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David Ross

Airline Food-The good, the bad and the ugly

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I flew from Lexington to Cebu, Philippines last year via Delta and Korean Air. Stop overs in Detroit and Seoul. Delta food was awful. The "omelette" they served for "breakfast" was a cube of yellow stuff that should have been used as a chuck for the wheels. KAL food was pretty good, they served a beef teriyaki, rice and some kimchi. 

 

Back in the day, I used to work for a small company who exclusively used Midwest Express. They had their own wing at Kansas City International, the most convenient airport ever, baggage pick up was 10 steps from the gate, the door was 10 steps from baggage pickup. All seats in MWE were 1st class, leather, and 2 across, window and aisle. As you boarded, you could smell chocolate chip cookies baking. Meals were served on china, with real utensils, glass salt and pepper shakers, and  your choice of complementary red or white wine. The food was hot and fresh and every flight they had was direct. The only way to fly and a far cry from begging for peanuts and a couple extra inches.  

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gfweb   
Posted (edited)

Not sure what  this is but it certainly looks pretty bad

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A snack IIRC on a europe flight on USAirways. It was OK

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I recall that this was better than average. A USAirways dinner...probably to Europe since there was shrimps. I miss USAirways

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USAirways breakfast. Solid if unspectacular

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Edited by gfweb (log)
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naguere   

Flying out of Bahrain 1965, Twinks assured me as his brother was the 'Load Master'on that flight  he would see me alright. he did indeed and I handed out the excellent packed meal provided by the RAF to everyone , we landed and Sharjah and eventually got to Aden. we were in a twin pioneer.

 

 

 

after nights.jpg

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gfweb   
Posted (edited)

AA lunch or dinner...not sure

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AA lunch...not sure what it was now and perhaps even then

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USAirways Europe flight appetizer (note the fried goat cheese), main and cheese course. Pretty good IIRC

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Edited by gfweb (log)
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lindag   
58 minutes ago, gfweb said:

AA lunch or dinner...not sure

 

 

AA lunch...not sure what it was now and perhaps even then

187.thumb.jpg.f6864b6f4544ea5f789531142b0a8087.jpg

 

USAirways Europe flight appetizer (note the fried goat cheese), main and cheese course. Pretty good IIRC

 

 

 

 

 

 

This photo made me want a Bloody Mary.

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kayb   

I will say that on my half-dozen or so trips to Japan, JAL had consistently better food than (the former) Northwest, Delta or American.

 

Not that it was exceptional. I generally stocked up on trail mix at the Hudson News in the terminal. Hudson carries good trail mix.

 

JAL had good green tea, though.

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I flew a lot as a kid – trips to see my grandparents.  This would be in the 1960’s.  I don’t remember specific meals, but I DO remember feeling very cosmopolitan – traveling alone, having my meal on those cunning little trays.  As an adult, I’ve had the usual dismal hot foods and fairly good cold sandwiches.  There were a few years where I didn’t fly anywhere and then had an emergency flight because my mother had to have surgery.  Flew from Richmond VA to Sarasota FL on an extremely early morning flight.  I’d heard about all the food cutbacks and therefore didn’t expect a breakfast.  I hadn’t eaten and knew that I wouldn’t have time before having to be at the hospital before my mom went into the OR.  I resigned myself to starve until I could get to a vending machine.  So, I was thrilled when the flight attendants began passing around what I thought were little wet-nap packets.  I was thinking that the breakfast must be substantial if we would need wet-naps.  This was the “wet-nap” and it was the only thing they gave us to eat:  http://www.shopbiscoff.com/biscoff-cookie-two-pack

Imagine my disappointment.

 

Food: Fact or Fiction on Cooking Channel did a segment on airplane food some time ago and why it used to be better than it is now.  They concluded that it had to do with altitude, I think.

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1 hour ago, Kim Shook said:

So, I was thrilled when the flight attendants began passing around what I thought were little wet-nap packets.  I was thinking that the breakfast must be substantial if we would need wet-naps.  This was the “wet-nap” and it was the only thing they gave us to eat:  http://www.shopbiscoff.com/biscoff-cookie-two-pack

Imagine my disappointment.

