Vegetarian - Intl Business Class

 

Old Jun 24, 11, 9:39 am
  #1  
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Vegetarian - Intl Business Class

I have a co-worker flying with me LAX-PVG & NRT-LAX. He is a vegetarian. One item in the menu always seems to be cheese ravioli or close to it. So I think he should be ok. But if he does inform AA about this diet restriction does anybody know what menu looks like for a vegetarian?
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Old Jun 24, 11, 9:46 am
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Originally Posted by kman99 View Post
I have a co-worker flying with me LAX-PVG & NRT-LAX. He is a vegetarian. One item in the menu always seems to be cheese ravioli or close to it. So I think he should be ok. But if he does inform AA about this diet restriction does anybody know what menu looks like for a vegetarian?
He can always call AA and request a special meal (I've done it a few times) but it must be done at least 24 hours prior to flying.

http://www.aa.com/i18n/travelInforma...ecialMeals.jsp
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Old Jun 24, 11, 10:14 am
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Originally Posted by kman99 View Post
I have a co-worker flying with me LAX-PVG & NRT-LAX. He is a vegetarian. One item in the menu always seems to be cheese ravioli or close to it. So I think he should be ok. But if he does inform AA about this diet restriction does anybody know what menu looks like for a vegetarian?
I am a lifelong vegetarian, and the AA veg meals are embarrassing. I've flown British Airways and Virgin and received wonderful works of art flying in business or first. However, my experience on AA's long haul flights has been awful.

This year on a few transatlantic flights (JFK-ZRH, JFK-LHR, etc) they have offered a small green sald, followed by steamed veggies (which after being in the heater for hours are literally mush) over white rice. At best, steamed veggies over white rice is bland. After having been prepared hours earlier it's actually inedible. So even when flying up front I have been bringing my own food.

Perhaps the TPAC flight menu is different. I suggest ordering the veg meal and bringing a backup of a sandwich or two and some other snacks.
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Old Jun 24, 11, 10:20 am
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Originally Posted by jefftf1 View Post
I am a lifelong vegetarian, and the AA veg meals are embarrassing. I've flown British Airways and Virgin and received wonderful works of art flying in business or first. However, my experience on AA's long haul flights has been awful.

This year on a few transatlantic flights (JFK-ZRH, JFK-LHR, etc) they have offered a small green sald, followed by steamed veggies (which after being in the heater for hours are literally mush) over white rice. At best, steamed veggies over white rice is bland. After having been prepared hours earlier it's actually inedible. So even when flying up front I have been bringing my own food.

Perhaps the TPAC flight menu is different. I suggest ordering the veg meal and bringing a backup of a sandwich or two and some other snacks.
My vegetarian EXP friend has made the exact same comments. A pathetic plate of a few vegetables and some rice. He says even the FAs are embarrassed when serving it.
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Old Jun 24, 11, 10:22 am
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Originally Posted by kman99 View Post
I have a co-worker flying with me LAX-PVG & NRT-LAX. He is a vegetarian. One item in the menu always seems to be cheese ravioli or close to it. So I think he should be ok. But if he does inform AA about this diet restriction does anybody know what menu looks like for a vegetarian?
Check this thread. It seems some of the menus for China/Japan sometimes do not contain a non-meat/fish options.

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/ameri...solidated.html
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Old Jun 24, 11, 10:49 am
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I beg to differ. I call ahead and order the vegetarian meal routinely on transcons in F or J and Int'l in J. I have found them quite satisfying and far healthier than the standard pasta shells swimming in cheese sauce. The special meals usually consist of more food then everyone else has and I have had jealous looks and questions more than once. For example a huge salad to start, twice the size of the normal salad, followed by a rice (sometimes brown rice), and vegetable hot entree for lunch or dinner and a plate of fruit for desert. Bear in mind the vegetarian option is actually vegan so it has to be limited to things like rice and vegetables. I have also had tofu scrambles or egg substitute omelette for brunch or breakfast following a huge fruit and nut plate. On flights to NRT the Japanese meal option always has lots of veggie portions to it even if it is not all vegetarian and is another good choice. Your co-worker should be fine if you just remember to call at least 24 hours in advance.
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Old Jun 24, 11, 11:25 am
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The thing to understand is that AA only has one meal to fit a verity of needs: It is simultaneously the vegan meal, the vegetarian meal, the low-salt meal, and a few others. To keep their costs down, they deisgn one meal which meets a variety of dietary requests. As such, it has compromises.

For me, the worst example of the compromise thing is the vegeterian breakfast. The regular breakfast includes fruit. The vegeterian breakfast (since it's actually vegan) includes pretty much nothing but fruit. Since it's vegan, there's no milk, no yogurt, no cheese, etc. It's IIRC a totally proteinless meal. (No combined proteins the way the vegan dinner meal tends to have.) And it's not like the fruit is the most exciting fruit plates in world either...

So if you're flying eastbound (or north/south between NA and SA) overnight and an all-fruit breakfast doesn't sound like a real breakfast to you, either bring something shelf-stable and non-liquid on board for a personal breafkast supplement, or plan to eat right after you get off the plane.

