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United Airlines To Return Ice Cream Sundae Cart On All International Flights

Updated: Mar 24, 2023

The airline is bringing its world-renowned ice cream sundae cart back.


United Airlines has announced that it is bringing its ice cream sundae cart back to all long-haul international flights in a move that will be well-received by its customers. The announcement comes amidst a strong pandemic recovery that the American carrier looks to ensure robust growth in 2023.


For decades, the ice cream sundae cart has been an essential part of the United travel experience. Flight attendants would come down the aisle with a cart and passengers would select from a variety of toppings to create their own ice cream sundae in the sky. In this way, the sundae cart quickly became a staple of traveling with United.


Unfortunately, the airline was forced to discontinue the cart during the height of the pandemic. In an attempt to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus, the carrier opted for pre-packaged ice cream instead. Although it was a suitable decision given the circumstances, travelers were frustrated by the lack of freshness and customization that pre-packaged ice cream offered in comparison to the sundae cart.


United customers rejoiced when the airline announced last month that it was finally bringing the cart back. However, their celebration was short-lived as the carrier decided that the sundae cart would only be available on select routes out of San Francisco International Airport (SFO), specifically:

  • Frankfurt Airport (FRA)

  • Brisbane Airport (BNE)

  • Sydney Airport (SYD)

  • Singapore Changi Airport (SIN)


Returning to all long-haul flights

The airline has since announced that it will bring the cart back to all long-haul international flights in February. It is worth noting that the sundae cart is only available to passengers in the Polaris business class cabin, who also enjoy a number of other perks, including seats that lie flat and Saks Fifth Avenue bedding.


United's announcement that it is bringing its world-renown ice cream sundae cart back ultimately comes at a time when the carrier is looking to sustain its momentum from 2022 as it kicks off 2023. The airline has recently made considerable strides in reinstating flights on routes that have not been operated since before the pandemic, and is also working towards expanding its fleet with new planes that it can use to support new routes as it continues to grow its flight network.


The return of the sundae cart is the "cherry on top" that aims to incentivize travelers to fly with United over its competitors and upgrade to the Polaris experience when possible. Whether or not such a strategy is successful in bringing the carrier greater profits is something that will be revealed in due time, but for now, other airlines would do well to watch United's strategy carefully to see what it does well and where they stand to learn from it.

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