United debuts grab-and-go snacks, inaugural details for Airbus A321neo

If you’re feeling peckish on your next United Airlines flight, you might just be in luck. The newest member of the United fleet will also be the first mainline jet to offer a walk-up, grab-and-go snack station. United’s Airbus A321neo, which officially debuts in less than two weeks, will be the first mainline jet to offer economy passengers a so-called grab-n-go station, United confirmed to TPG.

United said this snack station will be stocked on flights longer than 801 miles, and it’ll feature complimentary water and snacks following the main service. The snacks will include a mix of That’s It bars, Undercover chocolate quinoa crisps, and a savory snack mix. The walk-up snack bar will only open after the flight attendants complete the first round of snack and beverage service. United said that the items featured in the walk-up snack bar will be limited and will vary based on the flight distance. Note that they’ll exclusively be available on a first-come, first-served basis.

The carrier didn’t have any pictures or additional details to share with TPG, but it certainly sounds like United is taking a page from JetBlue’s playbook with the introduction of this walk-up snack bar. JetBlue’s “pantries,” as they’re called, also offer snacks and drinks on a complimentary basis. They’re found in the galley on some of JetBlue’s largest planes that fly medium- and long-haul missions.

United’s Airbus A321neo has been a long time coming for the carrier, and it’ll now debut in less than two weeks. The carrier has scheduled the inaugural flight for Nov. 30 from Houston to Chicago. United Flight 321 is scheduled to depart Houston at 5:30 p.m. and land in Chicago at 8:13 p.m. The airline plans to preview the plane to the media before the inaugural flight at a special event in Houston on that day.

Aside from the new grab-and-go station, United’s Airbus A321neo is expected to feature a similar signature interior to that found on new and recently retrofitted jets, such as the Boeing 737 MAX and Airbus A319. The A321neo will offer 20 first-class recliners, 57 extra-legroom Economy Plus seats, and 123 economy seats.

Every passenger will enjoy access to seatback screens with Bluetooth connectivity, larger overhead bins, power outlets and USB ports at each seat, and more. United also confirmed that its A321neos will sport the Airbus Cabin Flex fuselage, which means there will be four cabin doors – two at each end of the plane – and four overwing window exits. The airline added a midcabin lavatory location to assist with traffic flow, and it installed the Airbus XL overhead bins, which should provide room for everyone’s full-size carry-on. Furthermore, those in first class will likely appreciate that the A321neo will have a closet near the forward galley for coat storage.

After the inaugural Nov. 30, United plans to deploy the Airbus A321neo primarily on domestic routes, filling a role similar to its other large narrow-body aircraft.

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