United Airlines Thinks You're Willing To Pay $9 For A Snack

United Airlines is obviously not to familiar with the dollar menu at McDonald’s because they’re convinced that you’ll pay up to $9 for their “Buy-On-Board” snack offerings, says the Wall Street Journal.

The snacks, which include “fresh sandwiches, salads, snack boxes or snacks, depending on the length of flight,” will be complimentary for travelers in Business Class and cost coach fliers from $6 for “shelf stable items” to $9 for fresh items such as salads or sandwiches. This price increase will go into effect in October, about a month after United discontinues free snacks in coach. Previously, Business Class customers got free warm meals.

Are you going to pay $9 for a United Airlines sandwich?

United Airlines to Charge Up to $9 for Snacks
United Tests Food Choices in Business and Economy (Press Release) [MarketWatch]
(Photo: pwrplantgirl )


Edit Your Comment

  1. ironchef says:

    the terrorists won.

  2. B1663R says:


  3. GilloD says:

    It’s a game of “How debauched am I?”. I once paid 13 dollars for a BLT in the airport. It was like 4 AM and I hadn’t eaten in 24 hours. I think this is their target market: Hungry desperates.

  4. MyPetFly says:

    They can have my cold dead sandwich when they pry it from my cold dead hands.

    Sorry, haven’t had my morning coffee yet.

  5. hills says:

    Well a fresh sandwich etc.. would probably cost about the same amount in the airport, so yeah, I’d pay up if I were hungry and didn’t pack my own snack.

  6. Chairman-Meow says:

    “Are you going to pay $9 for a United Airlines sandwich?”

    The better question might be:

    “With all these fees, am I ever going to fly United again?”

  7. GavinEstecado says:

    @Front_Towards_Enemy: I used to fly to visit friends on a semi-monthly basis. Since rate hikes, hidden fees, and the general apathy airline employees have toward their customers have force me to avoid flying at all costs.

    Now I drive or ride the rail. I forgot how relaxing a train ride can be compared to a flight.

  8. darkryd says:

    Just means more people will be bringing their own…

  9. pb5000 says:

    They are probably aiming for: (1) the disparate hungry people and (2) business travelers who can expense it.

    My company won’t let me fly business class, but didn’t object to my $4.50 bottle of water I bought off a street vendor on the Vegas strip.

  10. DigitalMariner says:

    I can’t wait for the story in a few months of an enterprising young soul who brings a carryon full of snacks on board, sells them for 1/2 of the airline’s price, and either makes enough cash to cover his ticket or is then removed and detained for “interfering with a flight crew” nonsense.

    Or a story of some airport snack shops & restaurants that post the airline price right next to their own [inflated] prices to help convince consumers to purchase before boarding.

  11. Necoras says:

    I have 3 phrases for them:


    Five Dollar


  12. ReidFleming says:

    Since my business-class flights typically cost from $6,000 TO $9,000, I’d better get a warm meal! Granted, it’s not actually my money. What I find most awful about this is that they seem to be trying to make money on this deal vice just cutting costs.

  13. 12-Inch Idongivafuck Sandwich says:

    Nope, I’d rather buy a $9 Chic-fil-a sandwich from the airport than a $9 “fresh” sandwich from the airline….

  14. Burgandy says:

    Reason #75894 that I <3 Southwest. Bring on the free peanuts and crew that doesn’t care that you brought McDonalds with you!

  15. EarlNowak says:

    What the summary doesn’t mention- United is phasing out meal service on INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS from Washington-Dulles to Europe. Yes, this means that on a nine-hour flight, you get no food- unless you buy a nine dollar sandwich.

    No thanks. I’ll fly Continental, which still serves meals in coach- on domestic AND international flights. Not to mention their on-time rating is better than United!

  16. @MyPetFly: Coffee is only $6!

  17. prag says:

    I view this as a good thing. In coach I rarely eat the meal. The food isn’t particularly good or good for you. If I’m going to eat on the plane I would rather bring the food myself. The food and drink service always seems to block the aisle when I have to go to the bathroom or get to my carry-on. If people have to pay for the food then I suspect fewer will opt-in and the food service will be quicker. Also, I hate having a tray full of garbage in front of me until they have time to come around and pick it up. Get rid of the food service all together as far as I’m concerned.

  18. IphtashuFitz says:

    I’ll gladly buy a sandwich from United for $9.

    When they drop their airfares by $18 or more.

