I was at Orlando airport (MCO) earlier this week. As I was walking to my gate, I saw a large cart with ice and cans of juices and sodas parked at a gate just before mine. I saw that it was manned by a couple of ladies in United uniforms, so I walked over and commented – ‘Hey drinks for everyone?’. The reply I got floored me! I was expecting them to say that it was for some special event – an inaugural flight, retiring pilot, new aircraft… but they said that it was for the passengers of their delayed flight! I was indeed impressed. I have been on several delayed flights operated by United (and others) and have never offered a drink or even water. Always been left to fend for myself in the airport. And I have never had any issue with it either. (Low expectations, I guess). But, if United is now starting to offer beverages at the gate for delayed flights, it is a new high in customer service (starting from a very very low point, that is). This was after all a domestic flight (United has no international flights originating in Orlando) and this was a cart setup and operated by United, not the local friendly restaurant.
So, was this a one off? An experiment? Has anyone else experienced free beverages while waiting for a delayed flight? Please leave a comment and let us know. If this is now going to be standard practice for United, will other follow suit? Is this not a great thing for passengers? What do you think?
For those of you wondering, yes, despite my not being on the delayed flight, they did give me a can of a beverage of my choice, just for stopping bye.