Major US airlines debut huge in-flight change, but not all are on-board after similar scheme ‘reviled’ by passengers

A MAJOR US airline has become the latest to begin rolling out self-serve snacks during flights.

United Airlines will begin testing the service for economy passengers on November 30.

United Airlines is rolling out self-serve snack kiosks on some planes

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United Airlines is rolling out self-serve snack kiosks on some planesCredit: Getty Images – Getty
The service coincides with the airline's rollout of the new Airbus A321neo plane

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The service coincides with the airline’s rollout of the new Airbus A321neo planeCredit: Getty Images – Getty

Self-serve snack stations will be available on certain flights from Chicago O’Hare International Airport.

The launch of the service coincides with the airline’s rollout of the new Airbus A321neo plane.

United said in a statement that the stations will have a “limited supply of water and the snacks offered during the complimentary service,” according to The Washington Post.

Available items include fruit bars, snack mixes, and chocolate quinoa crisps.

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But the snacks will only be available once flight attendants have offered them first.

United is the latest US airline to offer a self-serve option.

JetBlue began a similar service in 2014 with the rollout of The Marketplace.

That has since been rebranded to The JetBlue Pantry and is offered on some of the carrier’s longest flights on the Airbus A321neo.

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Similar services have been introduced by other airlines to the displeasure of passengers.

Airline analyst and consultant Robert W. Mann told The Washington Post that United’s new offering is just “the latest airline manifestation” of self-service.

Mann recalled attempts by Delta and American Airlines to provide grab-and-go bags to passengers in the 1990s and early 2000s.

“These days, those amenities seem generous, though at the time they replaced hot entrees served in the cabin,” Mann told the outlet.

But those efforts – American’s Bistro Bag and Delta’s Sky Deli – were “pretty much panned, if not reviled by passengers,” Mann said.

While self-serve options like United’s could reduce the strain and stress on flight attendants, they might not be well-received by passengers.

“It likely depends on costs, customer acceptance, comments, and flight attendant post-flight write-ups,” Mann said.

But he warned that the switch to self-serve could be “an inconvenience [or] annoyance to customers, especially aisle seat customers sitting close to galleys, where other passengers queue up in the aisles to ‘grab and go’ back to their own seats.”

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