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-   -   Question: Is there any point to ordering special meals...? (https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/air-canada-aeroplan/1688135-there-any-point-ordering-special-meals.html)

fly2nrt Jun 16, 15 10:18 am

Is there any point to ordering special meals...?
 
I'm a vegan. Now mind you, I'm not what I call a "militant vegan".... I go with the flow, if there's something I can't eat, then I just don't eat it but I don't particularly make a big fuss and I never EVER want people to go out of their way for me.

Flew AC for the first time ever in biz YYZ-TLV-YYZ. Called AC and requested a vegan meal. 787 was nice, best biz seats anywhere, crew were mediocre at best, food... well.

On the way out:
Appetizer: Prosciuotto & Melon (On a flight to Israel! :D)
Main: Couscous and Vegetable stir fry with a side salad... with feta.
Post: Cheese plate
Desert: Cheesecake

One the way back:
Appetizer: Smoked Salmon
Main: "Vegetable" Ravioli
Post: Cheese Plate
Desert: Pineapple Tart

So my guess is that with the exception of the main plate, the don't do anything else? I mean... what's the point of that?? I can't imagine that if you order a kosher meal they start you off with prosciutto and melon.

jantaoYVR Jun 16, 15 10:45 am


Originally Posted by fly2nrt (Post 24978679)
I'm a vegan. Now mind you, I'm not what I call a "militant vegan".... I go with the flow, if there's something I can't eat, then I just don't eat it but I don't particularly make a big fuss and I never EVER want people to go out of their way for me.

Flew AC for the first time ever in biz YYZ-TLV-YYZ. Called AC and requested a vegan meal. 787 was nice, best biz seats anywhere, crew were mediocre at best, food... well.

On the way out:
Appetizer: Prosciuotto & Melon (On a flight to Israel! :D)
Main: Couscous and Vegetable stir fry with a side salad... with feta.
Post: Cheese plate
Desert: Cheesecake

One the way back:
Appetizer: Smoked Salmon
Main: "Vegetable" Ravioli
Post: Cheese Plate
Desert: Pineapple Tart

So my guess is that with the exception of the main plate, the don't do anything else? I mean... what's the point of that?? I can't imagine that if you order a kosher meal they start you off with prosciutto and melon.

Sounds like what happened was they didn't load your SPML. There are several reports on this board of the frustrating inconsistency in SPMLs getting loaded.

Seat13F_AC_CRJ Jun 16, 15 10:51 am

From what I have observed when travelling on AC (and recently on TK), ordering a SPML when seated in Y means that you have the pleasure of eating and waiting until you are finished before the drinks cart shows up.
--
13F

Adam Smith Jun 16, 15 11:51 am


Originally Posted by jantaoYVR (Post 24978872)
Sounds like what happened was they didn't load your SPML. There are several reports on this board of the frustrating inconsistency in SPMLs getting loaded.

A colleague of mine, who is also SE and travels a lot, has a standing order for a special meal (fruit plate - pretty much the healthy option breakfast meal).

He tells me they run at about 50/50 in terms of actually getting his meal on the plane.

YEGTigger Jun 16, 15 12:09 pm

And don't fly Rouge. My wife who is a Celiac, is 0% on our Rouge flights at getting her Gluten Free meal loaded. Sometimes the crew has been great and cobbled together something decent between the items and the buy on board stuff. Sometimes they could care less.

SYM Jun 16, 15 12:51 pm

My brother in law read somewhere that because SPMLs are prepared individually they tend to taste better. He thought he would be clever and ordered the Kosher special meal on a longhaul (he is not Jewish). But he neglected to check the date - it was Passover. So his meal was a plate of matzoh bread and some grapes

I can't recall if he experienced a sudden conversion or just went hungry

catgirl Jun 16, 15 12:54 pm


Originally Posted by SYM (Post 24979698)
My brother in law read somewhere that because SPMLs are prepared individually they tend to taste better. He thought he would be clever and ordered the Kosher special meal on a longhaul (he is not Jewish). But he neglected to check the date - it was Passover. So his meal was a plate of matzoh bread and some grapes

I can't recall if he experienced a sudden conversion or just went hungry

Thank you for my laugh for the day!

superangrypenguin Jun 16, 15 1:08 pm


Originally Posted by YEGTigger (Post 24979421)
And don't fly Rouge. My wife who is a Celiac, is 0% on our Rouge flights at getting her Gluten Free meal loaded. Sometimes the crew has been great and cobbled together something decent between the items and the buy on board stuff. Sometimes they could care less.

This is not Rouge specific.

