Help Yourself To More Airplane Snacks

United Airlines is testing out a self-service snack bar on some flights.

If you've ever pined for an extra serving of snack mix on a flight but were too shy to call a flight attendant over just for that one teeny bag, this may come as welcome news to you: Business Insider reports that United Airlines is starting to offer free "Grab-N-Go" snacks for economy passengers on certain flights as part of the deployment of its new Airbus A321neo plane model.

There is a small catch, however: The kiosks will only be available on flights longer than 801 miles.

United Airlines’ new self-service snacks, explained

United's self-service model will include kiosks in the plane cabin outfitted with a limited supply of water, along with the array of snacks already offered during domestic flights: snack mix, Undercover chocolate quinoa crisps (which I can personally confirm are good), and fruit bars. The snack bar will only open up after flight attendants have completed their initial food and beverage service through the aisles.


Right now, JetBlue offers a similar service called JetBlue Pantry. Those complimentary self-serve snacks are only available on the longest flights, probably to ensure people don't get too hangry between snack services.

From an airline's standpoint, one of the benefits of a kiosk like this is that the self-service aspect relieves a little bit of work from the cabin crew, saving them from having to move constantly back and forth while accommodating passenger requests within the cabin of a large plane. Of course, it's a model that relies on passengers being considerate of one another, too, since there's nothing to stop people from grabbing snacks by the armload—which I wouldn't necessarily put past anyone on a plane.


This won't make flight attendants any less crucial, as they'll still have to serve alcohol and meals in addition to the first round of snacks. Given that they also must assist with a wide array of passenger needs during the flight, this could be a good way to alleviate some burden and make sure people have what they want.

Depending on how this goes, other airlines might follow suit and offer similar eat-what-you-want services. What do you think? Would this service be enough to convince you to fly one particular airline over another? Let us know, fellow travelers.