ordpia
Posts: 127
Joined: Fri Jan 13, 2006 1:30 pm

Remembering The Old Days Of Airline Meals

Tue Nov 06, 2007 7:34 pm

Phil Vettel(Chicago Tribune Food Writer) Commented on a new resource from Northwestern University archiving old airline menus from around the world. It is quite an interesting look at what air travel was in the past.

Tribune blog: http://leisureblogs.chicagotribune.c...estew/2007/11/airline-menu-we.html

NWU site :http://findingaids.library.northwestern.edu/fedora/get/inu:inu-ead-trans-001/inu:EADbDef11/getListOfContents

Enjoy,
ORDPIA
Concorde 146 727 737 73G 742 744 752 753 762 763 772 773 300 319 320 321 343 346 CRJ ERJ ATR ATP CL604 LJ45 LJ60 BD700
 
USADreamliner
Posts: 1211
Joined: Sat Sep 17, 2005 1:33 pm

RE: Remembering The Old Days Of Airline Meals

Tue Nov 06, 2007 7:45 pm

I remember in 1987, flying with Pan Am from MIA to JFK , and receiving a full meal. Same with American Airlines in 1992 from MIA-JFK, pasta,salad and cake. Wich it was normal.

Last year on a IAH-FLL, I got a chicken wrap. And from FLL-EWR a mini muffin.


I used to make fun of Aeroflot many years ago... who's laughing now ?  Wink
 
PanAm747
Posts: 4713
Joined: Mon Mar 01, 2004 4:46 am

RE: Remembering The Old Days Of Airline Meals

Tue Nov 06, 2007 8:02 pm

My personal favorite airline meals were always TWA - their breakfast flights always seemed to have tasty and filling selections. My last TWA flight in August, 1996, on an L-1011, had a choice of an omelette or french toast. I actually got both as they had extra! Those were the days...

Ironically, back in the late 1980's, when Continental was the WORST airline in the U.S., my travel agent friend of mine used to make fun of the fact that their "full breakfast flight" consisted of a choice of a bowl of Total cereal or a cup of yogurt. Sad isn't it? That would be considered a "luxury" today!!
Pan Am:The World's Most Experienced Airline - P(oor) S(ailor's) A(irline): San Diego's Hometown Airline-Catch Our Smile!
 
stapleton
Posts: 181
Joined: Thu Nov 09, 2006 9:57 am

RE: Remembering The Old Days Of Airline Meals

Tue Nov 06, 2007 9:53 pm

I would have to say my favorite was Steak and Lobster on the Petroleum Club flights offered by the original Frontier Airlines between Denver and Dallas. Since Frontier did not have first class at the time (early 1970s) , this was for all the coach passengers. They also included a bottle of wine (at no charge) and used real silverware. Now that was flying!
 
mauiman31
Posts: 297
Joined: Wed Sep 19, 2007 4:36 am

RE: Remembering The Old Days Of Airline Meals

Tue Nov 06, 2007 10:36 pm

In the late 80's through the 90's I was a freq flyer on TWA out of MCI to the east coast primarily, for work and other destinations for vacations. Example of one trip I often took back home on my beloved and much missed TW -- evening "dinner" flight, 727-200 - FC - DCA to MCI or STL. Printed menu, entree and dessert choice, wine list. Coach, of course also was served a full hot dinner with entree choice. That was for a 2.75 hour flight! What a wonderful memory. . .
 
nycaross
Posts: 46
Joined: Sat Nov 29, 2003 11:43 pm

RE: Remembering The Old Days Of Airline Meals

Wed Nov 07, 2007 1:10 am

I remember AA from DFW to PSP serving pasta al pesto.
 
Viscount724
Posts: 19046
Joined: Thu Oct 12, 2006 7:32 pm

RE: Remembering The Old Days Of Airline Meals

Wed Nov 07, 2007 1:17 am

Airline meals have never been great. You're serving reheated food that was cooked hours before. But there was certainly more of it years ago than today with many 1 hour flights having full meals in the 1960s and 70s. Before US domestic deregulation in the late '70s when airlines couldn't compete on price, inflight service and meals etc. was about the only way carriers could differentiate themselves from their competitors.
 
pnwtraveler
Posts: 1068
Joined: Wed Jun 13, 2007 2:12 am

RE: Remembering The Old Days Of Airline Meals

Wed Nov 07, 2007 1:48 am

My first flight ever was as a 7 year old from YVR to YEG. I remember clearly being so excited I couldn't sleep. Then the meal was served. Lima beans that were hard like little bullets was the vegetable. Talk about being disappointed. The chicken was fine and there was a pudding for dessert.
 
skygirl
Posts: 256
Joined: Tue Nov 06, 2007 2:22 am

RE: Remembering The Old Days Of Airline Meals

Wed Nov 07, 2007 1:54 am

it's funny to me that we used to complain about the quality of airline food...nowadays I think we'd be happy to have them back on flights.
...Now they face an even greater danger...Tyrannousaurs in F-14's!!
 
