Vegetarian options

Back to Forum

This topic contains 15 replies, has 13 voices, and was last updated by  Ahmad 9 Dec 2019
at 18:43
.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 16 total)

  • BEYbrit
    Participant

    With more and more people adopting plant based diets, I’m always surprised at how the airlines just don’t get it right.

    Air China managed to serve me the same identical hot dish four times in three flight (yes, twice on one flight). But as vegetarianism isn’t rampant in China, I didn’t expect CA to deliver anything transcendental.

    The main problems I repeatedly have with VLML/lacto-ovo meals across airlines from all parts of the globe are:

    Bread and butter – never the same bread as the non veggies. Never butter, always margarine on the veggie meal (remember this is a lacto-ovo veggie meal – not vegan)

    Salad – rarely with dressing

    Dessert – ALWAYS fruit salad

    Treats – never choccie bars or biscuits. More likely to be boxes of raisins…

    Cheese – never served

    Main course – never a choice. Mostly inappropriate to service time (often get dinner when everyone else gets breakfast – which is often a cheese omelette that I could eat).

    Anyway, the point of all this is to know if anyone has had better experiences? I travel economy or premium eco, thanks to employer policies, so please don’t tell me that the business class options are better!

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    LuganoPirate
    Participant

    Just did 4 legs with Austrian, and every meal was vegetarian, and even in the lounge there was no meat option. I’m a meat eater, dislike vegetables (having been force fed them as a child) and wanted nothing more than a nice pair of wienerli (which they used to have in the lounge) with sweet mustard and a roll. No such luck!

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    BEYbrit
    Participant

    Just did 4 legs with Austrian, and every meal was vegetarian, and even in the lounge there was no meat option. I’m a meat eater, dislike vegetables (having been force fed them as a child) and wanted nothing more than a nice pair of wienerli (which they used to have in the lounge) with sweet mustard and a roll. No such luck!

    Just more proof that airlines and food are rarely a winning combo. I’m interested to know how long the flights were – if they were all short-haul sectors then it may be easier to « do a KLM » and give a cheese sandwich to everyone.


    canucklad
    Participant

    In a previous life, long ago I did stint as a supervisor for an inflight catering company at EDI (no names)
    Safe to say, I was astonished at what was involved and even more astonished at some of the practices —but that’s aa different story

    Back on topic — I recall being asked to organise, at late notice a Vegan meal (lunch) for a Sabena business class customer.

    There was no spec for such a request, but did double check with the individual that she knew what she was doing ….. “Of course I know, I’m not an idiot “ was the reply …..

    At the next quality meeting , so said meal was the subject of great concern and humour in equal measure. ….Visualise the following …..

    Vegan Roll, with Vegan butter accompanied by Vegan cheese with crackers
    A Vegan cake for dessert
    The main plate was adorned with boiled jerseys, built into a tiered salad with shredded carrots etc ….
    Then to finish off this delightful Vegan meal , she had decided to plank on ……
    A lovely slice of Silverside
    That just about hid the slab of ham
    All topped off with a healthy chunk of chicken fillet !!

    Safe to say, the passenger was not impressed when they removed the lid somewhere over the North Sea , nor for that matter were the crew

    My mate works with CX and he gave me a great tip …….Order the Hindu Option

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    MarkCymru
    Participant

    If you can, fly Air India. The default meal option is lacto-ovo veg (I order vegan meals and that’s much more hit and miss). Stick to the Indian food and you’ll be delighted. There’s also a lot more legroom in economy than on most carriers. Air India gets a bad rap but I’ve always found them friendly and competitively priced (I did have to sue them once to get a refundable ticket refunded but, on losing, they were again very charming and apologised for causing me inconvenience).

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    MartynSinclair
    Participant

    I don’t eat meat and preference a veggie diet. I am constantly amazed by the CX food offering, on my regular HKG-BKK-HKG route. Generally out of 3 delicious mains, it is beef/beef/pork or chicken. Sometimes there is a fish dish but not not that often.

    I know you can order special meals, but I have found on most airlines, there usually is a veggie option…


    MarkivJ
    Participant

    To the OP : I’m not sure what airlines you’ve flown on but I’m veggie, I request the Hindu-veg option on most flights (I fly both J and Y) and never run into the issues you’ve mentioned. The only times are if they contain egg or gelatin (used in some desserts like panna cotta or to set/thicken yoghurt). most American carriers combine Veg+vegan so the food there is a problem and I don’t get All that u wrote (Y class breakfast is usually a granola bar and banana!).