  19. bigvicproton says:

    what’s interesting is how the word “fresh” has been raped to the point where it now means “made within the last 72 hours nowhere near where you are now.” fresh used to mean “we make it now”.

    as for flying to europe from washington, try Qatar, one of the best and cheapest airlines going. and nobody will question you for choosing the muslim meal, since they are all muslim meals.

  20. Sugarless says:

    I can’t remember the last time I flew United. I certainly won’t start flying with them now.

    If you’re going to raise fares do so. Next we’ll have to pay for seat belts and oxygen masks.

  21. sassbrown74 says:

    It is my perception that at most airports the food is competitively priced. At least I don’t feel like I am being gouged, like I do at the movie theater. I generally pick up what I *want* at the airport before getting on, but when I am starving and don’t have other options…Verdict: I am with Gillo on this one (although not sure if that is the right use of “debauched”)

  22. tape says:

    a) no, I’m not paying $9 for airplane food of any kind.

    b) to buy a $9 food item on a plane, you’d have to get me to buy a ticket for a plane trip, which you will not be able to do.

  23. pda_tech_guy says:

    Hey, people pay 5 dollars for a beer on a plane, im sure they will pay 9 for a snack.

  24. KLETCO says:

    Would I buy it? Depends how hungry I am. I’ve been pretty desperate before.

    I’ve actually found that when airlines are SELLING you the food, it’s a bit tastier than if they’re not. Frontier is the best for this – they had delicious food last time I flew with them.

    Most of the time, though, I can just pick what I want out of the airport. *Most* airports have improved their food offerings recently.

  25. AMetamorphosis says:

    I’m not willing to pay 9 dollars for a supposed “fresh” sandwich.

    I have always packed a few snacks such as granola & applesauce cups prior to flights. It tastes better, I can eat it when I want it & it doesn’t cost me 9 dollars …

    Fill an empty water bottle after security and add flavor packs like crystal light and I have a drink too for a lot less than they want to charge …

  26. UnicornMaster says:

    You can either pay $9 on the plane or $7 in the airport and bring it onto the plane. It just means there will be a potpourri of fast food fragrances next time you get on a plane, as everyone will be packing their own lunch.

  27. dry-roasted-peanuts says:

    No. But then again, I get airsick and would just puke it up anyway. Plus, I spend about $10 total on food a week anyway, so I’ll be damned if I’m going to double my grocery budget on filler crap.

  28. mrgenius says:

    It wouldn’t even be that bad if the service was at all reasonably good. It’s not.

    The best flight I ever took was premium economy from DC to London. Superb service, great food, complimentary drinks… the feeling of being taken care of goes a long way to negate expensive sandwiches in my eyes. United and the rest of the US hub-and-spoke carriers should take a lesson (or 10) from foreign carriers. If I wanted to be treated like chattal, I’d fly Southwest (SHUDDER!).

    I really wish they would allow foreign carriers to set up shop in the US to fly domestically.

  29. catskyfire says:

    Yes, we’ll pay. Depending on the length of flight and how hungry we are.

    Think about it. If you’re at a ball park, you pay $7 for a beer and $5 for a midrange hotdog. If at an amusement park, a bad burger, fries, and drink are 12 bucks. It’s a closed economy. There are always some that pay.

    Someone commented about the greatness of taking a train. All I can guess is that you live somewhere on the east coast. I pulled up Amtrak.com and plugged in the numbers. I’m here in Nebraska. Train leaves my area at 11 pm, and then takes awhile. My plane trips have been to visit my friend in Las Vegas. By train, it’s about 24 hours to get to Salt Lake City, and then another 8 hours by bus. And it could cost more than it would to fly.

  30. RobGinNC says:

    I already don’t pay the $3 – $5 airlines are charging for snacks. I don’t see my future self paying $9, either.

  31. coren says:


    Don’t buy food at the ballpark either (bring in my own whenever possible) or the amusement park. Anywhere I can bring my own food in I do, and the airplane sure as hell fits the bill. Plus, the flights *THEORETICALLY* are about a six hour ordeal, plus a couple hours in waiting beforehand. For a cross country flight that is – and I’ve never had trouble bringing food into the waiting area.

    Now, if you have a medical condition that’s one thing, but other than that, who can’t wait to eat for six hours?

  32. Marshfield says:

    I fly only on vacations any more, and for us, “vacation money” isn’t like “real money.” You spend more and don’t be worrying too much about HOW MUCH more, because, well, worrying doesn’t fit well when you’re on vacation, y’know?

    Anyway, if I was hungry I’d consider it.

  33. ViperBorg says:

    I’m gonna have to go with no there, bub.

    United, you can keep your crappy service, high prices, and smelly planes.

