Special Meals in J

Old May 31, 14, 12:50 pm
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Special Meals in J

So I will be flying CX ORD-MAA in July and was wondering how pre-ordering a special meal (say VLML) is on CX? is it just Y/Y+ food or does it compare to a J- class meal.
Would it be okay if i ordered and then picked an option off the standard menu if something seems interesting?

Secondly,
I have a 1h connection in HKG - is this sufficient and will i have time to nip into the one of the lounges?
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Old Jan 25, 17, 11:07 pm
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Question on Jan 26 2017

(Didn't want to start a new thread )

I was thinking about trying a Special Meal on one or more sectors of an upcoming trip, YYZ-HKG-SIN (RT).

I looked at the page on the CX site.

https://www.cathaypacific.com/cx/en_...ial-meals.html

The main meat/beef dinner on the last TPAC to HKG was not that good so I thought perhaps one of the vegetarian choices, perhaps Vegetarian Oriental Meal, Vegetarian Vegan Meal etc.

I'd appreciate any recent experience with Specials Meals on either TPACs or regionals on this route.

Thanks in advance
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Old Jan 26, 17, 11:10 pm
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I requested a no beef meal for my mother on business CX254 LHR-HKG, so I was expecting one more non beef meal of everything else on the menu.

What my mother got was a "special" fish dish but she wanted something on the menu (mushroom pasta) the crew said that because you made the request we will have to see what is left once the other business passengers have made there meal choice which she didn't get.
A similar thing happened at breakfast they gave her congee which was on the menu but she wanted the other choice on the menu which was the 3 cheese egg soufflé which she got.

Once I got into my hotel I try to change the meal preference online but it would not let me change it (I did originally select the no beef meal for all parts of the journey).
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Old Jan 26, 17, 11:44 pm
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Originally Posted by Ace71 View Post
I requested a no beef meal for my mother on business CX254 LHR-HKG, so I was expecting one more non beef meal of everything else on the menu.
I don't think it's fair to expect an airline to prepare 3 meals for just 1 passenger. I don't eat beef also, but I never felt the need to request a no beef meal because they would normally have 2 non-beef options in the menu.
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Old Jan 27, 17, 2:06 am
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Originally Posted by FlyPointyEnd View Post
I don't think it's fair to expect an airline to prepare 3 meals for just 1 passenger.
Agree.

If you order a special meal but don't like it you should wait till all other pax have chosen their meals before you get to have what's left. Otherwise it's not fair.
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Old Jan 27, 17, 10:11 am
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I don't think it's fair to expect an airline to prepare 3 meals for just 1 passenger. I don't eat beef also, but I never felt the need to request a no beef meal because they would normally have 2 non-beef options in the menu.
If you order a special meal but don't like it you should wait till all other pax have chosen their meals before you get to have what's left. Otherwise it's not fair.
We did not order a special meal, more a special requirement of no beef meal, if there was a beef meal (which there wasn't) on the menu for that flight I would expect my mother to be asked 1st what would she like from the 2 other options available but that did not happen, she was given a meal that Cathay thought was suitable.

Maybe I was going over the top to suggest an extra of each meal but...
There has been occassions when travelling in business/premium/economy where I and others have been in the middle of the cabin and they had run out of 1 of the 3 choices of meals and/or desserts, now I understand that if I was asked or served last. Also I've seen passengers turn down the meal or go straight to sleep (and what about the no shows) so surely that would increase the chance of the meal or dessert that I or my mother or passengers would want or even allowed to have 2 meals or desserts?
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Old Jan 27, 17, 10:55 am
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Originally Posted by Ace71 View Post
We did not order a special meal, more a special requirement of no beef meal, if there was a beef meal (which there wasn't) on the menu for that flight I would expect my mother to be asked 1st what would she like from the 2 other options available but that did not happen, she was given a meal that Cathay thought was suitable.

Maybe I was going over the top to suggest an extra of each meal but...
There has been occassions when travelling in business/premium/economy where I and others have been in the middle of the cabin and they had run out of 1 of the 3 choices of meals and/or desserts, now I understand that if I was asked or served last. Also I've seen passengers turn down the meal or go straight to sleep (and what about the no shows) so surely that would increase the chance of the meal or dessert that I or my mother or passengers would want or even allowed to have 2 meals or desserts?
I'm confused, You just said you requested a "No Beef Meal" but didn't order a special meal?

If you were to look at your booking on your Manage My Booking page, under "Seat/Other Services" you can find a subpage under "Special Meal" the drop down menu will let you select "No Beef Meal." So technically you did order it...either by yourself (since you did try to go online to unselect that option) or through a travel agent. By doing this, you are asking the airline to prepare a meal for your mother with no beef in it. So to be sure that your mother will get a no beef meal, the airline did prepare her a special meal. This is identified to the crew to avoid any mix ups on board.

Like I said, I never felt I had to make this request option although I have given up beef for over 6 years. The Senior Purser actually comes around after take off (or while on the ground) to give out menus, I normally just tell him/her of my special request so they could set aside the entree with no beef in it.

Airlines save on costs doesn't load 100% meals on red eye flights, this is because like you have mentioned, some passengers prefer to sleep. So I think the crew are just watching out for the other passengers on board as they might not have enough meals left when they reach the end of the cabin. Let's put it thus way, what if I was seated on the last row, and they ran out of no beef entrees, and I found out that there was a no beef special meal, but the passenger requested to have the regular chicken meal instead? How do you think I would feel?
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Old Jan 27, 17, 11:27 am
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A request in any way "No Beef" is automatically classified as a SPML - Special Meal.

