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vegetarian meal on flight?

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Feb 5th, 2001, 08:40 AM
  #1
stacy
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vegetarian meal on flight?

Hi. Does anyone every order special meals on flights? Usually I just eat whatever is handed to me, but I am also usually on short flights so if the food is gross I don't have to go too lond w/out eating. However, next week we are flying to London (on American), so I am more worried about the food this time. I have heard that ordering a special meal is the way to go to get better food quality. I am not a huge meat eater to begin with (and especially not the meat on airlines!) so I am thinking of order vegetarian meals. Has anyone done this? How far in advance or how soon can it be ordered (I think I read it has to be at least 72 hours in advance, yes?) Are they usually happy to accommodate and what kind of food can I expect if I order vegetarian? Thanks.
 
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Feb 6th, 2001, 06:47 AM
  #2
anna
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Hi Stacy,

Actually there a couple of things I can tell you. First, food on international flights tends to be much better than domestic, but that doesn't mean it's always great. If you're flying coach, take your own snacks with you just in case the food's unedible. Business & First class usually have lots of snacks to offer you if you don't like the meal.
Second, I have often ordered the vegetarian meals, because I do tend to like those meals better. I'm not a vegetarian, but I do like all vegetable meals. If you order these, be prepared that it will likely be something a little unusual (e.g. eggplant pizza, tofu stir fry), but of a decent quality, so if you're not a picky eater, it might work for you. Also, about 10% of the time, they mess it up (don't have enough vegetarian meals, give it to the wrong person, etc.), and there's not much you can do about it.

Hope thie helps, Anna
 
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Feb 6th, 2001, 09:52 AM
  #3
Sue
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We ordered vegetarian meals for a journey from Toronto to London two weeks ago (Air Canada). We requested our meals two or three days in advance of the trip. The hot dinner was rice, mushrooms, peppers and tomatoes in a tomato sauce, with a small salad and fresh fruit for dessert. Breakfast was fresh fruit and juice. We enjoyed the meals, which as you can see were very light.
 
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Feb 6th, 2001, 11:01 AM
  #4
sherri
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I fly American to Europe several times each year and always order a special meal. I do not eat red meat and try to restrict my fat intake. The best meal in coach is the low fat/low cholesterol (on the return flight only); the meal consists of grilled salmon or tuna, roasted potatoes, steamed green beans, fresh fruit for dessert, and asparagus, carrots, and other veggies for the salad. The fruit plate is another good option.
 
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Feb 7th, 2001, 04:45 AM
  #5
Anon
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I travel a great deal on international flights and have been a vegetarian for about 10 years. I book the vegetarian meal at time of booking ticket and in all my travelling, airlines have only made mistakes on three occasions - each time they checked their paperwork, realized it was their mistake, apologised and brought me something to eat from 1st class. You will be asked (at least on BA which is my usual airline) what kind of vegetarian meal you want: IMO the Asian is always the tastiest, but you have a choice of about 5 different permutations. An added advantage, as a veggie, you tend to get your meal before everyone else.
 
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Feb 7th, 2001, 10:42 AM
  #6
Cass
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Hi,

Be wary re:vegetarian. I ordered that once hoping for fresh vegetables and got instead the most pasty, gluey lentil curried lasagna sort of thing. It was almost as if they were punishing me.

In general, though, my "insiders" tell me that ordering _any_ special meal will at least get you something prepared that day (altho' that lentil lasagna could have been prepared ON the plane and it still would have been best used to glue books together). Some people swear by the kosher meal, others say the cardiac low-cal, low-cholesterol is the best. But on our last flight to London, the little bitty steak was still very nicely cooked, just the right red on the inside, and better than the somewhat wheezy dry salmon. That was American, by the way, originating in Gatwick.

Bon appetit!
 
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Feb 9th, 2001, 04:02 PM
  #7
scigirl
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In my opinion, the quality of the special vegetarian meals has declined in recent years. I'm vegetarian so generally feel that I have to order the meals - but I have stopped. I just eat around whatever else is on the regular menu. This is because after 4 or 5 flights (including international) I had to give up on the vegetarian meals. I felt that the airlines were trying to save money by having one low fat - vegan (no animal products at all) - vegetarian -hypoglycemic-diabetic-low salt- etc. etc. meal. Think unripened melon (served breakfast, lunch, and dinner on one long flight), raw onion (!) and bean compote of some sort on another, yuck. Every dish seemed to contain large amounts of beans and/or onions. Other people who ordered the meals were also rejecting them. They were down right terrible.

International flights tend to have better food. If you are not vegetarian you might not want to order the special meal. You will probably be pleasantly surprised at what you will get as a regular meal. (E.g. Recent Air France dinner included salmon on toast points, cheese and bread, a choice of main dishes, salad, chocolate cake of some kind, and wine - really far better than anything I ever saw served on a domestic coach flight.)

Good luck - enjoy your trip.
 
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Mar 2nd, 2001, 07:20 AM
  #8
Dave
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I usually order vegeterian and there is no problem ordering it, as long as you give enough time, but rarely it just isn't on the plane. Bear in mind that there are different vegeterian meals - lacto ovo, Asian, dairy, etc. They are mostly good, but sometimes are not, just like regular meals.

Consumers Reports Travel Letter, March 2001, has an excellent review of special meals. You can probably see this in your library.
 
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