mikola
Posts: 64
Joined: Sat May 29, 1999 11:10 am

United Airlines Special Order Meals - Vegetarian

Fri Jan 30, 2004 3:20 am

I am going to Tokyo in March, and I am going through ORD out to NRT, then through SFO on the way back. I am wondering if any of you can tell me the quality of their special order meals. I am not vegetarian, yet my gf is, and i eat a lot of vegetarian food... so with that, and i dont want meat sitting in me the whole time, I have decided to order Vegetarian. I am thinking on the way out there, Indian Vegetarian (is it Hindu now? i dont see it on ua's website), and on the way back, Asian Vegetarian (cos im leaving asia, and i bet they cook their own food good! hehe). I've heard the two are good, but im hoping someone here can help me out a lil more. what does it consist of, is it good, etc etc. Thanks for all your help!
 
mikola
Posts: 64
Joined: Sat May 29, 1999 11:10 am

RE: United Airlines Special Order Meals - Vegetarian

Fri Jan 30, 2004 3:23 am

forgot to mention, this is in coach class, B744 there and back. thanks again!
 
prosa
Posts: 5389
Joined: Sat Oct 27, 2001 3:24 am

RE: United Airlines Special Order Meals - Vegetarian

Fri Jan 30, 2004 3:41 am

I ordered a vegetarian meal on HP PHX-JFK in August 2002, not because I am a vegetarian but because I figured a special-order meal would be better than a standard one. It was a sort of vegetable and tofu kebab, very good indeed.
"Let me think about it" = the coward's way of saying "no"
 
flyua
Posts: 312
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2001 9:23 am

RE: United Airlines Special Order Meals - Vegetarian

Fri Jan 30, 2004 11:10 am

Dear Mikola,

Ah! These kinds of questions are just my cup of tea! While I enjoy reading the "Why this airline can't compete" and "How much longer until XX happens" type of posts, I've never felt "qualified" enough to give an adequate response. Specific United service-related posts are always a pleasure to research and answer!

I haven't worked an international flight in quite some time, so I need to ask a few Flight Attendant friends about the quality and choices of special-request meals. I'll get back to you with a better response. But for now, I can tell you I've always preferred the "aromas" of the Hindu/Indian veggie meals I've served in Economy. Often, they include at least a hint of currry, and they're usually accompanied by a few tiny slices of airplane-quality naan (still better than the usual rough-and-tough roll) and a better dessert. On our transcon flights now, I believe all vegetarian special-request meals offer the same side dishes, and often the same bland entree.

Again, I'll get back to you when I have USA-Japan-USA specifics. ...And for your information-- if you find yourself on the B747-400 ORD-NRT flight, you will be served by a very senior ORD-based crew. On the later B777 ORD-NRT flight, you will be served by a fairly junior NRT-based crew who should most likely be a mix of Japanese and ex TPE-based Taiwanese Flight Attendants. Regardless of the seniority or nationality of the crews, I myself would prefer the personal TV-equipped B777 flight if I were a coach customer. A drug-enduced state administered by a television should make the flight go much faster!

I hope you enjoy your United flights. Bon voyage!
 
usnseallt82
Posts: 4727
Joined: Tue Jan 06, 2004 4:49 pm

RE: United Airlines Special Order Meals - Vegetarian

Fri Jan 30, 2004 11:17 am

I had a vegetarian meal on DL once, not by choice, but it was very good. I think this may be a good addition to UA, especially with the rise of the Adkins diet.

Cheers!
Crye me a river
 
cha747
Posts: 753
Joined: Mon Dec 15, 2003 1:07 pm

RE: United Airlines Special Order Meals - Vegetarian

Fri Jan 30, 2004 1:37 pm

Mikola,

There was actually a loosely related thread about this kinda stuff two weeks ago...in anycase, here are the caveats that were shared in that thread. I've written the meal codes here but I understand that these codes can be different from airline to airline and not airlines have all these meals available.

HVML - Hindu Vegetarian - While most people would think that this meal would mean NO MEAT, some airlines (AF in particular) believe that fish and seafood in general are "vegetarian." You have to check with your individual airline as some people (who have no brains) think that the Hindu diet is one that allows all sorts of meat except beef and/or pork. Hindus who've ordered this meal have ended-up with fish and shrimp on their plate...NOT their cup o tea.

