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United Brings Back Free Drinks on Long Flights

Beginning on June 1, coach-class travelers on United’s long-haul international flights will be reintroduced to an amenity that disappeared on most United flights more than a decade ago: free beer and wine.

The complimentary beverages are part of a package of service upgrades on United’s flights between the U.S. and Europe, Asia, and some South American destinations. Other additions:

  • New multi-course meal service
  • Snacks available for purchase throughout the flight
  • New pre-arrival service offerings, including French toast and Tuscan skillet with scrambled eggs

According to the airline’s announcement, “United is committed to improving every aspect of our customers’ experience on the ground, in the air and with every interaction. The changes to come on June 1 will deliver an elevated onboard experience on many of our intercontinental flights and will offer travelers the high level of service they expect from a global airline.”

The move is no doubt a positive one for United customers, but it also shines an unflattering light on United’s service offerings. After all, most other airlines already offer complimentary beer and wine on their longer flights. So, as has so often been the case lately, United is just playing catch-up.

Reader Reality Check

Does United deliver the high level of service you expect from a global airline? Which airlines do?

This article originally appeared on

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