United Airlines Adds Vegan, Gluten-Free In-Flight Dining Options

New vegan, gluten-free and vegetarian options are on the way for United Airlines passengers in 2020 after the company announced an overhaul of its in-flight menu.

The announcement arrived on Oct. 25 during the company’s Flight Plan 2020 event held in Chicago. Amid news that larger planes, the addition of sixty-plus planes to the fleet and technology upgrades were on the way, officials noted that new menu items will be rolled out with health-minded flyers in mind.

United Airlines first introduced gluten-free offerings in 2014. Officials said by focusing on plant-based menu items the carrier is keeping up with the latest food trends. Some of the new menu items set to take flight next year include a vegan stuffed grape leaf with yogurt, red beet hummus with roasted vegetables, and roasted curry cauliflower.

Those with special dietary needs may choose a gluten-free or vegan meal up to 24 hours before takeoff by using the carrier’s mobile application or via the company’s website, United.com. The company has not yet announced when in 2020 the new options will be available. 

According to United Airlines, special meals are available on select routes when breakfast, lunch, or dinner is set to be served. If special meals are available they may be chosen during booking. Generally, special meals are available on most North American premium cabin flights that are more than 2,000 miles in length.

The carrier says special meals are available on all international flights crossing the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. The meals are also available on South American flights to and from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and Peru.


When United first announced the gluten-free offerings the carrier noted it updated what’s available on its Choice Menu Classic, Savory and Tapas Snack Shop snackboxes. Snack Shop options may be purchased in United Economy on most North and Central America flights scheduled for more than two hours and flights to and from northern South America. Also, United offers fruit and nut bars as a gluten-free Snack Shop à la carte option.


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