I'm starting back up with UA and will be taking to international trips in C this month. I'm a vegetarian (lacto-ovo) and ordered vegetarian meals for both trips (asian vegetarian for SFO-PEK and standard vegetarian for SFO-LHR-IAD)
How are the various vegetarian options on UA? Of the various different selections (lacto-ovo, vegan, hindu, asian, etc) which yield consistently better meals?
I know that on some airlines I'm better off sticking with the standard meal and eating around the meat. Is UA the same?
yay! I'm hoping that SFO-LHR-IAD doesn't mean connection in LHR but rather that you wanted to go there for something.
Anyway, on transcontinental UA the food isn't great but it's not bad if you're not too sophisticated for the flight. I'm sure on C Int'l you'll be fine. Just be sure to double check before the flight that they actually put in the veg order as on one segment (LAX-MCO) they couldn't find my name on the veg list and just said "don't eat the bacon that comes with breakfast". Hehe.
Quick correction to previous post: Asian Veg and Indian Veg meals do not contain fish, at least they never have the dozens and dozens of times I've requested them. United's web site (check under In Flight Services) lists the veggie meal options and the types of food that is included as well as excluded. Meat/Fish is a standard exclusion for all veg meals. In 10+ years flying United as a Vegetarian, I've never had a veg meal with fish and I always ask for either the Indian or Asian veg meal. There *are* non veg Asian meal options that contain fish. I'm sure it's not unheard of for catering to mix up the two.
I prefer the "Indian" veg meals over the "Asian" as I find them more flavorful on average. Be sure to be specific when requesting them from the CSR. They have to scroll a bit to find the Indian veg option.
Be aware that catering may substitute the Indian or Asian veg options for the more standard veg meals if they don't have them on hand or if the airport station doesn't ever carry them. This has only been a problem for me at smaller airports, so you should do fine with your above itinerary.
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My wife has rarely been satifsfied with the vegetarian meals on UA in either Y or C. The fruit plates are universally bad, with the fruit having had all semblance of taste removed through freezing and thawing. We now just order standard meals and she gets extra veggies (which are not the greatest, but better than the fruit) and gives me what she won't eat. This option may not be viable if you're a "strict" vegetarian, but it's OK if you're not (especially if you're traveling with a carnivore).
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Originally Posted by smumbo123
Hindu Veg meal is the Indian Veg meal
Is it? I always understood it to mean that the Hindu vegetarian meal was NONspicy, whereas the Indian was.
We had an Indian veg meal on our SIN-NRT flight this past weekend, and *I* thought our breakfast was dandy. Some unidentifiable starch dishes but there was definitely some kick to it (and it even included some visible red peppers). The "Indian veg snack" however, left a lot to be desired. Their idea of an Indian veg snack was crustless white bread sandwiches made of cucumber and tomato slices, and asparagus spears. And since it was vegan we couldn't figure out what they used to keep the bread sticking to the vegetables, because it wasn't mayonnaise.
The few Hindu veg meals I've had eons ago were not at ALL spicy. Bland, bland, bland.
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A few comments:
Hindu meal is in theory not necessarily vegetarian, but the Indian Veg meal is. Hindu meal definitely excludes Beef, but may include chicken or seafood. That said, in practice the two meals are often combined into one. Similarly, Indian and Asian veg are sometimes combined together (eg breakfast service out of BKK) and sometimes all are replaced by a fruit plate (domestic snack services sometimes do this).
Indian veg meal is definitely not a VEGAN meal-- it often contains paneer, an Indian cheese which is used in dishes with spinach or other vegetables.
It is difficult to make generalizations about domestic v. international. In my experience, it depends on catering station. My general eval of the Indian Veg meal out of various major stations is as follows: (haven't done Asian regularly in a couple of years so won't say). Unless otherwise specified, this applies to lunch/dinner flights only and the meal consists of rice with several Indian curries.
HKG, LHR, FRA: Outstanding
NRT, JFK, LAX, PHL: Very good.
SIN (breakfast only): Very good (Indian breakfast).
IAD: inconsistent, ranging from very good to passable.
ORD: inconsistent, ranging from passable to disguisting. My last flight from ORD-KIX last month was miserable-- I got roasted potatoes and steamed zucchini as my entree.
EWR, HNL: poor
DEN, PDX: never really an Indian meal, always replaced by a fruit plate snack with nuts sprinkled on top in my experience-- which is not too bad if you're not hungry.
BKK: "Indian" Breakfast consists of oily spring rolls and stir-fried vegetables. Disguisting.
I'm a Vegetarian (not Vegan) and usually order the Hindu meal on domestic. I think Indian Vegetarian is "Asian Vegetarian" on LH. I'm not sure UA has a specific Indian Vegetarian option (although the Hindu meal has always been equivalent).
My UA Hindu meal has always been vegetarian and come to think of it Vegan for the most part. I am fairly pleased with what I get on domestic and to/from LHR. Also it's WAY better than the miserable options I had on American the one RT I did transcon with them.
It's usually not bland (except if it's a rice pilaf, and that's not too bad), and they also give you dessert (Indian cake called Halwa). It is usually quite difficult to pull out of the plastic wrapper it comes in, but after that, it's pretty good!
On the slightly shorter flights (SFO-ORD or shorter), you usually end up with some "just fruit" stuff and perhaps eating veggie parts of the std meal may work out (I still stick to the Hindu meal).
Hope this helps.
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I've been grappling with finding an appropriate special meal to order, since I quit red meat and pork a few months ago. Poultry, fish, and dairy are fine. But I don't know what special meal would take into account the above and not doom me to possibly bland, skimpy options. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
The vast majority of the lacto-ovo veg meals I've had over the last year in C to and from Asia have been dire. UA also assumes that ordering a vegetarian meal must mean you are some kind of health freak, so you don't get the normal dessert. Instead they give you some crappy fruit or sawdust cookies when all you really wanted was the normal piece of cheesecake like everybody else.
Coming from LHR, Indian (or Hindu or whatever they are calling it) is definitely the way to go. You'll get actual Indian food (maybe even cooked by an Indian or Pakistani).
I used to always order Asian Veg or Hindu, but on US originating flights it always seemed to be substituted with a Vegan meal, so I quit. All the Vegan meals I've had on UA have been terrible. It's usually something like sauteed red pepper strips over white rice or sauteed mixed vegetables. The kind of thing your Aunt Mildred might dream up if you made her cook you a vegetarian meal. I'd love to send a few cookbooks to these catering people.
Asian vegetarian in C should be easy- some vegetarian sushi, miso soup, yaki tofu, maybe some noodles, rice. How hard is that?
Surprisingly, I don't think I've ever had a good meal out of BKK, on any carrier, on any route, in any class.