AVML - Asian Vegetarian - This one varies from airline to airline. On SQ this actually equates to Indian vegetarian (which you think would be Hindu vegetarian). On most airlines that I've flown, you get an Indian-like meal. On some airlines, this equates to more Asian dishes with bean curd (tofu) and vegetables.

VLML - Ovo-Lacto Vegetarian - Eggs and milk vegetarian. I haven't flown UA lately, but a long time ago when I flew DL and ordered the VLML meal, we got a VERY TASTY mac and cheese and a side of broccoli. Many times, however, the kitchen gets lazy and they end-up giving you a strict vegetarian meal even when you order VLML.

VGML - Strict Vegetarian Meal - No milk, eggs, pork, beef, or seafood. Basically, by ordering this meal, you're eating all vegetable, bread, and rice items. These dishes are normally very bland. Occasionally, they'll substitute (not so) fresh fruit in place of the cakes and cookies everybody else is enjoying. The salad dressing is usually oil-based and quite distasteful.

That's all I have to share. Hope you have a good experience.
You land a million planes safely, then you have one little mid-air and you never hear the end of it - Pushing Tin
 
mikola
Posts: 64
Joined: Sat May 29, 1999 11:10 am

RE: United Airlines Special Order Meals - Vegetarian

Fri Jan 30, 2004 11:24 pm

thanks for the replies!! i figured just anything so-called "special" in the airlines for coach ppl, is gonna be at least better than what you'd normally get. i appreciate the help. im looking forward to hearing specifics FlyUA. and thanks for the tip about the 777  Big grin
 
ManchesterMAN
Posts: 1041
Joined: Fri Sep 26, 2003 10:57 pm

RE: United Airlines Special Order Meals - Vegetarian

Sat Jan 31, 2004 12:50 am

As a vegetarian myself I find the one advantage of ordering special meals is that you get served first. Apart from that I find most airlines have a problem with what the term vegerarian means as I seem to always be treated like a Vegan. I like nothing more than proper butter and a nice scone but I usually get all this vegan substitute and no dairy products in general. Most airlines advertise a dairy vegetarian option which I order but still end up with the vegan meal. How frustrating!!

The "main meal" is usually much nicer looking than the meat option, but the side dishes are generally of a lower quality (from experience). Just my 2 euro cents worth  Smile

Flown: A300,A319,A320,A321,A330,A340.A380,717,727,737,747,757,767,777,DC9,DC10,MD11,MD80,F100,F50,ERJ,E190,CRJ,BAe146,Da
 
mikola
Posts: 64
Joined: Sat May 29, 1999 11:10 am

RE: United Airlines Special Order Meals - Vegetarian

Sat Jan 31, 2004 5:46 am

thanks! i appreciate it. ya know, its odd because most of the world tends to think vegan is vegetarian, so if you order anything vegan, youd get the vegetarian dish. but alas, i have heard of airlines doing the thing you mentioned. and first served means first dibs on the bathroom too :P thanks manMAN
 
SafetyDude
Posts: 3654
Joined: Fri Sep 07, 2001 10:02 am

RE: United Airlines Special Order Meals - Vegetarian

Sat Jan 31, 2004 6:10 am

Basically, by ordering this meal, you're eating all vegetable, bread, and rice items. These dishes are normally very bland. Occasionally, they'll substitute (not so) fresh fruit in place of the cakes and cookies everybody else is enjoying. The salad dressing is usually oil-based and quite distasteful.

Um, well, no.

I think that some people would be amazed by the food in the world that is vegan and is served on airlines. The dishes are not bland! I have flown many airlines and my family orders vegan meals because they are better. I have found the fruit to always be fresh and the substitutes to be fine. The same goes for the salad dressings.

its odd because most of the world tends to think vegan is vegetarian, so if you order anything vegan, youd get the vegetarian dish.
Not the world I know of.  Laugh out loud Besides, airlines can get into huge legal trouble by serving someone who's religion calls for veganism and is served something different.

If I were you, I would order vegan meals...they are usually quite better.

-Will
"She Flew For What We Stand For"

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