"special meal" disasters on airlines?

Jun 29th, 2001, 02:31 PM
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"special meal" disasters on airlines?

OK, I know. It serves me right for eating the food (if that's what it is) at all. But has anyone hit on a foolproof way to get a nominally more decent meal out of an airline? My company's travel agent recommended requesting a low-fat meal, which worked well for me on several domestic and European flights. But on a flight to Miami enroute to South America my "low fat" meal was a ham-and-cheese burrito! And enroute home from Dallas on another trip I ran into an Orthodox Jewish family with young children--the airline had forgotten their confirmed kosher meals on every leg of every flight they took from New York to Mexico and back. I suppose I should be grateful that my own flights to Oaxaca this fall offer only beverages or snacks--I know in advance to bring my own supplies. But has anyone hit on a way to get anything better than prison fare on a flight?
Jun 29th, 2001, 03:51 PM
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Escritora... honestly, IMHO the only way to get decent food on an airline is to pack your own lunch! I hate to say that, but I usually order vegetarian with dairy.. and heaven only knows what they serve... it doesn't matter which airline either...all I know is, it's always a sickly greenish brown and ALWAYS smothered with green peppers...
My favorite airline, Virgin Atlantic was my personal favorite ...how DID they get pasta to taste identically like vomit, I have no idea. Luckily for Virgin, they make up for it by service Cabury chocolates with nearly everything so they can be forgiven..honestly, I think special meals are worse then regular meals... but both are horrid... I remember on some morning show last year some brave company did an analysis of the nutritional value of airline meals... talk about info to make your hair curl... try 2500 calories...6000 grams of salt 16 grams of fat..those numbers aren't exact but you get the idea.
I always bring a nice healthy veggie sub from my favorite restaurant... and a few power bars...
Jun 29th, 2001, 07:43 PM
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Oh, geez, you brought up a crummy memory: After seeing people who ordered vegetarian meals on several overseas flights and 1) they looked great; 2) they were always served first, I thought I'd be smart and give it a try on a flight last fall flying US Airways from Philly to Gatwick. On the way over we were served LAST and it was the most noxious smelling, unrecognizable green and brown slimy mess neither my husband or I could eat it. Prior to the return I asked for a switch back, but when we boarded learned they had never recorded the request. The meal was not only as bad on the return, but we were served 45 minutes and three requests after everyone else. I'll never try to beat the system again--from now on we take food!
P.S. 9 out of 10 times we've had decent meals on BA. Only exception was once when they ran out of beef before getting to us and we had a foul salmon salad/cassarole/mystery dish thing!
Jun 29th, 2001, 08:02 PM
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A fruit plate usually works for me. Quite often it is served with cottage cheese or yogurt. Some of them are quite elaborate and very good, and then there was the time I was served a whole banana and an apple on a plate. That was it, but it was still better than what everyone else was eating.
Jun 29th, 2001, 08:04 PM
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I ordered a vegetarian meal on a TWA domestic flight not too long ago. Husband, who opted for regular meal, was served a poor approximation of a sub sandwich. I, the vegetarian, got the same sandwich minus meat and cheese. The only filling was mayo, mustard and lettuce. Not nice, TWA.

I have shaken my head at the poor quality of some airline meals over the years and haven't expected much. But recently the offerings have been completely inedible. On my most recent flight, also domestic, I was served a chicken sandwich. It was a pressed chicken burger covered with barbeque sauce and served stone cold, like just out of the fridge. Now I wouldn't mind being offered only a sandwich, but would it hurt (or cost more) to serve something a little appetizing?
Jun 29th, 2001, 09:06 PM
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Nominally more decent? Yes...try the kosher meal.
Jun 29th, 2001, 09:27 PM
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On a recent domestic flight (America West), my daughter's vegetarian meal wasn't bad: pasta primavera, salad, and roll.
Jun 30th, 2001, 09:16 AM
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It won't help you enroute to Europe, but Cathay Pacific actually serves food you don't mind eating. I wonder why most airlines have such a time getting this right. If they'd just stick to basics (like a simple pasta primavera) there would be a lot less suffering in the world--or at least in world travel!
Jun 30th, 2001, 11:49 AM
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My husband ordered vegetarian on Alitalia - he received a huge helping of BURNED green beans. Period.
Jun 30th, 2001, 11:52 AM
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I have a special fruit plate order in my "profile" through biztravel.com. So wherever I fly, that's what I get if a meal is served. It was fine for travel in the states, but to be honest, when you are served two meals on the flight home (lunch and dinner) they are basically the same. One fruit plate is plenty, two are a bit much. Best airline food I've had was on Air France. I know I'd take off the option for a fruit plate on that airline. But for the time being...it's an OK choice.
Jun 30th, 2001, 12:13 PM
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Years ago, TWA used to offer a seafood platter which was delicious - cold shrimp, crab legs, salmon with gorgeous greens and a good dressing. Now, we usually do fruit plates (unless travelling BAB or AirFrance, where the regular meals aren't too bad); the fruit plates work great because they "keep" if you want to save something for later, or you're asleep when it's served.

I'm still dumbfounded why airline frozen meals ('cause that's what they are) are inferior to Marie Callender's or Stouffer's; I mean, Marie's pasta primevera or chili isn't as good as freshly made, but it's gourmet compared to the tough beef in gummy gravy that's served on airlines.
Jul 1st, 2001, 06:34 AM
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I requested a "special meal" only once: vegetarian on British Airways. The result was a small plate of burned peas and white rice. Now, I usually bring along something of my own on a long flight.
Jul 1st, 2001, 08:19 AM
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On my trip to Rome in April, I reguested a veggie meal on Delta. When I was upgraded to Bus.Elite I forgot to cancel that request, therefore while everyone else had lovely choices of high quality meals, I had tofu and rice!!!
Jul 1st, 2001, 12:04 PM
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One advantage of flying business class, the meals that I've had have been quite good, at least on American and NorthWest(KLM). Coach is another matter however and I've had some very unedable meals there. I did have a decent meal on Air France coach last year on the way over. It's interesting that the whole industry of TV Dinners came out of the airlines needing to serve food on their flights. Remember how bad the origional TV dinners were? Well they improved in the 70's and early 80's and so did the airline food. Then as TV dinners seemed to get more varied and better, the airline food went straight down hill(hell) and have not recovered.
Jul 1st, 2001, 12:57 PM
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I've always found the food at the front to be excellant.
Jul 1st, 2001, 05:43 PM
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whatever you do if you are on a northwest flight to asia DO NOT ORDER THE ASIAN DIET the fish sauce was bad enough aat breakfast but at lunch something resempling a placenta was served over noodles. we eat almost anything but this was too much-never did identify it or could anyone tell me what it was. crackers and water would have been preferable to that diet

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