  34. laserjobs says:

    I have found that flying a non-US/Canadian airline when possible has been the best bet. Normally I get exceptional service, and food served that is very good without the additional cost.

  35. Inglix_the_Mad says:


    I have 3 phrases for them:


    Five Dollar


    Subway sandwiches are terrible now. Ultra-thing, almost not there meat, crappy bread, veggies are ok. Still you might as well stop at a Cousin’s, Quiznos, or Jimmy John’s for a decent sandwich (or just pack your own).

    Now if we could only get the TSA to drop that ridiculous liquids ban, we’d not have to suffer high prices again.

  36. ludwigk says:

    @Burgandy: Are there airlines that will prevent you from bringing food onto a plane? I’ve never found one that cared, and I bring tons of food on the plane every the time. I’ve brought sandwiches, trail mix, burger king, even once a korean “bento box” type thing.

  37. se7a7n7 says:

    Who remembers the olden days, back when the airlines would have a meal included with the flight?

    That was also the time when you could get on the plane with your own bottle of water without letting the terrorists win.

  38. shockwaver says:

    I’d rather buy the $9 sandwich in the airport. Depending on the airport, there can be some really good places to go for food (Minneapolis – I’m looking at you, French Meadow Organic Bakery). I’m annoyed because I’m flying United over christmas to Hawaii. I usually fly Northwest, even if they are a bit more – but they were $1000 more. That’s a lot of $9 sandwiches.

  39. Mozoltov, motherfucker says:

    nope. I always bring my own food on a flight, fill up my bag with Dollar menu items, buy drinks inside the gate.

  40. magic8ball says:

    A $9 sandwich? Bish plz.

  41. geekgrrl77 says:

    I bring my own food– sandwich purchased on the way to the airport (quiznos is better than subway, imho) is better and cheaper than one in the airport– or just pretzels and snacks from home.

    European airlines like Luftansa ought to try to break into the US market (I’m sure there’s some legal reasons why they can’t). Free yummy, hot meals, snacks, leg room, and unlimited free alcohol. I’ve never flown better in all my life! It was better than US first class!

  42. AndyAndy719 says:

    I’m so hungry, I could eat a $9 sandwhich from an airline!

  43. jimv2000 says:

    I don’t understand why they don’t just raise the price of their tickets to cover the in-flight meals. It seems like no one would notice, and it would look a lot better than charging $10 for a sammich.

  44. dragonfire81 says:

    I don’t I would EVER pay $9 for a sandwich ANYWHERE.

  45. dragonfire81 says:

    And the version United is offering is probably one of those tiny, cafeteria style crappy ones anyway.

  46. tinyrobot says:

    I simply don’t get this airline. Ever since I vowed never to fly them again, their service, their policies, and their treatment of their livestoc… oops, I mean customers has been on a continual diarrheal downslide.

    Can’t they life their heads up just long enough to look around and say “holy crap – we suck!” I mean, recognition of that sort might be the first step to actually repairing their deplorable customer relations. And fixing their business somewhat. Jet fuel prices can’t be helped, but ticket sales sure can if people feel any sense of loyalty towards this airline. Which United (Untied?) Airlines seems to be working dilligently to completely eliminate.


  47. 11hawkinst says:

    I haven’t flown United in about 5 years now. Although, the last time I did fly with them, they bumped me (and my family) up to First Class since we couldn’t sit in the exit row. (SCORE!) But it was their fault that they booked a family in the exit row and they are more expensive now.

    Although, I flew Delta this past week and they still give out free beverages and snacks like peanuts, crackers with cheese (not real cheese, like Ritz crackers with the fake stuff), and some really good cinnamon cookies. They still had sandwiches for 6 bucks (not good) and the salads (better), which is still cheaper than United’s $9 snacks.

    The service was excellent, the crew was very friendly, they had good entertainment (I love the new screens at every seat thing) and the flight (both going and coming back) were on time. We even arrived early coming back!

  48. Peeved Guy says:

    What? $9 is a great price for sm….
    Wait, what?
    Oh, SNACKS!
    Yeah, that’s too much.

  49. FlashBuddy says:

    I predicted the $7.00/blanket. What they gain is having to purchase and maintain fewer blankets, a cost/weight savings world wide. I don’t see this as any different. They will be serving up much less food thereby saving purchasing and storage prices. In regards to blankets, I’m hoping they use the $7 to launder them once in awhile!

  50. MameDennis says:

    Yeah, unfortunately I’m in the same boat… er, plane. Unless I basically fast before my flight, plus take a solid dose of Dramamine, baaaad things happen.