 

I certainly appreciate your disappointment, @Kim Shook, especially given the circumstances.  That said, there were many times when I was upgraded to first class on an early AM domestic flight and asked the FA to bring me some Biscoffs from coach instead of the nasty hot breakfast!

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kayswv   
2 hours ago, Kim Shook said:

So, I was thrilled when the flight attendants began passing around what I thought were little wet-nap packets.  I was thinking that the breakfast must be substantial if we would need wet-naps.  This was the “wet-nap” and it was the only thing they gave us to eat:  http://www.shopbiscoff.com/biscoff-cookie-two-pack

Imagine my disappointment.

We flew that same airline from Seattle to Hawaii and was offered a choice of a biscoff cookie- two pack or a package of peanuts. I asked for one of each and was "informed" rather forcefully by a "very very senior FA" that I was allowed only one of the choices. This was an over 5 hour flight. We now fly Hawaiian when we make this similar journey. 

Kay

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lindag   

For me the Biscoff cookies are addictive, I LOVE them, sometimes I find them at Walmart here.

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On ‎8‎/‎1‎/‎2017 at 9:57 AM, gfweb said:

I'd love to know the temps of airplane ovens. From the state of the veg and meat, I bet its about 170F

I asked my friend who is a 20 year + Flight Attendant and he said they heat the first class meals at 275F for 20 minutes.  (And they are aware they are just reheating something that's already been cooked).  My sense is that may work for meats, but if vegetables are already grilled or par-boiled, that cool-down then reheating may not be favorable in the end.

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I flew in 1996 or 97 from Raleigh to Nashville to visit my then boyfriend's brother who is a songwriter there. If we were given anything to eat, I can't recall it. I do recall the beer. They were serving cans probably with plastic cups for you to pour it in, but it's the condition of the cans I so vividly remember. Every one was dented and crumpled to the point that you know some of their mates from the same batch got punctured and spewed out the contents. We were on US Airways, but after that the airline was known to us as "US Scare".

 

The cans probably fell off a lift onto the tarmac, but they looked as if they had been salvaged from the wreckage of a plane! These would have been better reserved for a staff party or something instead of served to passengers. It was not a confidence builder. xD

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SusieQ   
On 8/4/2017 at 7:35 PM, kayb said:

I will say that on my half-dozen or so trips to Japan, JAL had consistently better food than (the former) Northwest, Delta or American.

 

Not that it was exceptional. I generally stocked up on trail mix at the Hudson News in the terminal. Hudson carries good trail mix.

 

JAL had good green tea, though.

 

Oh no, you've just single-handedly ruined my fantasy trip to Japan where the Japanese airline experience is fabulous but much more importantly the food is fabulous, even stunning, even if it's just simple fare in basic Economy Class!  Damn! 

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I also remember a flight I took with my mother as a wee girl. It was before 1967, but I can't recall the food, or airline. We were traveling from San Diego to Florida to visit her parents. I never felt like such a princess and I'm sure we were not traveling first class. The flight attendants were so nice, friendly and accommodating to everything you not only asked for, but would anticipate what you might want. Flying was fun then, but the terrorists have definitely won these days.

 

Sometimes I think I might be hallucinating these memories in these current days of partial disrobing on command and doctors getting dragged out of seats they've paid for with broken faces. This link from the Daily Mail proves I'm not. And is that Jon Voight in the second photo to the right in the image of the charcuterie cart? 

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I'll pull out some of my old Hughes Airwest memorabilia.  They were owned by yes, Howard Hughes and primarily flew in the West.  Their famous ad campaign was the "big banana" and the planes were painted in vivid yellow.  I remember we flew them home from Twin Falls, Idaho, with a stop in Boise then on to Portland.  Amazing but I do remember the coach lunch from Boise with ice cream for dessert.  I was about 12 or 13 and I thought then, and today, how wonderful it was to have ice cream on a plane.

 

But I also remember being served the famous United Airlines ice cream sundae in first class, (which they still do in first class on some flights today), and the ice cream was rock hard.  The poor flight attendants had to struggle with the fact the catering vendor blanketed the ice cream tubs with dry ice and it was like a rock.  Made all the worse during service as they used to bring a trolley through the cabin with the ice cream in serving bowls then all the toppings were displayed for your choice. 