Last edited by sdsearch; Jun 25, 11 at 6:06 pm Reason: spelling
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Old Jun 24, 11, 12:00 pm
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Originally Posted by justforfun View Post
My vegetarian EXP friend has made the exact same comments. A pathetic plate of a few vegetables and some rice. He says even the FAs are embarrassed when serving it.
This is true. I had a FA REFUSE to serve me a vegan meal on a transcon a few months back. She would not bring it out because she said she felt embarrassed by it. She instead insisted on making me a plate of things from other meals...which of course was super nice of her, and also left me awfully curious to see what was supposed to make it to my belly.

Last edited by jefftf1; Jun 24, 11 at 12:40 pm
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Old Jun 24, 11, 12:32 pm
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In Feb, NRT-LAX J had no vegetarian options on the regular dining menu. The special veg meal was bland tofu with rice and obliterated vegetables -- not the worst intl veg meal I've had, but I regretted not bringing something onboard instead.

GRU-DFW J in May, it was the usual mushy vegetables + rice. Instead, I stuffed myself with the snacks on offer at the AC beforehand.
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Old Jun 24, 11, 1:48 pm
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Originally Posted by jefftf1 View Post
I am a lifelong vegetarian, and the AA veg meals are embarrassing. I've flown British Airways and Virgin and received wonderful works of art flying in business or first. However, my experience on AA's long haul flights has been awful.
i agree.
as a very frequent aa flyer, i virtually always find their vegetarian meals (the ones you pre-order) to be reprehensible. two weeks ago, lax-nrt in f consisted of a wilted side salad and a plate of dried out rice with some over-cooked vegetables--completely inedible. you really get short-changed by requesting aa's vegetarian choices.

my advice is to bring your own no matter what class you are flying because even if the vegetarian choice is half-way edible, aa makes no attempt to provide a balance of amino acids in their pre-ordered vegetarian meals (i.e. legumes to go with the rice).
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Old Jun 24, 11, 2:11 pm
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Thank you everyone. I will pass the information on to my colleague.
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Old Jun 24, 11, 2:48 pm
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I'm vegetarian and I've actually had better luck NOT pre-ordering the veg meal and taking my chances that there will be a meatless pasta dish. I do bring a heavy snack with me just in case all I can eat off the meal tray is the salad (and dessert). As others have said, I think the pre-ordered veg meal to be almost inedible. And the breakfast is somewhat better but not what i'd call good.
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Old Jun 24, 11, 2:55 pm
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Originally Posted by TxTrav View Post
I'm vegetarian and I've actually had better luck NOT pre-ordering the veg meal and taking my chances that there will be a meatless pasta dish. I do bring a heavy snack with me just in case all I can eat off the meal tray is the salad (and dessert). As others have said, I think the pre-ordered veg meal to be almost inedible. And the breakfast is somewhat better but not what i'd call good.
At least on domestic flights I find breakfasts ok. I usually get cold cereal with berries, a banana and a bagel or biscuit. No special order worries and a perfectly edible start to the day.
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Old Jun 25, 11, 6:25 am
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As a vegan and never surprised when my meal goes missing or does have cheese or dairy or something I bring food. And for the people talking about protein and amino acids....we don't need more than 35-50gm of protein a day, most Americans have 3 times the amount of protein we need in a day and that is in fact unhealthy. Also, I can't imagine that one lousy meal on a flight is going to throw off your amino acids or nutritional balance for the day/week/month.


There are about 20 amino acids that humans need to make protein. Eight of these amino acids are essential, meaning that we must obtain these amino acids from foods (vegetarian or not). The remaining amino acids are both in foods and can be made by the body as needed.

You need to look no further than a biology textbook to discover that all the amino acids humans need for optimal health are found in plant foods. When you think about it, this makes sense, because where does the cow and chicken get these amino acids (that end up in the meat humans eat)? From plants, of course! With the exception of soybeans, there is no ONE plant food that supplies all of the essential amino acids, but a variety of plant foods will most definitely meet our protein needsprotein needs. Protein deficiencyProtein deficiency is simply not an issue among well-nourished vegansvegans who consume a variety of foods from the four main food groups (grains, legumes, vegetables, and fruits).

It was once believed that vegetarians had to consume "complementary" proteins at the same meal in order for our body to process them correctly. For example, grains are a good protein source but are low in the amino acidamino acid lysine, while beans have plenty of lysine. So it was once thought that eating rice with beans supplied "complete" protein. However, nutrition experts have found that protein complementation is not necessary; the body stores "pools" of amino acids in our body so that they're ready to be used when needed. As long as these different sources of protein are eaten over the course of the day, we're covered.

If it were true that vegans had a hard time getting enough amino acids, we would all have symptoms of protein deficiency. It turns out that protein deficiency is very rare, but certainly there are ways that a vegan can actually get too little protein:

1. By eating mostly junk food and little else (e.g. potato chips, refined white flour products, candy, etc.), because refined junk foods are low in protein, and excessive junk food canfood can displace healthy, protein-rich plant foods in the diet.
2. By not getting enough calories (long-term illness, anorexia nervosa, etc.), which results in deficiency of not just protein, but most nutrients.

Bottom line: Eat enough and a good variety of whole plant foods, and your amino acid/protein needs will automatically be met.
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Old Jun 25, 11, 9:35 am
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Seems like the only route for good vegetarian food is probably ORD-DEL.
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