KELPkid
Posts: 5247
Joined: Wed Nov 02, 2005 5:33 am

RE: Remembering The Old Days Of Airline Meals

Wed Nov 07, 2007 1:58 am

The first time I ever tasted Chicken Cordon Bleu in my life was sitting in economy on AA from BOS to DFW in 1985 on board a 767...
Celebrating the birth of KELPkidJR on August 5, 2009 :-)
 
AeroWesty
Posts: 19551
Joined: Sat Oct 30, 2004 7:37 am

RE: Remembering The Old Days Of Airline Meals

Wed Nov 07, 2007 2:00 am

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 6):
Airline meals have never been great.

TWA used to offer a special menu to their frequent flyers, no matter what their status, as long as you ordered it 24 hours in advance. The seafood plate was mighty tasty, even at 35,000 feet, and filled with large shrimp and crab claws. Why more people didn't order these, I haven't a clue. I was on a lunch flight in business class once where my traveling companion and I were the only ones who'd ordered an FF meal. We got many dirty looks as we munched on our shrimp and crab, while everyone else was having lasagna.

Eastern also used to have a delicious tandoori chicken (which could be special-ordered as the Hindu non-veg meal, IIRC).
International Homo of Mystery
 
Womack17
Posts: 442
Joined: Mon Apr 05, 2004 6:49 pm

RE: Remembering The Old Days Of Airline Meals

Wed Nov 07, 2007 2:03 am

To this day a filet mignon covered in crab-cream sauce was this most flavorful and tender steak I have ever eaten ANYWHERE - plane or not. It was a FC meal aboard a Delta 72S ELP-ATL-RDU-RIC on March 30, 1995. I flew the ELP-RDU segment. The date and flight are memorable for other reasons, but that lunch entree was an exquisite piece of steak.
Oh how I miss Midway Airlines. A class act right to then end.
 
Indy
Posts: 3957
Joined: Thu Jan 20, 2005 1:37 pm

RE: Remembering The Old Days Of Airline Meals

Wed Nov 07, 2007 2:05 am

June of 1987 I flew MCO to MDW on Midway Airlines. They served the best sandwich in domestic I've ever had. If you are someone that worked for them back in the day then mad props to you. Best I've ever had in coach going anywhere.
Indy = Indianapolis and not Independence Air
 
vheca
Posts: 155
Joined: Wed May 30, 2007 9:20 pm

RE: Remembering The Old Days Of Airline Meals

Wed Nov 07, 2007 2:06 am

I remember a lasagne or something like that on a QF flight from Subang to Sydney in '84. But the most memorable thing on that fligth was the hard-boiled eggs served alongside in another container. It had green all over it. I turned back to parents (who were sitting behind us) and exclaimed that my food was moldy! It turned out to be a marinade or something to that effect! Sure scared the daylights out of a 10 year old kid!

But I used to love the fact that you got a half decent meal with all the soft drink (and later alcohol) that you could drink! Ah, bring that back and we will all feel better about flying again!

VH-ECA
PAX on-312,320,722,732,733,73H,73W,739,742,743,74C,752,753,762,789,AB4,CR7,D1C,D28,DHT,F27,L11
 
HPAEAA
Posts: 882
Joined: Mon May 08, 2006 7:24 am

RE: Remembering The Old Days Of Airline Meals

Wed Nov 07, 2007 2:16 am

I remember a Chicken Marsala on HP followed by a very tasty Vanilla Ice cream.... gone are those days.... another favorite was the Chicken Cesar wrap I got on AA from ORD to BOS, or the Uno's Pizza before they beat the hell out of it...
Why do I fly???
 