    My fave Hindu veg meal far and away is BA. QR does good non-Indian/Hindu veggie stuff. Worst
    Is CX as they always manage to burn their food whilst warming it!


    nevereconomy
    Participant

    AA has great veg option on the J menu MAN-PHL. Often Asian influenced.


    gregd75
    Participant

    In the last 3 years flying AeroMexico, the Vegetarian option has never changed. For dinner you get rice with some pieces of broccoli and for breakfast a couple of tortillas filled with canned mushrooms – disappointing every time.

    What winds me up is that you can’t order a veggie meal when making your reservation. You absolutely must phone and speak to a representative which is not great. You’d think there could be a more user friendly way to handle this. Or maybe even allow frequent fliers to have the option of setting default meal requests.

    For shorter International flights such as MEX – MIA there is a sandwich served. Always ham & cheese. Never a vegetarian option and no possibility of ordering a vegetarian option.

    Talk about discrimination…

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    Gold-2K
    Participant

    I always pre-order the Asian Vegetarian option. As someone above said, always good on BA. But actually had one on a Delta US domestic flight last week and it was surprisingly good. Anything beats the overcooked spinach and ricotta pasta drowned in some kind of red sauce.

    However I was surprised there was no vegetarian option on the BA first Afternoon tea last week. It was either sandwiches, mostly red meat or chicken or a cold meat plate. The best they could offer was not to eat the meat sandwiches. I ended up with a cheese plate and fruit left over from the lunch service.

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    LuganoPirate
    Participant

    Just did 4 legs with Austrian, and every meal was vegetarian, and even in the lounge there was no meat option. I’m a meat eater, dislike vegetables (having been force fed them as a child) and wanted nothing more than a nice pair of wienerli (which they used to have in the lounge) with sweet mustard and a roll. No such luck!

    Just more proof that airlines and food are rarely a winning combo. I’m interested to know how long the flights were – if they were all short-haul sectors then it may be easier to « do a KLM » and give a cheese sandwich to everyone.

    Each leg was short haul, +- 70 minutes.
    In fairness I flew VIE-JFK in Business, and they had my favourite Rostbraten and just before landing a pair of Wienerli. But that was long haul!

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    SAS
    Participant

    I once ordered an Asian vegetarian meal on British Airways on my way to and from India and was extremely impressed by its quality.

    I also ordered a Western style Vegetarian meal on my way to and from India with Qatar Airways and was extremely happy to be served restaurant quality pasta on four legs of the flight.

    Vegetarian options are aplenty out there – one only has to ask for them. Whether one likes every single individual meal they are served is a separate matter.


    BEYbrit
    Participant

    One does indeed always ask for them.

    Whether one likes being served the same identical meal tray twice during a flight is a separate matter (hint – one doesn’t).

    I once ordered an Asian vegetarian meal on British Airways on my way to and from India and was extremely impressed by its quality.

    I also ordered a Western style Vegetarian meal on my way to and from India with Qatar Airways and was extremely happy to be served restaurant quality pasta on four legs of the flight.

    Vegetarian options are aplenty out there – one only has to ask for them. Whether one likes every single individual meal they are served is a separate matter.


    Blanicka
    Participant

    BEYbrit I could not agree more! I can relate to everything you say in your first post.

    On Singapore Airlines (from ARN to SIN) I preordered Vegetarian meal and my started was the same as the main – roasted cold vegetables for starter and the same roasted vegetables but warm for main, which they served with Salmon. I asked them if they served me the wrong meal and they confirmed that Salmon is (apparently) vegetarian!

    Nowadays I do not preorder, I always have something in the lounge and take it as a bonus if there is veggie option on the flight. I like to fly Qatar as they always have one veggie option. BA are not too bad either.


    capetonianm
    Participant

    Salmon is (apparently) vegetarian!

    And so apparently is chicken according to friends who invited my ex and me to a braai (BBQ).
    ‘We know she’s vegetarian so we did her chicken’
    Brilliant.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 16 total)
You must be logged in to reply to this topic.
Business Traveller December 2019 / January 2020 edition
Business Traveller December 2019 / January 2020 edition
Be up-to-date
Magazine Subscription
To see our latest subscription offers for Business Traveller editions worldwide, click on the Subscribe & Save link below
Polls