Customer Experience

United, American Airlines to Once Again Offer Free Snacks to Coach Travelers

United, American Airlines to Once Again Offer Free Snacks to Coach Travelers
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Air travel, with its serious lack of legroom, inevitable lines and unexpected delays, can be a less than desirable way to get from point A to point B -- and that's before you factor in high fees and potentially lost luggage.

But American and United Airlines are hoping that the reinstatement of free snacks in the coach section will make the trip more palatable for customers.

Back in December, United announced that it would again start offering free snacks -- a selection that includes early morning stroopwafels, rice crackers and wasabi peas and mini pretzel sticks -- in the economy section of planes, starting this month.

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In a release announcing the move, Jimmy Samartzis, United's vice president of food services and United Clubs, explained, "We're refocusing on the big and little things that we know matter to our customers and shape how they feel about their travel experience."

American followed suit this week, with the rollout of complimentary snacks in the main cabin on flights between JFK and LAX, JFK and SFO and Miami International and LAX. By April, all domestic flights will have the free snacks on offer, followed by the inclusion of complimentary meals if you happen to be heading to Hawaii from Dallas/Fort Worth and vice versa.

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Part of American's push to be more traveler-centric includes more in-flight entertainment and amenity kits. “We want customers to choose American every time they fly,” Fernand Fernandez, American’s vice president of global marketing, said in a release.

Delta Airlines continued to offer complimentary snacks to coach, but the airlines could be forgiven over the last several years for wanting to cut down on any seemingly extraneous costs. Especially since the road from 10 airlines to the current "big four" in the United States -- American, Delta, United and Southwest -- was paved with sizable mergers and bankruptcies.

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