UA 881/882 – Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD) to Tokyo Narita International Airport (NRT) – vice versa
Flight Time: 12 hour 55 minutes
Distance: 6,367 miles
Aircraft: Boeing 747-400
United is stepping up their service after leadership changed recently. They just announced the return of snacks to domestic economy class flights. I had a preview of their stroopwafel, a dutch biscuit snack when I checked in to a United Club in ORD on my recent trip. That’s not what this entry is about. I’m talking here about United stepping up their economy class meal game with better no-more-non-descript food. On my flights I had a chance to try teriyaki chicken rice and separately, oyakodon; and they are not half bad! Oh also, I was informed that United Premier 1K members are eligible for complimentary alcoholic beverages in economy class. Yay!
Dinner time includes fancy non-standard salad with light ‘healthier’ dressing (this is subjective), better tasting artisan bread (compared to the stale bread they used to serve), and teriyaki chicken for main course. Pictured also is my complimentary alcoholic drink of Jack Daniel’s in coach class. I noticed most of the flight attendant would check up my seat number after I asked for the drink. They have a list of eligible passengers on each flight. On some flights, flight attendants would greet and thank 1K members for their business. Nice touch.
Close up of Teriyaki chicken meal with white rice, a sprinkle of furikake (dried mixed seasoning/seaweed) and some veggies. The teriyaki sauce is a little rice but I think that’s necessary for a meal 36,000 feet up in, else it would be bland. The rice is edible though some of the bottom part was sticky and hard due to overheating but definitely an improvement from their meals 1-2 years ago.
Here’s another chicken with sauce entree along with non-caesar salad, lightly dressed and bread.
This Japanese style chicken dinner (forgot the exact name) has a generous portion of chicken on top with shredded ginger, chopped greens, and eggs. It’s actually tasty. Oh and after the main meal, ice cream and bottled water are distributed to economy class passenger. It’s not much but it helps with customer satisfaction I bet.
Oyakodon! It literally means ‘parent-and-child donburi”, is a donburi, or Japanese rice bowl dish with chicken and eggs as its main ingredients. It actually looks like they are putting an effort to the economy class meals. It is definitely not the best oyakodon in the world but still tasty enough for an in-flight meal. On top the meal, there’s also a Japanese biscuit package, you can never go wrong with Japanese snacks. Alright United!