Airstud
Posts: 3106
Joined: Wed Nov 29, 2000 11:57 am

RE: Remembering The Old Days Of Airline Meals

Wed Nov 07, 2007 2:27 am

You know, just from reading this thread I now have my first vivid memories of the chicken Kiev they served on my TWA flight (BOS-LHR) in April 1985. Wow. That's more than 22 years ago and I just now remember it for the first time; now like it was yesterday.

I don't do a lot of long-haul flying these days (and by long-haul I mean longer than SAN-SFO) so I really have no clue what the meal sitch is on the legacy carriers. United was handing out these foil-sealed but somehow still frightening-looking breakfast ham wraps or some such sacrilege on an SFO-ORD flight back in 2003; not quite the TWA silver service we're talking about. Only other real meals I've had recently were all pre-9/11 (effective little chicken, salad, pecan pie arrangement on Air Canada, YYZ-SFO in January, 2000) and a delightful kosher meal aboard Mexicana en route to MEX. The following January a magnificent Spanish omelet was served as the kosher meal aboard a Canadian Airlines flight to Vancouver. I consider myself a Spanish omelet aficionado based on that one meal.

You know what I remember now is that on Mexicana, my kosher meal was handed to me before my gentile seatmate's (I of course waited till he was served); it seemed the most obvious logic for them to hand out the special meals first and then canvass the remaining seats. Except it apparently wasn't obvious to Canadian, whose system was apparently to hand out regular meals to everyone and THEN go up the aisle with the specials, making confiscations where necessary.

It's on my list of reasons why I believe CP failed all too easily.

(Now, on a USAir flight SFO-RDU in 1994, an accused breakfast consisted of "sausages" that I think were manufactured to be drain stoppers or misshapen ball bearings, and "pancakes" that I believe were squirted from a hose that squirts a continuous aerosol stream of foam rubber.)

And it's Pan Am who went out of business. Go try and figure the world.
Pancakes are delicious.
 
jcavinato
Posts: 392
Joined: Sun Jan 02, 2005 9:14 am

RE: Remembering The Old Days Of Airline Meals

Wed Nov 07, 2007 3:13 am

United used to have a late in the day Caravelle flight from CLE to BWI. They served steak, salad, vegetable, and dessert. This was on top of a drink serving. This was an all first class flight. I flew it several times between 1967 and 1969.
 
commavia
Posts: 9781
Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2005 2:30 am

RE: Remembering The Old Days Of Airline Meals

Wed Nov 07, 2007 3:18 am

I remember - scary - when you used to get Chateaubriand and caviar in First, and I have oh-so-many memories of full meal service (in Coach!) on flights to LGA, Hawaii, etc. I remember getting fairly good pasta dishes on the DFW-HNL flights (back when we had those incredible DC10s...miss those birds so much!), and I will never forget the personal pizza you used to get on DFW-LGA. That used to always be my favorite - as a kid, I would always ask for a second one.
 
ikramerica
Posts: 13772
Joined: Mon May 23, 2005 9:33 am

RE: Remembering The Old Days Of Airline Meals

Wed Nov 07, 2007 5:21 am

Check out BOAC Hong-Kong to Calcutta 1965 on the Northwestern archives.

It's actually a complete menu for Hong Kong to London, with 5 stops, with flight times for each stop, menus for each leg, etc.

Total flight time was 18 hours. Ground time was not spelled out.

Pretty interesting stuff on that website.
Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
 
krsw757
Posts: 61
Joined: Mon Aug 08, 2005 12:22 pm

RE: Remembering The Old Days Of Airline Meals

Wed Nov 07, 2007 5:36 am

I think it was mid 90's, we flew United ORD-MCO-ORD and my little brother was served a McDonalds happy meal with a United happy meal toy. Boy have times changed.
 
ikramerica
Posts: 13772
Joined: Mon May 23, 2005 9:33 am

RE: Remembering The Old Days Of Airline Meals

Wed Nov 07, 2007 5:44 am

Quoting Krsw757 (Reply 19):
Boy have times changed.

Yeah, now you have to buy your $8 happy meal in the airport, and the airfare is more than $16 cheaper round trip, even with the extra taxes we pay now.  Wink
Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
 
SkyexRamper
Posts: 1952
Joined: Sun Mar 27, 2005 12:17 am

RE: Remembering The Old Days Of Airline Meals

Wed Nov 07, 2007 5:56 am

Midwest Express, my first time traveling them when I was 10, MKE-DCA. 4 course meal of course. Cold Salmon, shrimp scampi, side salad and a to die for chocolate moose pie. mmmmmmmmmmmm...yumm
Good Luck to all Skyway Pilots! It's been great working with you!
 
pilotdude09
Posts: 1335
Joined: Mon May 02, 2005 12:35 am

RE: Remembering The Old Days Of Airline Meals

Wed Nov 07, 2007 6:18 am

Quoting VHECA (Reply 13):
But I used to love the fact that you got a half decent meal with all the soft drink (and later alcohol) that you could drink! Ah, bring that back and we will all feel better about flying again!

