Just last week, bombshell news dropped that the United Airlines terminal at Newark Liberty International Airport was getting a major culinary upgrade, with concepts forthcoming from the likes of Alain Ducasse, Paul Liebrandt, Dan Kluger, and Mario Carbone. And now, United Airlines is offering an additional perk: Its frequent flyers can now pay for food purchased in-terminal using their airline miles. USA Today reports the program rolled out last week at a few "select" restaurants in Terminal C, marking the first such partnership between an airline's rewards program and terminal shops and restaurants.
Diners can either enter their frequent-flyer numbers or scan their boarding pass at an iPad ordering station, where they're presented with two pricing options: One giving the cost in airline miles and the other in dollars. According to the CEO of OTG Management, which is overseeing the terminal's renovation, all purchases, whether bottled water, magazines, or food, will be available through the frequent flyer option by 2016. The USA Today story also hints at a menu item that Alain Ducasse's announced airport restaurant Saison: "Trout amandine at the Alain Ducasse-created restaurant Saison, will be $25 or 3,580 miles."