As far as Asian based air carriers goes, I've flown on Dragonair, Cathay Pacific, TransAsia, China Airlines, KoreanAir, Singapore Airlines, Malaysia Airline System and UniAir. If you add in Continental Micronesia as an "Asian based" carrier then add that as well but I consider it to be a US based outfit.
For example: DragonAir gives you a FULL hot meal on their fabulous A330-300 flights from Kaohsiung to HKG and back. Trip lasts 1 hour and 20 minutes, Adult beverages included. Try that on the Shuttle from LGA to Boston eh?
SIA serves you a fabulous 3-4 choice entree and seperate dessert and candy serving with crisp, cold and *unlimited* Charles Heidseick Champagne service throughout the flight from Taipei to Singapore, trip length 4 hours 20 minutes. Try getting -that- in Economy from EWR to LAX eh?
To Malaysia Airlines' incredible curries aboard their flights, inflight unlimited snacks and beverages, then offering up full Western and Chinese breakfasts (Dim-Sum included) prior to arrival at Taipei on their long LAX-TPE service.
China Airlines serves a modest box lunch style breakfast on their Kaohsiung-Taipei/CKS shuttle in the mornings, complete with charming Taiwanese music being played in the cabin as you board and sweet Plum blossom perfume scented in the cabin. Quite relaxing.
Try getting THAT on the LAX-SFO shuttle! (LOL!)
The list can go on and on.
That said, I will say meal service on the major Asian carriers far excels what I've experienced on -any- US based carrier. (and one major reason why I -avoid- US based carriers when I travel to and from the Pacific Rim (Grin) You want "Cheapskate service", go for it, be my guest, but not for me, I want to be pampered thankyou and treated like a human being.
Indeed you are fed better on the Major Asian based carriers like Thai as you have observed. I've been pampered exquisitely in -Economy Class- aboard Malaysia Airlines, Singapore Airlines, China Airlines, KoreanAir, DragonAir and Cathay Pacific. I cant say that for -any- of the US based competitors that fly in or out of the same region.
The word "Ordeal" is more apt to describe those flights.
Simply put it's the culture of service in Asia that differs with the culture of service you are used to in your own personal locale. Where exemplary service and excellence are considered standard in one locale, differing (higher or lower levels) of service are acceptable in others.
Again. it's all relative to the place you live.
Asian based airlines appear to me, to go *far and above* what most Western carriers offer in terms of meal service and in general, service -period- (Grin).
I will say that I look forward to flights on Swissair though, I've heard their inflight meal service is absolutely *stellar*. I will also take note of Midwest Express Airlines based in the US. They also excel very well in the craft they do and recommend them to anyone.
Beyond that (as far as my own experiences go) the rest of the US airline industry seems to be quite passe' and uninspiring and quite jaded in my view.
You want a satisfying airline flight..try any of the top Asian based carriers out and you'll see exactly what I mean. A BIG Difference.