I only put so much faith in the random online surveys sent to members of loyalty programs to gauge interest in various possible changes to the programs. Sometimes it is hard to figure out which questions are based on real possible changes and which are just put in to keep the survey balanced and honest (or if they even bother doing that). That said, there has been quite a bit of speculation about changes to United’s buy-on-board meal service coming soon so when I received a survey about the program this week I was a bit more interested than not in seeing what they were asking.
Most of the questions were pretty typical demographic stuff, asking about how many meals I’ve purchased on board (quite a few, assuming they still have any when they get to my row) and whether it was the FAs selling that got me interested or not. And then they finally got to the meat of the survey with this question:
Which of the following purchase options would be of interest to you for future domestic flights? Select all that apply.
- Purchase a meal voucher using miles, prior to travel
- Purchase a meal voucher using cash, prior to travel
- Pre-order at check-in
- Pre-order when booking a flight
- Purchase using the inflight entertainment system
- Bundle purchases (e.g., wine plus fruit and cheese for a discounted price)
- None of these would be of interest to me
With other airlines offering pre-booking of meals (though not many in economy class) it isn’t all that surprising that United might consider such an option. And bundling of booze with the meal is something that other airlines do as well (Hawaiian was my most recent experience with this). And, of course, convincing customers to pay a few miles – likely at an inflated rate – to redeem for a meal is great for the airline.
I did choose a few as viable options to me, though not all of them. Which would you choose? Any guesses on which I chose?
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