You know the drill, don’t you?

About half way between San Francisco and Beijing I awoke from my nap and headed to the lav. Time for a quick break to stretch my legs. I had absolutely no expectations of anyone waiting for me when I got out. Apparently I should have.


A flight attendant approached me in the aisle, addressed me by name and asked what she could get me from "up front." Knowing that a bigger seat – my likely answer – probably wasn’t going to actually do much in terms of being successful as a request I was rather dumbfounded. Partly because I had just woken up, I like to think, and partly because I honestly had no idea what I was supposed to answer.

She then offered up that they had no extra amenity kits as the forward cabins were both full, but that I could ask for anything else I wanted, finishing the suggestion with the phrase, "You know the drill, don’t you?" Alas, I was somewhat embarrassed that I have no idea what the drill is or what I’m supposed to ask for or be able to get. Eventually she suggested that perhaps a glass of wine or a snack would be suitable.

And the snack was.


Seriously, compared to the mid-flight snack offered up in Economy is was like a bit of heaven.


And the mid-flight snack was probably better than the first meal. That first meal was a piece of sponge-like reconstituted chicken-esque product soaking in a tomato-based sauce. It was pretty bad.



The last of the three meals was the most edible of the bunch, but still not phenomenal. I chose the noodles over the turkey sandwich.


And then I was in Beijing. Woohoo!


As always, more to come…

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Seth Miller

I'm Seth, also known as the Wandering Aramean. I was bit by the travel bug 30 years ago and there's no sign of a cure. I fly ~200,000 miles annually; these are my stories. You can connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.


  1. Wait, what? I’m pretty confused myself. Does United regularly offer leftovers of all sorts to Economy passengers?

  2. I’ve received ice cream from business class in Economy. They can see your status on the manifest and some FAs will treat you if they can.

    I would never expect it though.

    1. Yes, Nick, the “chicken” was absolutely disgusting. I did not finish and I’m not one to complain too much about airline food in general.

      As for why I was given the special perks offer, yes, it is status based. I’m still not sure what “the drill” is as she wouldn’t offer me any explanations, but apparently a leftover cheese plate is part of the deal.

  3. Never experienced the drill and would have been equally confused. I don’t need yet another amenity kit (I haves lifetime supply of eye shades, ear plus, …) but the snack seemed like a good choice.

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