Qantas isnt too bad, longhaul food is pretty decent and longer domestic flight eg PER-SYD food is usually pretty good too!

But short domestic hops are terrible, either a dry panini or some disgusting concution that isnt edible.


I remember as a kid flying Air New Zealand and getting full meals on a 30min flight and on DUD-AKL you used to get really nice full hot meals  Smile

Even the Cafe style meals in the early 00's were pretty good!
Qantas, Still calling Australia Home.........
 
johnclipper
Posts: 465
Joined: Thu Aug 25, 2005 5:44 am

RE: Remembering The Old Days Of Airline Meals

Wed Nov 07, 2007 6:38 am

Piedmont used to have an excellent beef and wine stew with potatoes around the late 1980s. Pan Am also had a frequent flyer menu that could be ordered 24 hrs in advance at no extra cost. It didn't depend on status either. I still have the menu selection somewhere. I remember an excellend coach meal on CO when they were at their very worst in the late 1980s. DAB-EWR on a B727-100 evening flight - maybe 15 pax - lasagna on real china for everyone!
"Flown every aircraft since the Wright Flyer" (guys, if you take this literally, then you need to get a life...)
 
User avatar
czbbflier
Posts: 864
Joined: Fri Jul 07, 2006 1:28 pm

RE: Remembering The Old Days Of Airline Meals

Wed Nov 07, 2007 7:02 am

Quoting Airstud (Reply 15):
It's on my list of reasons why I believe CP failed all too easily.

Poor ol' Canadian Airlines: such lack of tact and etiquette...

I have never really paid much attention to the food itself... I'm one who loves airline food- I guess it's the experience and the decadence of eating anything at FL35. But what I do remember are the utensils and china! CP Air used to use sterling silver cutlery- just the knife had to weigh at least a couple of ounces! Meanwhile, Wardair used Royal Daulton fine china- I still have a tea set somewhere around.... I recall hearing that on the DC-10 flights, when turbulence delayed the meal service, sometimes everything got tossed down the garbage chute... and the Royal Daulton got smashed... oh the weight.... oh the waste.... oh the bygone luxury!

I've seen photos at the National Aviation Museum in Ottawa-YOW (YRO to be more precise) archives of a Trans Canada Airlines steward actually in the aisle carving a Baron of Beef for his happy passengers (well dressed but cramped a la Y-class or so it seemed). Must have been in the 1930s or maybe even as late as the 1950s.
 
Type-Rated
Posts: 3901
Joined: Sun Sep 19, 1999 5:18 am

RE: Remembering The Old Days Of Airline Meals

Wed Nov 07, 2007 7:30 am

Look at the Pan Am transcon from 1984.(New York-SFO) I imagine that the F/A's would have to pour the passengers off the plane as their menu was very liquor heavy! But what a nice selection of food they had!
Fly North Central Airlines..The route of the Northliners!
 
777law
Posts: 126
Joined: Fri Jul 28, 2006 9:16 am

RE: Remembering The Old Days Of Airline Meals

Wed Nov 07, 2007 8:07 am

I hate to say it, but flying in the US today is like flying in the third world when it comes to meals, service, passenger comfort, etc. The days of full meals on 1, 2 or 3 hour flights are still alive and well in Asia and elsewhere in the world, it's only in the US, Canada and Europe where flying has become a glorified bus-ride.

Last year I flew Bangkok to Chiang Mai on TG -- about a 1 hour flight at most. TG offered a full meal and drink service up to BKK and back. Pretty much any flight on SQ, KE, TG, etc. has meal service, top notch IFE and excellent attention to passengers. It'd be nice if US airlines could learn from their Asian competitors and put some of the fun back in flying.
If its not a Boeing I ain't going
 
AF1624
Posts: 498
Joined: Wed Jul 12, 2006 6:57 am

RE: Remembering The Old Days Of Airline Meals

Wed Nov 07, 2007 9:09 am

Well, in AF you do get meals onboard. And for free...

