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Old Jun 20, 12, 8:30 am   #1
 
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Air China Business Class: Pre-Ordered Custom Meals

Hi All,

Last time I flew CA in Business JFK-PEK, I noticed the in flight menu mentioning the option of pre-ordering a meal of your choosing prior to your flight. These weren't for special dietary restrictions (as far as I could tell); they were just a number of (quite tasty-looking, restaurant-style) dishes one could select from by calling ahead.

I meant to try out the service on my return flight, but a last minute schedule change had me flying back on CO instead.

Here's a bit of info and the current menu from the CA website.

Just wondering if anyone has experience with this service? How was the selection and food quality in practice? Better than the typical options offered onboard? How popular is this service?

As an aside, does any other airline offer such a service? I'm not aware of any.

Cheers!
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Old Jun 20, 12, 8:13 pm   #2
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SQ book the cook in IFC and biz. CX has something similar. AF/KLM allow you to order higher quality paid meals in Y and Y+.
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Old Jun 20, 12, 9:14 pm   #3
 
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
SQ book the cook in IFC and biz. CX has something similar. AF/KLM allow you to order higher quality paid meals in Y and Y+.
Ah, thanks very much. Have you tried the CA offering before? How do the dishes compare to the regular onboard offerings?
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Old Jun 20, 12, 9:57 pm   #4
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No, sorry, but I've had good experiences with SQ's book the cook in both IFC and biz. It's a way to guarantee your choice. They've sometimes let me do the book the cook main course as an extra course in order to sample one of their regular offerings, so that I end up with a fish course and a meat course, but of course this is after everyone else has picked their choices if they're eating from the regular offerings.
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Old Jun 21, 12, 6:35 am   #5
 
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
No, sorry, but I've had good experiences with SQ's book the cook in both IFC and biz. It's a way to guarantee your choice. They've sometimes let me do the book the cook main course as an extra course in order to sample one of their regular offerings, so that I end up with a fish course and a meat course, but of course this is after everyone else has picked their choices if they're eating from the regular offerings.
Thanks for the colour. So on SQ, how would you rate the book the cook food quality compared to the regular offerings? And approximately what percent of passengers choose this option would you say?
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Old Jun 21, 12, 8:19 am   #6
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Originally Posted by AC888 View Post
Thanks for the colour. So on SQ, how would you rate the book the cook food quality compared to the regular offerings? And approximately what percent of passengers choose this option would you say?
I find the quality similar and IME maybe a third of passengers do book the cook. The SQ book the cook menus don't seem to change often if at all with some classic dishes apparently always available, although the choices do depend somewhat on one's departure airport. You only order the main course you want, with about a half dozen Western and a half dozen Asian choices available, plus sometimes some additional smaller meal choices such as sandwiches that seem to be meant to be snack options. Your appetizer, salad (and hopefully satay) will be the same as everyone's elses and similarly for the fruit, cheese, and dessert choices. Of the western choices, there's usually lobster, fish, lamb or veal, and beef among the options, but the precise dishes vary based on the airport.

By contrast, on the AF/KLM pay for a premium meal in Y and Y+ system, you order an entire special meal that is different from their regular offerings.
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Old Jun 21, 12, 8:32 am   #7
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
I find the quality similar and IME maybe a third of passengers do book the cook. The SQ book the cook menus don't seem to change often if at all with some classic dishes apparently always available, although the choices do depend somewhat on one's departure airport. You only order the main course you want, with about a half dozen Western and a half dozen Asian choices available, plus sometimes some additional smaller meal choices such as sandwiches that seem to be meant to be snack options. Your appetizer, salad (and hopefully satay) will be the same as everyone's elses and similarly for the fruit, cheese, and dessert choices. Of the western choices, there's usually lobster, fish, lamb or veal, and beef among the options, but the precise dishes vary based on the airport.

By contrast, on the AF/KLM pay for a premium meal in Y and Y+ system, you order an entire special meal that is different from their regular offerings.
Thanks very much for the insight! Look forward to trying it someday.
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