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kayb   
10 hours ago, SusieQ said:

 

Oh no, you've just single-handedly ruined my fantasy trip to Japan where the Japanese airline experience is fabulous but much more importantly the food is fabulous, even stunning, even if it's just simple fare in basic Economy Class!  Damn! 

Well, that's just the flight. On the other hand, the food courts at the train stations are the most amazing thing in the world. I have to get to the station an hour early to decide what to take on the train with me! So much good stuff!

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Duvel   
Posted (edited)

I do fly quite a lot - usually on Cathay, which has very nice meals in business class. In economy, it's usually "beef with rice or chicken with pasta, sir ?" ...

Learning from past mistakes and realizing that this is actually a trick question, I put special meal requests in my frequent flyer profile. For example the Hindu vegetarian meals are quite divers, seemingly lend themselves well to reheating and you get served first.

 

Chana dhal, turmeric noodles, spicy okra. Chapati.

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Lentil dhal, basmati rice, cauliflower with peas. Chapati.

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(you just have to make sure to remove the request before flying business again. Otherwise you weep in front of you dhal when everyone else gets the grilled rib eye ...)

 


Edited by Duvel typo (log)
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Cronker   

Gordon Ramsay is opening an airline food outlet in London Heathrow.  Might be interesting.

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shain   

Fresh out of a British Airways flight to San Francisco and back. Most of the food wasn't very good, but edible.

 

First leg (Tel Aviv to Heathrow) - Fruits, slightly stale bun, cheese plate (good gauda, but I just can't eat more than a few tiny bites of this kind of cheeses, they feel so heavy and fatty when. I do like them melted), bad feta and olives. Most left uneaten.

 

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Omelette with roasted vegetables - very bad, I would never had chosen a reheated omelette, but it was the only vegetarian option.

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Had some time to pass in the lounge at Heathrow. It had a well stocked bars and luckily some edible food.

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The flight from Heathrow to SF had slightly better food (I assume because the kitchen is there is managed by the airline).

 

Interesting, if not overly tasty appetizer tomato jelly, mozzarella balls (way too cold), basil mousse and some sry tomato foam thing. Warm cheese coated bun.

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Not overly-overly cooked (but not al dente) pasta with cream sauce, grated carrot (?!) and sunflower seeds (?!?!). Mozzarella balls reallocated to a place where they can get warm.

Some very good red wine (Pinot Noir if I recall correctly).

 

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Some hazelnut flavored mousse or something (not very good).

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Fruits and, and a plate of orange slices with cream cheese balls.

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I expected more from an ale on a British flight. Got back to wines after that.

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Flight back, SF to Heathrow:

 

Bun, salad, fea, vegetables, olive "tapenade" (i.e. chopped olives). Good wine.

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Pasta with kale, cream and tomatoes (what's wrong  with spinach?).

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Chocolate mousse cake, not good. 

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Fruits. 

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Frittata and grilled potatoes.

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Heathrow to Tel Aviv - again, better food when leaving from Heathrow.

Warm bun, caramelized pears, good roquefort, hazelnuts. Good wine.

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Pasta with tomato sauce. Too oily and badly cooked.

 

Cheese plate with cardboard flavored crackers, onion jam. OK roquefort, too mild cheddar.

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Tasty white chocolate and raspberry mousse.

 

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During my flights to Spain and back I can't remember eating anything other than a few simple snacks—that may have been due to too much booze! xD

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Mmmpomps   

Just flew to Toronto from Calgary via Edmonton...Air Canada. The flight from Calgary to Edmonton is about 45 minutes so I was surprised they offered refreshments! Water, pop or juice.
Coming home was Toronto via Montreal to Calgary. You can only buy food , no meals are supplied. On the way we took our own sandwiches and chips. On the way back we ate at the airport. I bought a kitkat and some wine . Oh and complimentary mini pretzles:

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SusieQ   
On 8/7/2017 at 6:36 AM, kayb said:

Well, that's just the flight. On the other hand, the food courts at the train stations are the most amazing thing in the world. I have to get to the station an hour early to decide what to take on the train with me! So much good stuff!

 

Oh, I've got this absolutely beautiful book that I've drooled over many a time! The photos are stunning. I bought it at least 20 years ago. I just hope that by the time I finally make it to Japan, they'll still have these regional bentos to take on the trains! 


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Edited by SusieQ (log)
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