I must say I was quite surprised a few months ago when I saw that it was not common practice in the US. I thought it was normal everywhere. Now I'll just say I'm glad to be able to fly with AF. Their meals are also good, better than the meals they served few years ago.

Last time on CDG -> GIG, I had chicken with rice and coly flower, french cheese, a small bottle of wine, two pieces of bread, a "creme caramel". In the morning they served a complete breakfast with milk, bread, ham and cheese, marmelade, and tons of other things. And you still get self-service on flight, for free.

And all that, in Y, of course. It's the standard meal for international flights.

In a smaller flight, like CDG --> LIS, we get a sandwich (good one though), a soda can or a bottle of wine, or beer, a good cake for desert a some french cheese with bread. Full meal for free.

I'm quite happy with all that too, as it's the standard meal for inner-EU flights.

It's still an expensive airline though. I payed 850€ for CDG -> GIG and return (approx 1240$) and 450€ for CDG -> LIS and return (about 650$).
Cheers
 
tcfc424
Posts: 444
Joined: Mon Nov 17, 2003 11:56 am

RE: Remembering The Old Days Of Airline Meals

Wed Nov 07, 2007 9:58 am

I am too young to have remembered the "glory days" of regulated air travel, but I remember as a kid flying AUS-DEN (Stapleton) and being served food. I was in my teens, but I thought it was the greatest stuff ever. After the meal, however, if you couldn't find one of those small bars of soap they used to stock...I was the culprit...I used to grab a lot of them!

I also remember being an UM and sitting with a gate agent that was non-revving...he got a lot of free booze...said it was a bonus of flying in the back. He also showed me (back then) how to use regular headphones in the dual jack. One of the most memorable flights ever.
 
MadameConcorde
Posts: 9201
Joined: Fri Feb 23, 2007 5:08 pm

RE: Remembering The Old Days Of Airline Meals

Wed Nov 07, 2007 10:13 am

I remember the full meals they served on Air France regional flights in the 60's.
Other than Concorde, they were better than what they are now serving in First Class!
There was fresh lobster with fresh mayonnaise, fresh salad, fish or meat, vegetable accompaniments and wondrous desserts.

These days, I enjoy the meals served in First Class on board the United flights to Hawaii and back with the warm cookies, the ice cream with toppings and Mai Tais.
Hawaii based crew are by far the nicest and best ones even on the red-eyes which are no fun to be on. They make the red eyes feel better.
I will soon be returning to my islands in the sun!
There was a better way to fly it was called Concorde
 
ltbewr
Posts: 12423
Joined: Thu Jan 29, 2004 1:24 pm

RE: Remembering The Old Days Of Airline Meals

Wed Nov 07, 2007 10:21 am

Lets face reality - most airline meals years ago or but for some Asian airlines even today, were not the best of quality or of healthy eating. Most meals meant a dried out roll, wimpy salads, mystery 'beef' or 'chicken' with mystery bland sauce and eating in cramped spaces of many flights. Usually dessert was the only thing they couldn't screw up.
Complaints of airline food are a part of airline history. I remember radio ads for PeopleExpress in the mid-1980's mocking airline food which they didn't offer on their flights. As deregulation kicked in and LCC's came into the market, something had to give and that was food. To me food also was lost as more flights became hub-and-spoke rather than non-stops. Add to that the increasing demands for special meals for particular diets for health, taste, ethnic and religious reasons, and it became pretty easy to drop meals on most flights under 5 hours. The best meals I ever had on a airline was when I brought a sandwich and snacks with me on the flight.
Still, I wish there were more meals on flights as we now have to spend more time stuck in traffic and weather delays, the longer time we now must allow for check in, boarding line up (especially on WN) and security, not having enough time to get a decent meal before a flight and so on especially if flying over a usual meal time.
Now if would could go back to where we could bring on a bottle of water...
 
melpax
Posts: 1728
Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2005 12:13 am

RE: Remembering The Old Days Of Airline Meals

Wed Nov 07, 2007 10:43 am

Quoting Pilotdude09 (Reply 22):
But short domestic hops are terrible, either a dry panini or some disgusting concution that isnt edible.

