I just recently put up an article about the best time to book a United award. While this article mostly focused on the different ways to maneuver United’s search tool, I finished off the process by booking a business class award on one of Air Canada’s Dreamliners. As someone who has never flown international business class, I am honestly just excited to sit in business class seats — some pretty awesome ones in this case. But one of the strongest aspects (unfortunately, sometimes one of the weakest as well) of a business class experience is the service on-board — including everything from the flight attendant service to the meal and refreshments. I noticed something funny, though, when I was looking at my itinerary again.
I had missed the flight details earlier, but on the MXP-YYZ leg — a transatlantic business class fare on board a 787 — the ‘Meal’ was listed as “None.” My immediate reaction was that this was wrong — there definitely are some inconsistencies when it comes to flight details across partner airlines. While it seems like a pretty straightforward technical advancement, there are definitely some inadequacies of the online system.
My first thoughts
So the first thing I can come up with is that Air Canada hasn’t updated their flights with United this far in advance. Like a lot of award details, I believe that Air Canada probably just hasn’t given all their details to United to update the flight details on their website. After a quick dig into Air Canada’s website, though, I was able to find that their weren’t even a ton of details on Air Canada’s website that far in advance.
As you can see when you look up menu details on Air Canada’s website, you can only check flight details until the end of this month. So while I thought this could maybe answer my question, I won’t be able to see my menu details until probably a few weeks out.
But I wasn’t going to settle on that
Obviously, at this point I wouldn’t say I was worried there was no meal. Basically any trans-Atlantic business class product is going to give you at least some kind of meal. This is a midday flight, so I’m expecting most likely a lunch and dinner on the flight.
So while neither United nor Air Canada had definitive information on this topic, I took to the mean streets of the internet to determine if anyone else had run into this issue. Luckily, Betty S ran into a similar issue and took to TripAdvisor to try and solve the problem.
This quickly got me to my answer, as Betty S was able to confirm that even though it said no meal was provided, there was a meal provided on her flight. If you don’t believe me, check out the thread for your yourself here.
If you find yourself running into a similar situation, where an Air Canada or United flight has “no meal provided” — don’t fret. My thoughts are that it will eventually update to detail a meal service, and if it doesn’t, I’d still expect to get served.
I plan on updating this post as I learn more, but if anyone else has run into a similar situation I’d love to hear about your experiences.