    I guess I’d pay the price if I was desperately hungry AND able to keep it down.

  51. powerjhb says:

    How long until airlines start denying passengers the right to bring their own food on board in order to force them to buy the crappy, overpriced airline food. All the time screaming, “IT’S FOR SECURITY!!”

  52. mythago says:

    @catskyfire: At a ball park or amusement park, the only reason you’re paying those food prices is because you associate it with the fun of the event. Same reason you buy popcorn at the movie. It’s not like you can’t go that long without eating, it’s that you’re willing to pay to have peanuts or a Sno-Cone at the game.

    But on an airplane? I expense my meals and I’m STILL not going to pay $9 for their damn sandwich. Add one more airline to the “do not book” list I put on my travel request forms.

  53. ARP says:

    Can they do this for transatlantic/transcontinential flights? I always assumed there was an FAA regulation about providing something to eat/drink on flights over X hours.

    In closed economies, we pay all sorts of dumb prices. Ever pull money out of and ATM as a Casino? Ever buy a beer at a baseball, hockey, football, etc. game? Some will pay it, some will not. I assume the number crunchers have figured out that its worthwhile to charge more and risk more people brining their own food on.

    FWIW- on Lan airlines (South America), I got a meal on every flight, even the 2 hour ones. It was pretty good too.

  54. Acd says:

    I can’t imagine being hungry enough to pay $9 for an airline sandwich. I wouldn’t pay that just out of principle.

  55. Tedicles says:

    I’m not going to be paying $9 either, but all you people ‘bringing your own food’ annoy the hell out of me. Granted, I usually fly first or business (lots of miles) but having someone bring a MCd’s bag on board is just rude, as it stinks and makes a mess (notice how I ate BEFORE boarding the plane and am not dropping lettuce all over your book).

  56. shoesonwrong says:

    No, I have other plans for that money. I’m turning part of it into quarters to flush down the john and the rest of it I was going to pound into a rathole.

  57. speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

    NO. I wouldn’t even do it on my expense account!

  58. econobiker says:

    @Inglix_the_Mad: Jersey Mikes Subs are the best- a little more expensive than the sub(standard)way stuff but you can resonably eat two meals from one giant sub.

    I wonder if the airlines would kick you off for bringing and selling your own snacks onboard…

  59. econobiker says:

    @Tedicles: Just wait until the onions and limburger cheese crowd starts up. Maybe someone could bring a 10lb spicy bolonga to cut up and dish out- oh wait no more knives…

    And united airlines is so bad there is a website untied.com all about their bad service…

  60. erratapage says:

    I’m a captive audience. If I’m hungry enough, I’ll pay $9.

  61. “Are you going to pay $9 for a United Airlines sandwich?”

    Hell to the no. I rarely ate airplane food when it was free, I’m sure as hell not going to pay for the privilege!

  62. catskyfire says:

    Depends on the amusement park. For those who live near them and have passes, it isn’t a big deal to leave to go eat. For me, it’s a journey to get to one, and I’m there for 8 hours. I have to eat somewhere in there, usually a couple of times. It’s not just about fun, but hunger.

  63. pleeker says:

    Of course I’m not gonna pay $9 for an airplane sandwich, but what’s the big deal? Like catskyfire said above, stadiums are even worse and at least you can bring your own food on the plane. Works for me.

  64. balthisar says:

    Well, yeah, if I don’t have time to grab something to eat between connections, I’ll pay what I have to pay. Sure, $9 is a lot for food, but if I can afford to fly, then I can begrudgingly afford $9 when I need to.

    I wish that AA would offer their better (more expensive) snacks on their flights less than 3.0 hours. It really, really sucked last time when I didn’t have time to grab something in Dallas, and all they could sell me were damned chocolate chip cookies and trail mix. I was captive! I would have paid!

  65. cjones27 says:

    Southwest is the way to go. On a trip from Austin to Vegas last week we got several free snacks (peanuts, Cheese Nips), free drinks, and if you’re a frequent customer you get free alcoholic drink tickets. Clutch.

  66. marike says:

    Whenever I fly from Honolulu to the mainland at night on United, the salads/sandwiches are $5 (clearanced!). The salads are all right; they mix a bunch of stuff with lettuce and they kind of all go together to make a good salad, except whoever makes their salads is in dire need of a salad spinner.

    Usually, my connecting flights are so close together that I don’t have time to stop and grab a bite to eat, let alone carry with me 15 hours of food when I’m traveling to the east coast. The same salad I paid $5 for a week before is now $7 during the day and just as wet.