Ahh, those horrid oatmeal cookies with the dip........ At least QF still has free booze after 5PM on weeknights. Remember flying MEL-HBA back in 1999 or so, short 45 minute flight, we still got a full meal......
Essendon - Whatever it takes......
 
tonystan
Posts: 1279
Joined: Sat Jan 07, 2006 7:39 am

RE: Remembering The Old Days Of Airline Meals

Wed Nov 07, 2007 10:55 am

Its funny to think that as late as 2002 Aer Lingus were still providing a full hot Irish breakfast to every passenger on its early morning DUB-LHR-DUB flights....a sector time of between 45 to 50 minutes!!!!!
However, BA are back to providing a hot breakfast on its domestic morning flights!
On Aer Lingus you can still get the same hot breakfast as pre 2002 days only at a fair price of €8!!!
But then European service standards are still a tad better then those of the states.
My views are my own and do not reflect any other person or organisation.
 
warren747sp
Posts: 981
Joined: Sat Feb 21, 2004 7:51 am

RE: Remembering The Old Days Of Airline Meals

Wed Nov 07, 2007 10:56 am

First class flight on the old 744 AE flight from TPE-YVR. They use to serve shark-fin soup and other fine Chinese delicacies. THose were the days!
747SP
 
User avatar
na747
Posts: 90
Joined: Mon Jul 16, 2007 8:41 pm

RE: Remembering The Old Days Of Airline Meals

Wed Nov 07, 2007 11:58 am

Back in the mid 80's I remember getting Pigs-in-a-Blanket (sausage wrapped in a pancake) a few times on BTR-DFW flights; those flights lasted an average of only 1 hour.

[Edited 2007-11-07 03:58:56]
 
WDBRR
Posts: 599
Joined: Tue Jan 25, 2005 11:28 am

RE: Remembering The Old Days Of Airline Meals

Wed Nov 07, 2007 12:11 pm

My father used to fly EWR-BOS in the early 80's on EA,
said he used to get a full meal for a 1 hour flight.
 
jumpjet
Posts: 325
Joined: Thu Feb 10, 2005 8:11 pm

RE: Remembering The Old Days Of Airline Meals

Wed Nov 07, 2007 12:18 pm

I'm seeing more and more people unpacking their own "picnics" on flights these days. Given the awful meals often supplied on flights within Europe - in reality rubbery dry rolls where the main ingredient has to be sawdust - I'm hardly surprised.

I've recently flown on Alitalia and TAP on flights within Europe and the snack food that they served (joke!) seriously defied description. As most of these rolls and sandwiches were immediately discarded by disgruntled passengers, why do the airlines actually bother with the financial outlay in the first place. They'd be better off saving their money! On a Thomsonfly trip in the summer, a decent hot meal could be ordered in advance if it was required. I believe that this is a much better approach than cutting corners and making a complete hash of it. If you want a meal, then pay for it, if you don't then fair enough, go without.

In reality it's our own fault isn't it? If we want the very cheapest possible tickets, then airlines are going to shave the service elements back to the very bare minimum. Perhaps Ryanair has got it right after all...

Incidentally, am I right in believing that Flybe are now banning passengers from taking their own food on board?
 
User avatar
PipoA380
Posts: 1538
Joined: Wed May 18, 2005 1:36 am

RE: Remembering The Old Days Of Airline Meals

Wed Nov 07, 2007 12:25 pm

Ah the good old times of Swissair when flying overseas and you had that incredible breakfast that made you feel home again! That's what I remember when flying them when I was a kid. I looked forward to flying Swissair just for the food!

I flew on Swiss last week ZRH-LAX and on the dayflight, a decent meal was served at 2PM after takeoff, and then, 11 hours later, I was expecting something to eat but we got a lousy pizza in a carton box.... Dissapointing!!

Philippe
It's not about AIRBUS. it's not about BOEING. It's all about the beauty of FLYING.
 
CV990
Posts: 4224
Joined: Sat May 22, 1999 3:49 am

RE: Remembering The Old Days Of Airline Meals

Wed Nov 07, 2007 12:27 pm

Hi!

