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'We're bringing it back.' United reinstates tomato juice on flights after complaints

United Airlines quietly made changes to its food and beverage services on most domestic flights and one in particular had fliers in a bad mood. The airline stopped serving tomato juice on shorter flights. United then decided to bring it back.
United Airlines quietly made changes to its food and beverage services on most domestic flights and one in particular had fliers in a bad mood. The airline stopped serving tomato juice on shorter flights. United then decided to bring it back. Associated Press

Late last week, United Airlines quietly made changes to its food and beverage services on flights shorter than four hours.

One in particular fired up a loud reaction: The airline stopped serving tomato juice.

That's really rotten, tomato juice fans responded.

A United spokesman told media outlets the airline would monitor customer feedback "and adjust accordingly.”

On Thursday, the company adjusted accordingly.

"We want our customers to know that we value and appreciate them and that we’re listening," said a statement from the company.

"Our customers told us that they were not happy about the removal of tomato juice so we’re bringing it back onboard as part of our complementary beverage offering."

United is calling the changes "streamlining" of its food service on what would appear to include nearly every flight it operates domestically, the Chicago Business Journal reports.

Hot breakfasts are being replaced on some routes with fruit plates and muffins, and wraps have replaced more substantial lunches, according to the journal.

Jim Beam Devil's Cut is out, Buffalo Trace bourbon whiskey is in. Courvoisier is a goner, too.

So is Sprite Zero, but that's not a big loss because it wasn't very popular anyway, the journal's United sources said.

But tomato juice?

"Tomato juice, on the other hand, is being replaced by the humble Mr. & Mrs. T Bloody Mary Mix in order to appease fans of boozy liquid breakfasts, but it is doing little to satisfy those who prefer the simple pleasure of sipping a sandwich ingredient blended and served over ice," writes The Week.

The "stealth substitution," writes Mental Floss, "has fueled a rebellion among loyal tomato juice fans."

People threw tomatoes at United on social media, though one person did tweet: "Since planes are the only place I’ve ever seen ppl drink tomato juice it would make sense that @united would remove it."

“We are once again in full apology mode now onboard our flights, although the issue (of the disappearing tomato juice) is a more minor one compared to the forced removal of customers or suffocating dogs," one source told the Chicago Business Journal.

Davey Dempsey, co-owner of Dempsey Farms, gives several tips of how to beat the heat and stay safe if you are planning on heading out to his St. Helena farm to pick your own tomatoes and other vegetables.

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