    Nine bucks for wet lettuce is pushing it too far. Anyone want part of my PB&J?

  67. mebaman says:

    I’ve always wondered if hotels/airlines/ballparks (i.e. closed enconomies) have ever tried selling food for reasonable prices just to see if the quantity sold makes up for the lower profit margin per item. My guess is that they have, otherwise, why would they avoid what could be a huge supplemental source of revenue?

    Many times while traveling on my own dime, I’ve been tempted to order room service until I see that a hamburger will cost $20, in which case, I’ll usually either tough it out or go out to eat. While I understand that many of these closed economy venues cater to expense accounts, I once ran a $20 hamburger through an expense account and I could have sworn that the $7 hamburger at the chain bar & grill would have tasted better (and that’s not saying much).

  68. catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

    i DO have a medical condition and have to eat small meals every few hours. and yes, that means getting up in the middle of the night too, so a 6 hour flight is too long.
    because you never know when emergencies, accidents and delays will happen [in the airport or just in life] i ALWAYS have food with me and won’t be paying $9 for a nasty rubbery sandwich on an airplane.

    however, i am anticipating the day they charge me a ‘snack carry on fee’ that can only be waived with a letter of medical necessity from my doctor

    also i can forsee coming soon:

    fee to fill your own water bottle at the drinking fountain inside the terminal

    fee if your carry on doesn’t fit under the seat in front of you and needs to be stored in the overhead bin

    use of in flight restroom fee [please insert 25 cents for non potable water to wash your hands afterwards too!]

    just wait until they start charging for toilet paper!!!!

  69. Poster99 says:

    Since when is a sandwich considered a snack?

    $9 for meal doesn’t sound crazy if it’s actually worth eating.

  70. PDX909 says:


    I’ll happily budget more time and more money to take the train over flying. To me it’s as much about enjoying the journey and being relaxed, as it is about actually getting somewhere. We seemed to forget somewhere (and the airlines certainly did) that we’re the customers here and to quote United directly “we understand that you have a choice”

  71. Canino says:

    The best airline food I ever got was a chicken burrito thing in business class on a Canadian Air flight from DFW to Calgary. It was so good I wanted another one. I guess I would pay $9 for two, but not for one and I’ve never had any other business/coach class airline food or snack I would pay anything extra for.

  72. @Poster99: nothing United has ever served, even in First Class, was cost them $9 to make let alone was worth eating. I stopped flying United years ago and have been happier for it.

  73. PDX909 says:


    And how long do you think it will be before that tasty looking snack box with all the cute extras will turn into those plates of slop that we used to get for free?

  74. describe_one says:

    This is just another reason I’m glad I fly Southwest. No stupid fees and you get a snack.

  75. robocop is bleeding says:

    Bringing your own food from home sounds like a good idea until the TSA Dictators-In-Training start confiscating them as being a security threat.

    Heck, if I worked for the TSA, I’d stop bringing my own lunch! “Sorry, sir, but your food looks delicious-I-mean-dangerous.”

  76. ras_d says:


    right…and when will they start charging us for that?

  77. picardia says:

    I have to fly United at Thanksgiving. Granola bars and PB&J the whole way, baby. I’ll have to pay for an overpriced, oversized bottle of water in the airport, but I can live with that. Better an extra $3 at the airport store than $9 for a tuna salad. I mean, I live in Manhattan, and I don’t pay that for a tuna salad.

  78. The captain is God. I am waiting for the Captain to announce he is accepting orders for Domino’s to be delivered to the plane….. cause he doesn’t want to PAY for his “warm sandwich” from the airline.

  79. picardia says:

    @PDX909: FWIW, while Amtrak is a great alternative for travel in certain areas (I use it exclusively for anywhere in New England or the mid-Atlantic states, down to DC), service interruptions in other areas don’t make it feasible, and if you’re traveling more than seven hours by train, you might want to suck it up and deal with the airline. It would take me two days to get home for Thanksgiving via train — therefore, I have to suck it up and deal with United. But not their snack prices.

  80. Jevia says:

    Yeah, I’ll just be stopping at the local hoagie shop on the way to the airport where I can guarantee the freshness of a sandwich that is probably bigger than that provided by the airline and cheaper. A good sized hoagie can last for a couple meals.

  81. stopshopping says:

    When did the pricing model for flying ever make sense? Wouldn’t we all pay more for the ticket with bigger seats and included meals? If not, quit complaining. Flying is not a right – It is a luxury item. Deal with the “inconveniences” of flying because it is ultimately the best transportation choice, bar none. We certainly have the right to fly first class or on our own private GV jet, don’t we? Of course there are basics that could be done better for us “normal” citizens who have to cry about flying coach, but even with all the bad it is still an incredible value.