Yes, yes, those were really great days in civil aviation. For me the best example of that is a memorable flight I had back to 1980, let me tell how it went. I started to plan an "aviation enthusiast" trip with a good friend of mine to Holand and UK. We had friends in UK and I had family living in Amsterdam, so we went to a travel agency and tried to find the best and most unique flights possible. At that time it was possible to fly in some pretty nice airlines around Europe because they had traffic rights between european airports. So we managed to fly the following itenerary:

LIS/AMS - RG
AMS/LHR - GF
LGW/AMS - BN (*)
AMS/LIS - (**)

First flight was on the 2nd. September 1980 with RG and on board a spectacular Boeing 707-320C PP-VJH. After we boarded it was time to leave our stand, taxi into position, we used RN36, the shorter one and we had an amazing take-of!!! After some minutes the F/A came with a bag of honey-peanuts and asked what we wanted, I asked for a Pepsi can and we kept going on. Then it was time for our meal, first the F/A passed with smelly hot towels for each passenger, then he gave a personal menu also to each passenger and the meal was:

Fillet Mignon with Pilaf Rice
Potatoe salad with pieces of pineaple
Pastries
Brasilian Coffee.

All this came a few minutes latter, served in Pirex and with silverware! It was an amazing meal all together, and I was flying COACH!!!


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Pedro Aragão



Now regarding the other flights, (*) I had reservations on BN 747 flight at that time it came from DFW to LGW and AMS, unfortunately on the day of my flight it came so late that BN cancelled...so I had to fly with BR in a Bac 1-11-500, at that time didn't enjoy a lot the idea, but now after 27 years I'm glad I flew the Bac!!!
(**) When I returned to AMS I was supposed to fly KL direct to LIS, but I went to KL counter in Schiphol and changed my flight, flying AMS to MAD and then MAD to LIS. They did change my flight and next day on my KL to MAD I was flying on PH-DNC, a DC-9-15, the "shorty" and it was a very exciting moment!
Anyway, these are records from my youth flying times!
Regards
CV990, the Maserati of the skies!
 
Mennix
Posts: 64
Joined: Thu Dec 21, 2006 6:54 pm

RE: Remembering The Old Days Of Airline Meals

Wed Nov 07, 2007 12:29 pm

In those "good old days" I was flying only coach. The food was ALWAYS terrible. If you guys go on a some hours flight today which is - compared to development of income - only a percentage of what it did cost in those "good old days" you might able to buy a sandwich upfront your flight. You're the consumer and you decided that you prefer cheap flights instead of full service ( and full price ) flights.

However if you're flying Business or First, meals are still there and still good. Usually long haul Business should be far better than domestic First. However I came in some weeks ago from DUS to DTW flying C and connected to LAS flying F. The steak on the DTW-LAS leg was far better than what I got transatlantic.
 
columbia107
Posts: 328
Joined: Thu Aug 19, 2004 4:42 am

RE: Remembering The Old Days Of Airline Meals

Wed Nov 07, 2007 1:29 pm

Quoting PipoA380 (Reply 37):
Ah the good old times of Swissair when flying overseas and you had that incredible breakfast that made you feel home again! That's what I remember when flying them when I was a kid. I looked forward to flying Swissair just for the food!

Even in flights from Malaga to Zurich you were served a decent hot meal which consisted of a starter, a more than generous main course, limitless hot bread rolls, dessert, coffee or tea and liquors. And to top it all up - yes Swiss chocolates which normally were wrapped in gold paper and also of a generous size. All of this served on decent crockery and the availability of stainless steel eating utensils. The air hostesses were smartly dressed, charming and polite which made them even more physically attractively. even when you travelled economy. Everyone got a personal copy fo the its in flight magazine.

I will never forget the hot cannelloni I was once served.

Regrettably, all of this took place during the first half of the 90s.

In those days it was a treat to fly Swissair - even if the cost was slightly higher than flying with one of its competitors.
In God we trust
 
NwAflyer07
Posts: 139
Joined: Sun Oct 14, 2007 3:00 pm

RE: Remembering The Old Days Of Airline Meals

Wed Nov 07, 2007 1:41 pm

Quoting Pnwtraveler (Reply 7):
I remember clearly being so excited I couldn't sleep.

haha i still get like that even today. Im wayyy to young to remember the good ol days of airline service, but i sure wish i could have been around to see them. I did live through the final days of meal service in coach, but the food was nothing compared to what the 60s and 70s had.
 
davidlc3
Posts: 82
Joined: Wed Jun 20, 2007 7:30 am

RE: Remembering The Old Days Of Airline Meals

Wed Nov 07, 2007 2:31 pm

The first meal I served once US took over PI was on 1077 CLT DFW - a flight I had flown for years. In August we served corned beef on bagel with sausage soup! This was actually an improvement over the egg salad and ham on white roll with cheetos that we served as a snack!

