United business class brings back the ice cream sundae cart

A generous scoop of Ice cream, chocolate or caramel fudge topping, M&Ms and whipped cream... what’s not to like?

By David Flynn, January 11 2023
United business class brings back the ice cream sundae cart

Yes, we know you’re made a New Year’s Resolution about losing weight, eating healthy etc. And you’re probably off to a good start, so well done.

But you’ve still got some 355-odd days to continue honouring that resolution, so if there’s an international business class flight with United Airlines on your calendar, we’ll forgive you for indulging in one of the airline’s signature touches: the ice cream sundae cart.

United’s inflight catering has moved up quite a few notches since the debut of its Polaris business class (and their companion Polaris lounges) effectively relaunched the Star Alliance member’s premium travel experience.

And as long-standing part of this has always been the ice cream sundae trolley wheeled down the aisle after lunch or dinner.

There are other desserts on offer from the three-tier dessert cart, but it’s always hard to go past these scoops of ice cream served in a glass coupes with your choice of toppings – from the standbys of chocolate or caramel fudge sauce, M&Ms, whipped cream and cherries to almonds, strawberries and Oreo flakes.

Some passengers have even made their own customisations, such as the popular request for a drizzle of Baileys or Kahlua spirits as the topping.

However, the cart was a short-term casualty of the pandemic as United joined other airlines in paring back their meal service and opting for a packaged frozen sundae of vanilla ice cream with just one topping.

Which means that, with the exception of selected flights from San Francisco (including to Sydney and Brisbane) where the cart still made a welcome appearance, it’s been a long time between sundaes.

But that changes from next month, when United’s ice cream sundae cart once again graces the cabin of all international Polaris business class flights.
United Airlines has confirmed its ice cream sundae carts are “coming to all long-haul international flights in February”.

So now there’s another reason to cheer 2023 as the year things returned to normal. After all, there are no calories above the clouds, right?

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

04 Nov 2011

Total posts 361

Honestly, for all the fancy food you can get up in the air....can't beat a good old fashioned ice cream sundae. 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

19 Jul 2017

Total posts 20

Great news, flying Houston to Heathrow in mid Feb!

No matter what you say about UA business class meals, and as somebody who has flown them recently that HAVE gotten better compared to years ago, this ice cream cart is always a welcome 'high point' of the meal service, it gets such a buzz going in the cabin! And I agree, adding kahlua liquor as your topping is a pretty neat touch!

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

21 Jul 2013

Total posts 53

I recall flying United business class from Melbourne to San Francisco some years ago and watching the trolley approach for the airline's "signature" ice cream sundae. The steward pushed the cart up beside me and asked if I would like a sundae. Our eyes met as we surveyed what was on offer. His facial expression said silently "I know, it's pretty ordinary," and my expression concurred. I had it nevertheless and he was right, it was really very ordinary. A dollop of melting ice cream, some chocolate sauce, a sprinkle of nuts, and whipped cream which I declined. I hope the sundae has been improved. 

Hi Guest, join in the discussion on United business class brings back the ice cream sundae cart