  82. Breach says:

    Well, they already tossed any kind of good customer service out the window, why not rape them more.

  83. Jevia says:

    @balthisar: Isn’t it convenient that AA’s hub in Dallas is less than 3 hours from most of its destinations? I love how they say the flight is only 2 hours, 50 minutes, so just the cheap snacks, but then headwinds or other delays cause the flight to turn into 3 1/2 hours. sorry, no sandwich for you.

    The other issue with these meals is that they cater to adults, not to kids. When the airlines served actual meals, one could request a kids meal ahead of time. When I had to flight AA recently, I already had to bring food for my kids on the flight. Not much more difficult to bring my own as well.

  84. Zimorodok says:

    @robocop_is_bleeding: Yeah, I’m just waiting for some enterprising airline shill terrorist to try to smuggle through some C4 in a BLT, and a detonator in a bag of Doritos. Then we’re all in for it.

  85. Haltingpoint says:

    To those wondering why they don’t just raise ticket prices to include these costs, there is a very simple explanation. The airlines make a VERY large portion of their revenue from ticket buying sites like Orbitz, Expedia, Travelocity, etc.

    The first person to raise their base ticket prices to cover these things IMMEDIATELY takes a big ticket sales hit because people will filter them out when scanning the ticket prices. So they tack on all these fees in order to remain competitive at the actual point of purchase.

    As for whether I will buy food on the flight? Hell no. I’ll bring my own and fill up my water bottle at the gate.

    God I hope they don’t put these flight attendants on any sort of commission…I’m sure they hate this change as much as we do but the second they get pushy with this stuff is the second they’ll have to land and have a plane full of pissed passengers arrested.

  86. PDX909 says:


    No, it’s not an incredible value any more. It’s money grubbing and opportunistic BS is what it is. I haven’t noticed anyone backing off these surcharges now that the market price of oil is back down to $120 a gallon.

  87. jamar0303 says:

    Thank all that is good and decent that most of my flights are trans-Pacific. I have choices like ANA, Thai, Singapore, etc. Now if America would open up the market so that these fine airlines can fly that final leg Chicago to Nashville instead of United…

  88. Nick1693 says:

    @bigvicproton: At Logan in Boston, theres a flight food cooking place right at the airport. So its basically cook and put on the plane. Any other airports have this?

  89. Miguel Valdespino says:

    @pb5000: The bottle of water would fall under “avoiding worker’s comp claims” as not drinking in Vegas heat can seriously mess you up.

    @pda_tech_guy: Yeah, but beer is $4.00 in a bar, and a sandwich is like $3.50.

    @jimv2000: Because on Travelocity, Expedia, etc. people will buy the cheapest flight. By shifting money from fares to fees it makes them look like a bigger value.

  90. theblackdog says:

    @Inglix_the_Mad: Ahhh Cousins Subs, how I miss having one (Moved from AZ to MD)

  91. CrazyMann says:

    How about I buy my own snacks at Costco and resell them on the plane?

  92. ObtuseGoose says:

    I’d rather use the $9 to buy McDonald’s in the terminal. If you’ve had the “chicken” sandwich on Continental’s flights, you’d know where I’m coming from. It is possibly the worst food I’ve ever eaten on an airline. Blech!

  93. campredeye says:

    Only if its made by Subway, toasted, comes with a fountain soda and chips.

  94. TechnoDestructo says:

    Just you wait, soon there is going to be a “terrorist” trying to get a bomb on board a plane hidden in a sandwich, and all of a sudden you’re not going to be able to bring outside food through airport security. And there will be some plot involving water fountains, so those will be gone, too (and restroom taps, replaced with hand sanitizer).

  95. TechnoDestructo says:


    Then Orbitz and Travelocity and Expedia have the power to fix this.

  96. springboks says:

    Buying a sandwich at 40,000 feet is very different from buying something at ground level.

    If United wants to make this offering, go for it $9 doesn’t sound criminal to me, esp for the convenience of it. A hot-dog can cost 50cents at a gas station but $6 at a ball park (your so called “dome dogs”). Same processed hot dog different price for convenience.

    If it’s $5 footlongs and $1 McDos value meal you want get it at the terminal, insert in bag and eat during the flight.

  97. karmaghost says:

    I just got back from flying Southwest for my honeymoon and they were practically begging passengers on the flights to take as many of the free snacks as they wanted.