During the same time period DL was HAND-SERVING (no carts) a 727 with a full size meal tray in coach! Those girls ran their patootises off.

In 1982 I had a sandwich snack from DFW - LBB on an AA 727!
 
davidlc3
Posts: 82
Joined: Wed Jun 20, 2007 7:30 am

RE: Remembering The Old Days Of Airline Meals

Wed Nov 07, 2007 2:41 pm

Quoting Columbia107 (Reply 40):
In those days it was a treat to fly Swissair

In the early 90's I flew Swissair from Zurich - Stuttgart on a DC10 in coach - they served HUGE, warm croissants and coffee on CHINA in Coach!
 
lucianflyboy
Posts: 147
Joined: Wed Jun 22, 2005 11:30 pm

RE: Remembering The Old Days Of Airline Meals

Wed Nov 07, 2007 3:09 pm

I think the most interesting meal service I had 'back in the day' was on on JM flying from MBJ to MIA. It was an 930am departure and they had a FULL breakfast. There was a choice of a traditional breakfast (eggs, bacon, etc) or a traditional Jamaican breakfast of fried fish, Johnny Cakes (fried yeast cakes or bake as the Trinis would say) steamed spinach and something else.

I was coming from weight and balance training with them and they crew knew me. I got 2 servings cause they had extras. The weird thing was they did this on a back A310 flyin for just 1 hr 20 mins. They were husseling!! They did the first beverage service, then breakfast, then a champagne/rum punch service, then duty free. They scrambled about the plane like mad ants! We were on finals in MIA and they were still picking up trays.

It was crazy but fun!!
 
2175301
Posts: 722
Joined: Wed May 16, 2007 11:19 am

RE: Remembering The Old Days Of Airline Meals

Wed Nov 07, 2007 3:19 pm

I started flying within the US in the mid 70's. In those days meals were served in coach on a real plate with real silverware and a real glass or cup. Meals were 3 to 4 courses and ample. You could tell what you were eating, and it was fairly good (at least on par with low cost restaurants), and sometimes great.

I have experienced the decline from those great days.

Today, the best food within the US that I know of is on Midwest Airlines. They sell a limited number of meals (often as a wrap) - but clearly food (and smells great too). Too bad with my current food allergies I cannot eat any of it (or the cookies) and just much on the stuff I bring along.

Unfortunately, the general public has clearly communicated to the airlines that food on flights does not matter; but being able to get a can of soda does.
 
wdleiser
Posts: 865
Joined: Thu Apr 22, 2004 9:32 am

RE: Remembering The Old Days Of Airline Meals

Wed Nov 07, 2007 3:19 pm

Quoting Krsw757 (Reply 19):
I think it was mid 90's, we flew United ORD-MCO-ORD and my little brother was served a McDonalds happy meal with a United happy meal toy. Boy have times changed.

I used to get those all the time back in the 90's as a UM. I really do miss those days.
 
EXAAUADL
Posts: 1740
Joined: Tue Jun 13, 2006 3:48 am

RE: Remembering The Old Days Of Airline Meals

Wed Nov 07, 2007 3:20 pm

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 10):
TWA used to offer a special menu to their frequent flyers, no matter what their status, as long as you ordered it 24 hours in advance. The seafood plate was mighty tasty,

I remember that meal well.


In 1992, I flew TWA STL-BOS and all we got was a sandwich, with Buddig lunch meat, nothing else. I remmeber thinking how poor that was.....now, well.

In 1990 ORD-YYZ on AC in Y a 55 min flight, got shrimp cocktail with my meal

Eastern use to serve hot soup in the 1980s. 1982, ORD-MCO sub sandwich and veggie soup.
 
EXAAUADL
Posts: 1740
Joined: Tue Jun 13, 2006 3:48 am

RE: Remembering The Old Days Of Airline Meals

Wed Nov 07, 2007 3:21 pm

QF still serves meals on most flights.
 
jfidler
Posts: 359
Joined: Wed Aug 23, 2000 3:32 pm

RE: Remembering The Old Days Of Airline Meals

Wed Nov 07, 2007 3:24 pm

Maybe someone can confirm or deny my memory from the mid 1980's.

Years ago, when I was quite young, I flew SEA-ANC on AS. The food was excellent -- better than on the transcon flights we took to SEA on some other carrier (don't remember which one).

Anyway, I do remember that someone said that AS was known for excellent meals, and the reason is that they serve the same meals at their board meetings. Any truth in this?