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Vegan Travel

Does United Have a Vegan Meal?

Updated January 9, 2024

Flying as a vegan can be tough. When you can, it’s nice to choose airlines that offer vegan meals. Here’s what to know about your meal and snack options on United Airlines.

What Are the Usual Vegan Meal Options on a United Flight?

So United is a little tricky. They have vegan options but for some odd reason the specifics aren’t advertised. Like most airlines, United offers a rotating menu that can vary based on season and location. In all honesty, I haven’t had the best mealtime experience on United flights (I’ve also read quite a few complaints online) but also not the worst. I’d advise always taking snacks with you!

The airline recently introduced vegan impossible meat and veggie dishes to their first-class lounges. Vegan fliers report that all domestic flights more than 1,500 miles offer vegan breakfast bagels with vegan eggs, cheese and harissa spread.

vegan meal on a united air flight
Credit: Matthew Klint, Live and Let’s Fly

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Is There a Certain Vegan Code United Uses for Vegan and Vegetarian Meals?

There are codes on the United menus that indicate whether a meal is vegan. “VG” is the code for vegan and “V” is the code for vegetarian. The code will be present if the snack or meal option complies with the dietary guidelines.

Does United Offer Vegan Snacks?

There are two vegan options currently on the US snack menu — the original Pringles and Snack Owl’s Sour Nova candy. You can check the menu online before your flight.

United also sells snack boxes for flights over 500 miles, but there are no vegan options, just yet.

Do I Have to Pre-Order the Vegan Meal?

On most flights more than 2,000 miles, you can get a vegan meal through United’s special meal service. You can request it anytime from booking to 24 hours before your flight. Not all special meals are available on international flights, so ensure you double-check.

Vegetarian options are always available without pre-order but you must pre-order vegan options. You can put in your request via the website or the app.

  • Website: You can search for a trip with your confirmation number and your last name. Select “special meal” under the traveler list. Choose the traveler and the meal you want and then hit “send request.”
  • App: In the mobile app, you can hit “edit traveler information” before choosing your meal and hitting “save to reservation.” You can find the app in both the Google Play and Apple App Stores.

If you’re on a United partner flight, you can still request a vegan meal but the airline doesn’t guarantee you can get one. They recommend contacting the partner airline directly to confirm your options.

Can I Bring My Own Food on a United Flight?

Yes, you can bring your own snacks and meals onto any United flight, which can take the stress out of having vegan options. If you’re bringing them from home, ensure they are compliant with the Transportation Safety Administration’s regulations.

Any passenger can bring solid foods and liquid and gel consistencies under 3.4 ounces. You can also purchase any food past the security checkpoint to bring on board with you. Check out the airports you’ll be in ahead of time to know if any restaurants carry vegan options.

Finding Vegan Options on United

United might not have as many options as some of the other carriers but at least there is usually something! Need more travel advice? Check out these helpful articles!

Vegan Travel Tips You Can’t Leave Home Without
25 Vegan Travel Snacks for Your Next Camping, Plane, or Road Trip
Best Guide to Traveling Only With a Carry-On (International and Domestic)

The Most Vegan-Friendly Cities to Visit in Europe

About Author

Beth Rush is the travel and food editor at Body+Mind. She has 5+ years of writing about how to travel and eat well with celiac disease, nutritional deficiencies, and/or hormonal disorders. You can find Beth on Twitter @bodymindmag. Subscribe to Body+Mind for more posts by Beth Rush!