  98. Triborough says:

    When will this dinosaur finally become extinct?

  99. incognit000 says:

    If you’re making millions of dollars every year by running an airline into the ground over and over while getting bailed out constantly like the feds, a $9 snack is probably right in your budget range.

  100. Angryrider says:

    I will “gladly” pay them Tuesday for a puny ass ham sandwich today… or will I?
    Stupid TSA regulations…

  101. Blaxabbath says:

    I recently flew Aitran, AIRTRAN, and on the leg from PHX to ATL we got drink service three times and biscotti cookies the first time and pretzels the third!

    Sad how special I feel for that.

    But even the damn one hour leg from ATL to FTL still got snacks and drink service.

  102. blipsman says:

    On our recent honeymoon, we were appalled to find out that American didn’t offer any free meal on the 9 hour flight to Hawaii. Sure, it’s “domestic” but it’s the same distance as Chicago-London! After hours of them hawking a $10 sandwich, we finally caved about 6 hours into the flight and bought one to split. It was actually a pretty decent sandwich (Boarshead turkey & a think slice of swiss on thick multigrain bread) but something that’d cost $6 at Panera. And they didn’t even offer any choice of meats or anything. Turkey or turkey.

  103. .
    I may be cranky, but I’m not cheap by any means. Still, I’d never buy one of those sandwiches because they are horrible. “Smoked” “turkey” on a dry stale hard cold roll with wilted lettuce……nearly inedible.
    Can we all just agree that this is one of the last gasps of a dying company? I flew 20 trips on UNITED last year, mostly for fun & pleasure. This year? 3 trips. It’s become a completely miserable experience. I’d prefer they cover the fuel costs with an ingenious device called a Fuel Surcharge and then get their services back to normal.

    P.S. The meal was never FREE. It was always included in the ticket price.

  104. balilanai says:

    Dollar menu at Mcdonalds at airports is a thing of the past. $6 for a good salad is what you would pay at an airport Quiznos or sandwich shop. I do agree that it doesn’t make sense to have limited choice AND pay $6.

  105. InThrees says:

    Whoa there, airlines.

    You are not a movie theatre.

    You are not an amusement park.

    Nor are you any other overpriced entertainment venue that the public at large chooses to go to while willing to overlook (to some extent) the high prices charged for small-ticket items.

  106. TrustUs says:

    Sandwiches made from UA Executives should sell like hotcakes, even among us non-cannibals. But why $9 dollars, that’s a five and four ones?

  107. TechnoDestructo says:


    You pay 6 dollars BECAUSE you have limited choice.

    (Except that at airports in Japan and Korea you don’t, even though you have limited choice.)

  108. OmicroN says:

    Nope. I’m not going to pay $9 for snacks, and at the rate that the airlines are nose diving, I won’t be flying any more at all.

  109. sweetpea12 says:

    On May 16, 2008, the sandwiches and salads were $5 on the plan and on June 2, 2008, the sandwiches and salads were suddenly $7…
    I miss the old days when snacks and meals came “complimentary” with your overpriced ticket.

  110. FLConsumer says:

    Nope, won’t buy it on principle. I’d rather pay $10, even $16 at the terminal just to avoid lining Delta’s pockets. If you can’t make a profit at your current prices, raise your damn prices. Stop reducing the already pathetic levels of service and bring back the air travel I remember of days gone by….or what every country other than the US has in 2008.

  111. FLConsumer says:

    Ack, meant UAL… was just on a Delta flight recently with equally pathetic service.

  112. girlleastlikelyto says:

    No, particularly since last time I flew United they had no vegetarian options for purchase. I flew cross-country and ate only a container of yogurt and a banana.

  113. Mercurywaxing says:

    I always carry on a granola bar. One or two of those in my backpack can get through security.

    Moreso than food, charging for water is unconscionable.

  114. timsgm1418 says:

    @AMetamorphosis: they threw my sisters applesauce away at Indianapolis last Saturday. They said it was because of the consistency, they can’t see through it so she can’t have it. she wasn’t happy

  115. Sarcastikate says:

    I just buy some airport snacks to bring aboard. Not cheap, but at least I get what I like. I’m a little picky, I guess, but I never had a “meal” that I ate more than the buttered roll portion of. Can’t they just team up with Subway or whatever? Of course, the downside of this is that the stench of even more revolting ethnic edibles will be wafting throughout the cabin. I hate flying, but what can you do? The mere thought of being stuffed into a little metal tube high in the sky freaks me out a little, I’ll admit. But whatcha gonna do?

