At long last, it looks like the traveling public needn’t choose between pricey airport restaurants to pick up a bagel or a banana. United Airlines has skipped returning to the standard edible air fare of peanuts and pretzels and truly gone to something more eclectic and tasty: Welcome the stroopwafel.
What’s a stroopwafel? Well, quite simply, it is a Dutch creation essentially filling a thin waffle with a layer of caramel. However, that is certainly not the point here. United is serving food to coach passengers again on its domestic routes. Besides a snack courtesy of Dutch culture, the airline is offering snacks after the morning hours that include an Asian-inspired mix of wasabi peas and crackers, and an upgraded option of a ranch pretzel stick pack.
Of course, this seems like a simple decision to make. United is clearly lagging in the customer service department as is consistently reported by DOT and independent statistics. This could be a clear method by which the airline can pacify potentially cranky (“hangry”) passengers. However, United is waiving an estimated up-front savings of approximately $2.5 million per year by putting food back on its planes.
Moreover, it seems that the company is keeping good on the promise of its soon-to-return CEO, Oscar Munoz, to return customer service to the forefront of United’s business model. Once the airline can regain its customer loyalty — even if doing so via their stomachs — it is surely smooth sailing back up into the friendly skies. More promising yet is the simple fact that by regaining the trust of its customers, United can capitalize on the trust of its shareholders and watch its share price and earnings soar skyward.