“Please Leave the Foam Pillows as you Exit the Plane” & My Recent Experience Flying United

Earlier this morning, Gary at View from the Wing wrote: LEAKED: United Bringing Ice Cream Sundaes Back to International Business Class (in Paper Bowls).  This post came at the perfect time since I just had a first hand experience with this. Here’s what happened.

On my United flight from Rome (FCO) to San Francisco (SFO), I flew United first class. My cousin was experiencing this level of service for the first time, and I got her all excited about United’s ice cream sundaes. In fact, we skipped the cheese offerings, to have room for our sundaes. The flight attendant came around with the dessert cart, but I knew something was missing.

I saw some very unappetizing macaroons and a dixie cup of ice cream. What, no sundaes?? Or course I asked her about this, and she gave me some strange answer about the bowls not working well. What the heck does a “bowl not working well” even mean? Can’t they find bowls that know how to work??

This was a very senior crew. How do I know that? I’ll often ask the crew how long they’ve been flying. This flight attendant’s answer was, “Forever.” She surely knew about what Gary reports. Why couldn’t she just tell us? How silly. The dixie cups looked as bad as the macaroons, so we skipped dessert. But we sure would have appreciated the truth!

And as an aside, I’ve flown United Polaris a few times and used those new foam pillows. This was the first time they made that announcement about leaving the pillows onboard when you exit the plane!

Image source: http://view.ceros.com/united/polaris-business-class/p/1

I have no plans to fly United right now, but I sure did miss that ice cream sundae! Even in paper bowls… who cares about the bowls, anyway?

14 thoughts on ““Please Leave the Foam Pillows as you Exit the Plane” & My Recent Experience Flying United

  1. choi lu

    about the only thing anyone loves about UA or other US airlines are the miles to redeem on foreign airlines. only in absolute no other choices and dates would anyone consider flying US based airlines. it is so pathetic, almost laughable.

    1. shelli

      Thanks for your comment, Choi. I know what you mean. This United route was the only one that got us across the pond, so we opted for it.

    2. Tonei Glavinic

      I know what you mean. I always prefer to fly foreign carriers over an ocean if I can help it, but sometimes it’s just not an option.

      1. shell

        Got to go with the best option even if sometimes it means no sundaes and warnings about taking pillows and blankets :) Nice to hear from you!

  2. Scott

    Let me make sure I got this right. You passed on ice cream cause you could not deal with a paper cup? I mean really?

    1. shelli

      HI Scott, That wasn’t the case. The ice cream they offered was some strange flavor that didn’t appeal to us. So we passed. It had nothing to do with the cup. The sundaes are usually plain flavors and then they add nuts and fun toppings. Have you ever had the United sundaes? It was just awkward because she knew the story but wouldn’t tell us the truth. Even an ice cream bar would have been better. Or just a piece of cake. But stale macaroons or a strange flavor of ice cream isn’t much of a dessert choice. Hope that makes more sense.

  3. Not a UA fan

    Here’s your answer:

    Apparently the bowls were cracking, sending chards of glass into the ice cream. Ice cream is pre-apportioned and the ice cream + bowl are stored in a dry-ice-cooled container. The glass is thin and apparently cracking after repeated use or wash cycles.

    That means UA didn’t test it before using it. Typical UA, not doing their homework.

    1. Tonei Glavinic

      I guess melamine doesn’t provide as high-class an experience as shards of broken glass?

    2. shelli

      Hi Mavis. I had to look up melamine! You learn something new every day. I like Tonei’s reply, so we’ll leave it at that.

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