  116. bjcolby15 says:

    @GilloD: Right on. Sorry to hear about the long flight – hopefully that $13 sandwich came with a free lottery ticket XD.

    Sort of like the Woodstock ’99 effect: charge $5 for a 16 fl oz bottle of water, and see how many kids from the mosh pit (in between groping, smashing ATMs and setting things aflame) will jump at it.

  117. Amy Alkon says:

    “Are you going to pay $9 for a United Airlines sandwich?”

    I’m going to bring a picnic basket of sandwiches and sell them to all the hungry, irate travelers for $5.

  118. Eibmoz says:

    I guess now everyone will have to carbo load before a flight.

  119. bwcbwc says:

    I bet they have a deal with the TSA to confiscate all food items at the security checkpoint. So you either pay the sandwich shop in the concourse $9 or you pay United $9. They already get you on the bottled water, since it usually exceeds the TSA limits on liquids. Now if they start counting tuna salad and peanut butter as liquids, you’re outta luck (and 9 bucks).

  120. bwcbwc says:

    @TrustUs: Maybe they’re expecting us to tip the cabin crew up to $10?

  121. timesquare says:

    As if all the current prices at the airports are not outrageous enough, now this. For shorter flights, I suggest you eat a meal before even getting to the airport. On longer flights, sometimes you have no choice than to buy the kids something to eat. It’s sad that the prices are so jacked up as if paying for your second luggage to get on the plane is not enough. I flew Delta recently and took a look at their inflight menu. No Thanks.

  122. chuckv says:

    Maybe it’s because I work in NYC and buy lunch downtown every day, but $9 for a good sandwich doesn’t seem that outrageous to me. That being said, the operative word here is good.

  123. Dyscord says:

    So UA is becoming like flying movie theaters? At least in a movie theater I can understand it because they get most of their revenue from snacks, but an airline? Come on. It’s pretty crazy that you give up your right to bring your own food, or even WATER for crying out loud, when you fly.

    I just REALLY don’t see the point of it other than “We want more money”

  124. scoosdad says:

    $6 for “shelf stable items”

    What’s that, a new euphemism for bottled water or cans of soft drinks?

    And what’s next, the surcharge for bringing your own food and snacks on board? Glenn Tilton and his team must go!

  125. Techno Viking says:

    I just got back to US from Frankfurt. Had to fly to see my sister. If you think that Chicago airports are expensive, then in Europe its an overkill. Beer, tomato juice, hell even a sandwich all cost above 3 Euro which is 5 to 6 bucks. Your 100 bucks or in this case mine cause I had to spend a night at the airport the flight was delayed, cost me 50 bucks and I only had 2 sandwiches, 1 bottle of beer, 1 tomato juice and glass of red wine over the course of 9 hours of waiting. I was flying by Lufthansa and they had the best meal plan for an economy class. No complaints from me. But local carriers make an over kill on this crap. I hope board of directors and a CEO die by chocking on their 9 dollar snacks. Sons of Bitches. Sorry, but had to say it. We all work hard and United charges us for simple food. Lame.

  126. atypicalxian says:

    It’s the 70s all over again: United = People Express, Obama = Jimmy Carter, etc.

  127. the lesser of two weevils says:

    Honestly, if I was hungry enough I would pay $9 for one of their meals, especially if they’re any good (which they usually are). If only they could guarantee that food would be available.

    My pregnant wife and I flew United from SFO to Maui for vacation last week. The flight back became a massive suckfest when the flight attendant told us (seated way back in row 44 of the 9-abreast 777 aircraft) that they’d run out of food. Considering we’d last eaten 5 hours earlier (and werent able to eat at the airport because United’s check in line was a half hour long) and it was a 5 hour flight, you could say we and especially the pregnant wife, were pissed. The flight attendant gave us the soon to be extinct free packet of pretzels and told us we could buy one of their snack boxes for $5, which we did, even though it contained less food than even a midget would consider adequate.

    Never flying United again.

  128. Nick_Bentley says:

    Ok I don’t know why this is needed, but if you’re flying on a budget airline and you’re in for the business, pack a small cooler in your carry on with all the food you need. Pack snacks, treats, and an ice pack with sandwiches in a small cooler inside your luggage.
    If you go to a movie theater you know you’re in for the business, how is 3 hours on a plane any different? Pack a freaking lunch if you’ll be on that long, and if it’s Australia get anything you’ll want. Nobody will toss you off the plane for granola bars. Most people only spend 2-3 hours on a flight, how desperate will you get? Pack a lunch.