United to Bring Customers Coffee's 'Gold Standard' with illy Premium Blend - United Hub

United Airlines to Bring Customers Coffee's 'Gold Standard' with illy Premium Blend

November 19, 2015

CHICAGO, Nov. 19, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- United Airlines and illycaffe are creating a new alliance that will offer the Italian company's delicious premium blend to delight customers on board and in United Club locations worldwide.

Beginning next month, United will offer illy's signature scuro dark roast and the coffee company's espresso in United Club locations at the airline's mainland U.S. hubs. Other lounge locations will offer illy in 2016, with the scuro dark roast coming to flights worldwide next summer.

Not Just a Cup of Coffee

Chosen after extensive testing with United customers and employees – including in-flight taste tests – illy reflects the airline's global network as well as United's commitment to creating an elevated, distinctive premium experience for its customers.

Based in Trieste, Italy, with more than 80 years of history in the coffee industry, illy's distinct flavor comes from a unique blend of the top one percent of Arabica beans, purchased directly from the best growers in Brazil, Central America, India and Africa.

Noted for its strong commitment to sustainability, illy's internationally certified supply chain includes farmers who earn above-market prices in exchange for meeting quality standards – enabling the company to offer world-class blends.

A recent Wine Spectator magazine article praised the coffee, saying it "has become a gold standard in high-end restaurants and five-star hotels around the world."

"Our collaboration with illy is helping to make the world feel a bit smaller and making flying that much more special, simply by way of a perfect cup of coffee," said Jimmy Samartzis, United's vice president of food services and United Clubs. "By serving the world's most well-known premium coffee in our clubs and on board, we are communicating an experience to our customers and our employees with the quality and care that comes with every cup."

"It's truly an honor for illy to be selected as the worldwide coffee partner for United Airlines. The process and final decision to choose illy demonstrates United's deep commitment to providing its customers the highest quality products and experiences," said Andrea Illy, Chairman and CEO of illycaffe s.p.a. "Our new relationship with United Airlines is also a testament to our passion for the best and recognition that the illy brand is the world's reference for coffee culture and excellence."

Illy will be complimentary on every flight and when offered in United's lounges.

For a photo of illy, visit http://newsroom.united.com/illycaffe.

For a video of United's coffee selection process, visit https://unitedairtime.com/.

Customer Experience Enhancements

This new partnership is the latest in a series of upgrades the airline is making to enhance travelers' food and beverage choices in flight and in airports around the world.

United has also recently:

  • Introduced new premium-cabin lunch and dinner appetizers, salads and entrees on its p.s. Premium Service;
  • Refreshed premium-cabin meals and expanded meal service on other flights within North America and to Latin America;
  • Rolled out new dishes on its Choice Menu Bistro on Board, which offers food for sale in United Economy on many flights;
  • Brought Crafthouse Cocktails' Moscow Mule vodka cocktail on board United-operated North and Central America flights and Buffalo Trace Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey on flights worldwide and into many United Club locations in the U.S.; and
  • Launched an all-new, seasonal menu at United Club locations at its mainland U.S. hubs, with plans to complete the roll out of new fresh and healthy menus at United Club locations worldwide this year and to rotate club menu selections seasonally to consistently offer customers new options.

About United

United Airlines and United Express operate an average of nearly 5,000 flights a day to 352 airports across six continents. In 2014, United and United Express operated nearly two million flights carrying 138 million customers. United is proud to have the world's most comprehensive route network, including U.S. mainland hubs in Chicago, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, New York/Newark, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. United operates more than 700 mainline aircraft, and this year, the airline anticipates taking delivery of 34 new Boeing aircraft, including the 787-9 and the 737-900ER. United is also welcoming 49 new Embraer E175 aircraft to United Express. The airline is a founding member of Star Alliance, which provides service to 192 countries via 28 member airlines. Approximately 84,000 United employees reside in every U.S. state and in countries around the world. For more information, visit united.com, follow @United on Twitter or connect on Facebook. The common stock of United's parent, United Continental Holdings, Inc., is traded on the NYSE under the symbol UAL.

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SOURCE United Airlines

For further information: United Airlines Worldwide Media Relations, +1-872-825-8640, media.relations@united.com

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