United Enlists Celebrity Chef and Star Mixologist, as Airline Continues to Elevate United Club Experience

February 03, 2016

Carrier expanding relationship with leading customer experience management company, Sodexo, including bringing celebrity chef Art Smith on board, to provide industry-leading lounge service

United Enlists Celebrity Chef and Star Mixologist, as Airline Continues to Elevate United Club Experience

Gaithersburg, Md., February 3, 2016United Airlines is continuing the company's commitment to uplift its customers' experience at United Club and lounge locations worldwide, as the airline upgrades more clubs and makes global service leader Sodexo its single service partner for all United airport lounges.

In partnership with Sodexo, the carrier will team with other hospitality industry leaders to offer United Club, Global First Lounge and United Arrivals Lounge visitors a richer, elevated and premium experience, working with:

  • Award-winning celebrity chef, author, educator and owner of restaurants, including the upcoming Blue Door Kitchen in Chicago, Art Smith, who as a culinary ambassador will contribute to United Club and lounge menu planning and design, as well as food presentations;

  • Renowned mixologist Adam Seger, who will oversee upgraded complimentary and premium spirits programs and bartender training; and

  • Disney Institute, which will provide world-class hospitality training and support for all Sodexo employees working in United Club locations.

"We want the best experience for our customers, and we're taking big steps to create a unique and industry-leading lounge experience across our global network," said Jimmy Samartzis, United's vice president of food services and United Clubs. "With the industry's most professional customer service agents, a portfolio of expanded, renovated and new lounges around the world, and an innovative approach to service excellence, we are committed to raising the bar and taking the customer experience to new heights."

"I am pleased that with this new global agreement, Sodexo will contribute to an improved quality of life for United customers through a next-generation lounge experience at locations across the globe," added Michel Landel, Sodexo Group CEO.

United Club Updates

From 2016 to 2018, United will continue to renovate United Club locations at the airline's continental U.S. hubs and key international cities, and to refresh clubs at other destinations around the world.

In many locations, including at United's New York/Newark hub, the airline plans to expand the size of its clubs to offer more space for visitors to work, recharge or take care of their travel needs.

Renovated clubs will receive the modern, experience-focused design now available at recently renovated club locations in Chicago, San Francisco, San Diego, Seattle, Boston, Atlanta and London, where customers can relax, refresh and be productive with a variety of conveniences, including comfortable seating, additional work stations and abundant power outlets.

For examples of the modern design, view photos of the updated San Francisco and Atlanta locations.

Customers at refreshed clubs will see a number of improvements, such as new furniture, paint and carpet. Clubs will continue to offer complimentary Wi-Fi, improved food and beverages and premium wines and spirits, with U.S. locations also offering seasonal menus.

In addition, the airline has begun to introduce complimentary wireless printing at its continental U.S. clubs, enabling customers to print to color printers directly from their personal devices.

Single Service Provider

Throughout 2016, beginning in March, Sodexo will become the single provider of services such as bartending, food preparation and presentation, cleaning and appearance care for all United Club and Global First Lounge locations worldwide, as well as at the United Arrivals Lounge in San Francisco. Sodexo currently provides services at more than 30 locations, including the airline's award-winning London Heathrow United Club and Global First Lounge, which have quickly grown to be customer favorites.

United Club Amenities

United Club members enjoy an airport oasis to relax and recharge in more than 45 locations worldwide. Complimentary amenities include Wi-Fi, food and beverages, including beer, wine and spirits, and personalized travel assistance. United Club members also may access participating Star Alliance-affiliated airport lounges worldwide. For more information, including membership details, visit united.com.

About United
United Airlines and United Express operate an average of nearly 5,000 flights a day to 342 airports across six continents. In 2015, United and United Express operated nearly two million flights carrying 140 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 20 new Boeing aircraft, including 737 NGs, 787s and 777s. 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.

About Sodexo

Sodexo in North America
Sodexo, Inc., leading Quality of Life services company in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico, delivers On-site Services in Corporate, Education, Health Care, Government, and Remote Site segments, as well as Benefits and Rewards Services and Personal and Home Services. Sodexo, Inc., headquartered in Gaithersburg, Md., funds all administrative costs for the Sodexo Foundation, an independent charitable organization that, since its founding in 1999, has made more than $25 million in grants to end childhood hunger in America. Visit the corporate blog at SodexoInsights.com. Visit Sodexo on Facebook and follow on Twitter @SodexoUSA.

Sodexo Group
Founded in 1966 by Pierre Bellon, Sodexo is the global leader in services that improve Quality of Life, an essential factor in individual and organizational performance. Operating in 80 countries, Sodexo serves 75 million consumers each day through its unique combination of On-site Services, Benefits and Rewards Services and Personal and Home Services. Through its more than 100 services, Sodexo provides clients an integrated offering developed over nearly 50 years of experience: from food services, reception, safety, maintenance and cleaning, to facilities and equipment management; from Meal Pass, Gift Pass and Mobility Pass benefits for employees to in-home assistance and concierge services. Sodexo’s success and performance are founded on its independence, its sustainable business and financial model and its ability to continuously develop and to engage the commitment of its 420,000 employees throughout the world.

Media Contact:  
Sam Wells
301 987 4893

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