Fodor's Travel Talk Forums

Fodor's Travel Talk Forums (
-   Air Travel (
-   -   Ordering special meals? (

Carrybean Jul 18th, 2006 03:58 PM

Ordering special meals?
Have any of you ordered kosher or any other special meals? Were they better than the standard fare?

KT Jul 18th, 2006 04:24 PM

I think the common wisdom about special meals always being better is a bit wide of the mark. Though not really a vegetarian, I've ordered veggie meals with very mixed results. The worst was just a plate with one scoop each of overcooked, plain vegetables: it might have been green beans, carrots, and corn, I've mercifully forgotten. I've had some good ones, too, but now I just take pot luck with the regular offerings.

Then there was the kosher lunch that a friend got: a partly frozen bagel and cream cheese, accompanied by a roll!

rkkwan Jul 18th, 2006 04:37 PM

Well, if you don't like what you get, they usually have extra standard meal. But of course, they may privately question why you've ordered the "Strict Vegetarian" or kosher meal to start with, if you can eat regular stuff.

esm Jul 18th, 2006 06:21 PM

I ordered a low-fat meal on NWA going to Tokyo. It was dry and tasteless and they omitted the bread roll too. Needless to say, I called and changed the meal for the return trip.

Carrybean Jul 19th, 2006 03:27 AM

I've never ordered a special meal or knew anyone who did but it doesn't sound like it's worth experimenting. Thanks.

A_Traveller Jul 19th, 2006 05:07 AM

Years ago ordering a special meal usually got you something a lot better than the standard fare. However, with most airlines cutting expenses to the bone lately it seems the special meals leave a lot to be desired. Unless you really do have a diet restriction you probably should stick with the standard meal. If you want something really good, pack your own meal - it will be a lot better than anything the airline serves (unless you are flying first class overseas - then you are apt to get a pretty decent meal.

We used to order special meals routinely but stopped doing it after several very disappointing experiences.

HKP Jul 19th, 2006 05:12 AM

The best I ever got when requesting vegetarian meals was a fresh fruit plate, with truly fresh and reasonably ripe fruit. The worst was a "lentil lasagna" that could have been used to mortar bricks.

BeachBoi Jul 19th, 2006 07:18 AM

It's been a few years, but I remember being in my TA's office.These two ladies were seated at another agent's desk.The agent was recapping the itinerary,DFW to LAX.When she gave them their confirmations, she very cheerfully reminded them to get their Bistro Bags as they boarded the plane.One of the women exploded!! She said "I'm not having a Bistro Bag! I want a hot meal,served on a tray by the Flight Attendant!!" The agent shall we say was, well, taken aback...She picked up the fone, had a conversation,hung up and responded that she had taken care of the "problem" by ordering special meals.They should just mention to the FA that they in fact had ordered the meals and give the FA their seat locations.The two women left.My TA looked over to the other agent, the entire office had a good laugh."Well, we'll just see how those two broads enjoy their Hindu meals!!"....

rapunzll Jul 19th, 2006 09:40 AM

This isn't going to help, but I have a funny meal request story.

In 1983, we were moving to Indonesia with three small kids, 1.5, 3 and 7. I ordered hamburger meals for the oldest two, the youngest was a lap baby and didn't get a meal. I should clarify that, he split his sisters meal, because neither one of them would eat a whole one.

Anyway, the first leg of the trip it came time to eat, and there were no meals, so I told the stewardess ok, the kids can just eat the regular meals, no big deal. The second leg of the trip, the exact same thing happens, and again, no big deal. The third leg of the trip, the stewardess comes and I swear to God, gave us two trays, one each for the two older kids that had three burgers stacked one on top of each other on each tray!

I laughed, because it was funny, then I realized they didn't look right and touched one and they were ice cold!

I called the stewardess over and said, these burgers are cold and she looked me square in the eye and said, 'this is a cold meal flight'! LOL I told her that was unacceptable and I wasn't feeding my kids cold hamburgers and she did go heat them up, but she wasn't happy about it.

I still laugh when I remember those stacked burgers!


FainaAgain Jul 19th, 2006 10:16 AM

No, special meals are not better. And by the way, there is no guarantee you'll get them even if you've ordered.

On a flight, not sure was it to or from Israel, they've ran out of kosher meals.

Special meals are always brought before the regular service, can't tell you how many envious glances I've been catching during each flight :)

There is no such thing as "vegetarian meal". They are "strictly vegan". Meaning no cheese, no eggs.

KT Jul 19th, 2006 10:26 AM

Whether or not vegetarian meals are vegan depends on the airline. I know that United offers both lacto-ovo vegetarian and strictly vegan.

Underhill Jul 19th, 2006 10:50 AM

When I was on Austrian Airlines last winter my business-class seatmate had dvidently ordered a special meal, because all three of his courses were huge plates of cold prawns. I got one as a first course and was VERY envious.

Patty Jul 19th, 2006 10:51 AM

Some airlines don't offer special meals. My mom recently tried to order a vegetarian meal on HA only to be told they don't provide special meals of any kind.

KT Jul 19th, 2006 11:40 AM

"all three of his courses were huge plates of cold prawns"

Ah, yes. That must have been the rarely offered "Crustacean Meal" (also known as "Strictly Non-kosher"). :-)

W9London Jul 19th, 2006 03:34 PM

Faina or other folks, has anyone heard of veggie (or milkie) kosher meal?
Rather getting sick of fruit platters... No, I don't believe in "glatt" OJ...

BA out of London has Hermolis, which can be quite nice, esp on longhaul biz class. Then again, you could end up with what I call "the dreaded green box kosher meal" if you order kosher on airlines/airports with little demand or no fresh kosher caterers.

The contents? Hermetically sealed tune salad in sweetish mayo, mystery bits of greens in (again sweetish) tomato sauce, sweetened and coloured modified food starch camoflaged as pudding, and saltine crackers.

FainaAgain Jul 19th, 2006 03:40 PM

Flying cattle class on US airlines, I order vegetarian and bring my own food for a nicer combo.

Jed Jul 20th, 2006 11:23 AM

Whether special meals are better is only pot luck. ((*))

klr6773 Jul 20th, 2006 05:40 PM

Flying CO, I just stick to the fruit plates, for myself and my daughter.The kid's meal generally landed up being mushy chicken nuggets& mushy tater tots w/some other stuff..I got sick of the "cheeseburger" pretty quickly. Atleast the fruit is a healthy little snack. I tend to pack little nibblers for the flight anyway.

Sue_xx_yy Jul 21st, 2006 06:03 AM

It depends on the caterer used by the airline and their policies/standards; the caterer can also vary between the return gateway and the departure gateway.

If there are only a relatively few spasmodic requests for a certain type of meal on a given route or from a given location, chances are high the meal will be frozen and (if one is lucky) adequately reheated.

I have never been able to order my own required meal: Special High Cocoa Butter Chocolate....

Hey, flight attendants should rejoice; I'll personally take care of any and all 'heating' required....

Dick Jul 21st, 2006 06:57 AM

In coach, I've found kosher meals to be better for dinner.

sometimes we just order fruit plates...especailly in the am.

Of course, it's getting to the point that you need to bring your own food.

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 01:19 AM.