desire will be fulfilled. I donated all of my current United certificates at the 2011 Chicago Seminars, and one “lucky” person is going to get very drunk.

The last open question posed by the Onboard team was:

Here’s my response and it remains one of my favorite movies (… and I flew a lot that month):

If you want to participate in future chats, first be sure to follow @united on Twitter and then look out each month for the hashtag of #unitedplanechat.

Comments

  1. Great idea on using drink chits for Snack boxes! I’d actually never even though of that, but it would be nice for when the upgrade does not go thru!

  2. Using chits for a snackbox is a great idea. I don’t think I have ever used a chit for a drink. Here’s hoping that is a benefit in 2012.

  3. There was a question about blankets, and after hearing (and tomorrow seeing) that there are no longer blankets in domestic F, I’m not sure if that was F or intl related, but they said they are improving them and they will come out in the next month.

  4. <>

    Really? How sure are you about this? I checked my CO Currency certs (as CO Plat) from the last membership year and this year and they only say it is only good towards a “premium beverage” not a snackbox.

    • I don’t have them anymore, but I swear I saw “snack box” as an option on my Platinum (same-as-yours) certificates. Or maybe I was dreaming of it. I honestly can’t confirm anymore. In any case, I hope United considers the snack box option for 2012!

  5. I was referring to your comment “Continental Airlines currently sends out their similar certs with the option of either a drink or snack box”

  6. My CO drink chits were only for alcohol, unfortunately. I’d love to be able to redeem them for food. Maybe UA could follow AA, and give free food to 1K/GS in Y? AA does it to their EXP if they get stuck in Y..

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