NLML/GLML are the same meal. I order the NLML all the time. I'm now batting 80%, which is an improvement.

hazcaddy Jun 16, 15 1:33 pm

A note for those flying BR: their J meals are high carb / high fat because (according to the SD) their primary customer in J is the Taiwanese businessman who wants this.

Mrs Haz is on a low carb / low fat diet and could eat hardly anything. They tried to do their very best with what they had on board, but it's not like you can pop out to Loblaws at 38,000 ft so she had slim pickings.

A special meal would have been the answer.

CanuckFlyer Jun 16, 15 1:42 pm

Mr. CanuckFlyer and I are both vegan and he is gluten-free (celiac).

I have a standing order for the VGML (vegan) and he has a standing order for the FPML (fruit platter), the latter because it's the only way to guarantee his meal will be both vegan AND gf. We are about 90% for getting our meals as ordered. Sometimes it's not there on the outbound but it's there on the return, in spite of no intervention. Sometimes it's there for one of us but not the other, in spite of being on the same booking. Most of the time there's no problem though.

When there is a problem, the crew is usually very helpful about cobbling something together, so neither of us has starved yet. Anyone with a binding dietary restriction is well advised to ALWAYS carry something to help you get by in a pinch. Our briefcases are always stocked with vega bars, which are yummy and healthy.

On a recent Rouge flight, we came across a flight attendant who is gluten-free (celiac). He said crew isn't permitted to order special meals, so he has to fend for himself and bring his own food on board. This must be a hassle when returning from some remote location.

superangrypenguin Jun 16, 15 1:55 pm


Originally Posted by hazcaddy (Post 24979954)
A note for those flying BR: their J meals are high carb / high fat because (according to the SD) their primary customer in J is the Taiwanese businessman who wants this.

Mrs Haz is on a low carb / low fat diet and could eat hardly anything. They tried to do their very best with what they had on board, but it's not like you can pop out to Loblaws at 38,000 ft so she had slim pickings.

A special meal would have been the answer.

Just contact BR, tell them the issue and they will custom make you a meal. They did for me after I contacted the Toronto BR office. I can't have dairy and their NLML was Western. I wanted an asian NLML and they custom made me one :)

arf04 Jun 16, 15 1:57 pm

My own experience with VGML J meals is that it's unusual for them to show up as ordered (mind you, I haven't flown in J on AC in over a year so perhaps things have changed). I have had much better luck with DL and UA. The past year and a bit we've flown BA and AC in PE (WT+ on BA) and BA had no trouble getting us the right meals, AC missed me on one flight but my wife got one, and we both got one on another.

The best advice is to be prepared to not get your meal to avoid disappointment.

spd476 Jun 16, 15 2:03 pm

My wife is violently allergic to strawberries and mildly allergic to shellfish. We are flying in PE from YYZ to CDG and back later this year. Do we or should we make any special meal requests? Shellfish is easy to avoid, but strawberries can be an issue sometime. Even something with a strawberry garnish on the edge of a plate is a problem.

Once we flew on United and their breakfast consisted of strawberry yogurt and a pastry with strawberries on it. Luckily they had a leftover special meal so she got something to eat. The last time we flew on Lufthansa, we told them no strawberries. None of the regualr meals had strawberries on them. However, they gave her special meals that were not good. She's been hesitant to request special meals since then.

superangrypenguin Jun 16, 15 2:20 pm


Originally Posted by spd476 (Post 24980124)
My wife is violently allergic to strawberries and mildly allergic to shellfish. We are flying in PE from YYZ to CDG and back later this year. Do we or should we make any special meal requests? Shellfish is easy to avoid, but strawberries can be an issue sometime. Even something with a strawberry garnish on the edge of a plate is a problem.

Once we flew on United and their breakfast consisted of strawberry yogurt and a pastry with strawberries on it. Luckily they had a leftover special meal so she got something to eat. The last time we flew on Lufthansa, we told them no strawberries. None of the regualr meals had strawberries on them. However, they gave her special meals that were not good. She's been hesitant to request special meals since then.

You're better off bringing your own meal.

AFAIK, no airline can 100% guarantee that item X is not on any special meal. If she's that violently allergic, then you shouldn't chance it (IMHO). I don't even know where to begin to specify that one is allergic to strawberries. I've seen them on many fruit plates...

For a list of special meals, see:
http://www.aircanada.com/en/travelin...cialmeals.html

karachi Jun 16, 15 3:36 pm

I used to order the AVML meal because you'd usually get some decent Indian food .. far better than the usual choices. Then i had some horrible meals and stopped that.
if you have a couple of G&T's after takeoff and some decent Sauvignon Blanc, the meals tastes ok.


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