Becca Jane St Clair

Personal Blog

Food in Flight

I know serving food ON airplanes hardly ever happens anymore on domestic flying….you can fly across the country, and as long as you’ve got one of those layovers to break over the chunk, the airline doesn’t think you deserve more than a cookie or pretzel pack and a free soft drink. But on International flights, you get fed.

When I thought I was flying AirIndia and was going to spend all day traveling on trains and shuttles to get to the airport, I was planning on packing bento for the flight and train, as the food offered on AirIndia was Indian food (curry, most likely) and I can’t eat pre-packaged Indian food. But now that I’ve switched over to United, I wanted to see if I could dig up what kind of food they offered. My friend Linz told me that you get complimentary drinks (wine with dinner, etc), but nothing about the food. I’m assuming since I’m technically stand by, I can’t actually request the vegetarian option, so I’m hoping I can just pick off meat or eat around it or something. I don’t like doing that, but if I have to, I will. I also might pack a snack bento just in case I don’t like the options, or I’m still hungry, or I get hungry in the airport.

I ran a google search,and all I could find was articles about United starting to charge for meals in Economy, and then people complained, so they decided against it. I can’t find anything with specifics on what’s offered, just if it’s “good” or “bad”, but this is directly from the United website:

United FirstSM and United BusinessSM
Enjoy multi-course meals graciously served. Settle in, relax and savor the flavor of warmed nuts served with your favorite premium spirit, a regional specialty beer or a glass of one of our award winning wines. Additional courses include fresh salads and appetizers, a choice of entrees, seasonal fruit, aged cheeses and decadent desserts. After dinner liqueurs, Port Wine and Starbucks coffee complete a memorable dining experience.

Later in the flight, we offer more options – hot sandwiches, chilled salads, light breakfasts, fresh fruits and savory snacks. The selection will vary but our commitment to your comfort and satisfaction is constant.

Now, compare that to how they word Economy service:
United EconomySM
We serve complimentary meals on most international flights between the US, South America, Europe, the South Pacific and Asia. Shortly after takeoff, customers will enjoy a beverage service with cocktail snacks, complimentary soft drinks and premium liquors, beer and wine. Alcoholic beverages are complimentary on trans and intra pacific flights and availabe for sale on other international flights. The main meal will consist of salad, appetizer, a choice of hot entrees and dessert. On longer flights we also offer a light pre-arrival meal.
(copied word for word, the typos are there!)

So…business and first class get “fresh salads”, but economy just a “salad”…and it’s “decadent desserts” versus plain dessert. What? It almost sounds like the airline doesn’t even care about the economy passengers….which I’d think make up the bulk of their business.

I’d really like to find an actual list of what the food is, so if anyone knows where I could find that, I’d appreciate it.

Gratuitous cat photo:

Casper in the sink (where he’s not supposed to be!)

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