So if you did request a special meal even though you had suggested that. However if you had told the crew upon boarding, they would have put something aside for you or at least let your mother choose her meal first.

Having said that, for 24left, VOML - Vegetarian Oriental Meal is always quite good on CX. You get a one of those crispy buns, and a vegetarian cooked Chinese style.
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Old Jan 27, 17, 9:54 pm
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Apologies I made the request/choice over a month ago and did not realise that a no beef meal is regarded as a special meal.

When the menu's are given out, I have never been able to asked for my choice there & then (whenever in business, premium or economy). When cabin crew was serving the food they asked me what I wanted, with my mother they just handed her the special meal, when my mother said she would like the pasta they said but you asked for the special meal, not if it's available we can change it for you/hang on and we will see what we can do for you.

BTW although it was CX254 it was not the red eye flight, it was delayed 12 hours plus "due to crew deployment circumstances". I would have expected the cabin crew to accommodate reasonable requests to appease already disgruntled customers whatever cabin class they are sitting in. I know from experience that there is always enough meals to go around but enough choices of meals is a different matter especially if you are sitting in the lower class cabins.

Cost Savings??? I don't know if this happens on Cathay or any other airline but I saw Qantas cabin crew pouring all open bottles (75cl) of wines & spirits down the sink 15 mins before landing.
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Old Jan 27, 17, 10:29 pm
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Originally Posted by Ace71 View Post
We did not order a special meal, more a special requirement of no beef meal...
Originally Posted by Ace71 View Post
Apologies I made the request/choice over a month ago and did not realise that a no beef meal is regarded as a special meal.
I'm sorry, but this makes no sense at all. Any meal requested in advance is (reasonably enough) a special meal. If you have ordered a special meal, it is assumed to be because you need that special meal for medical or religious reasons, and so you can't then ask for something else instead. This is the normal expectation on any airline.

CX has no system in place to allow passengers to select from the normal menu options in advance of the flight. It is true that some airlines (e.g. AA) offer that choice on some flights, but if CX did, they would have first told you what the menu options are before allowing you to choose one. They did not, and they do not. A 'no beef' meal was quite reasonably interpreted as a non-veg Hindu meal (special meal code HNML).
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Last edited by SeeBuyFly; Jan 28, 17 at 3:17 pm
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Old Jan 28, 17, 12:40 am
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Originally Posted by Ace71 View Post
Apologies I made the request/choice over a month ago and did not realise that a no beef meal is regarded as a special meal.

When the menu's are given out, I have never been able to asked for my choice there & then (whenever in business, premium or economy). When cabin crew was serving the food they asked me what I wanted, with my mother they just handed her the special meal, when my mother said she would like the pasta they said but you asked for the special meal, not if it's available we can change it for you/hang on and we will see what we can do for you.

BTW although it was CX254 it was not the red eye flight, it was delayed 12 hours plus "due to crew deployment circumstances". I would have expected the cabin crew to accommodate reasonable requests to appease already disgruntled customers whatever cabin class they are sitting in. I know from experience that there is always enough meals to go around but enough choices of meals is a different matter especially if you are sitting in the lower class cabins.

Cost Savings??? I don't know if this happens on Cathay or any other airline but I saw Qantas cabin crew pouring all open bottles (75cl) of wines & spirits down the sink 15 mins before landing.
Given the circumstances I think the crew did the right thing... delivered the special meal as ordered, with the option that another choice can be made if there are spares at the end. This is a standard service pattern with the exception (perhaps) of some airlines in First class where they may have over catered so all pax can have all meals.

Re 12 hour delay - you may be eligible for EU261 compensation on this. Hopefully that will go someway to off-set the inconvenience of the delay.

Incoming duty free requirements generally mean most airlines dispose of any remaining open alcohol prior to arrival. There are some exceptions... liquors and spirits might be put back in a locked bar cart depending on their value (the carts are sealed with customs/duty seals). Flights doing an immediate turn with the same crew and catering may also be another exemption.
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Old Jan 28, 17, 10:17 am
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Originally Posted by Ace71 View Post
Apologies I made the request/choice over a month ago and did not realise that a no beef meal is regarded as a special meal.

When the menu's are given out, I have never been able to asked for my choice there & then (whenever in business, premium or economy). When cabin crew was serving the food they asked me what I wanted, with my mother they just handed her the special meal, when my mother said she would like the pasta they said but you asked for the special meal, not if it's available we can change it for you/hang on and we will see what we can do for you.

BTW although it was CX254 it was not the red eye flight, it was delayed 12 hours plus "due to crew deployment circumstances". I would have expected the cabin crew to accommodate reasonable requests to appease already disgruntled customers whatever cabin class they are sitting in. I know from experience that there is always enough meals to go around but enough choices of meals is a different matter especially if you are sitting in the lower class cabins.

Cost Savings??? I don't know if this happens on Cathay or any other airline but I saw Qantas cabin crew pouring all open bottles (75cl) of wines & spirits down the sink 15 mins before landing.
All passengers on the flight were subject to the same delay... What if your mother's new choice exploited other passenger's right to choose?

Also what is "reasonable"? Crew had already said if after all other passengers have made their choice and there's other choice left your mother can choose it... How can this be unreasonable?

And, that's not just about cost saving. Assume there's 3 choices on the menu for 42 passengers, you expect CX to load 42 dishes of each choices on board? That's wastage ok?

Plus, if you are so care about your mother's right to choose meal, why not you take that choice for your mother and pass the right to choose meal to your mother?

CX only occasionally take choices for Diamond members and reserve their choices for them when distributing menu. All other passengers? Good luck

p.s. If there's more than 24 hours before flight and you can't change your meal choice online, you can call CX and they can fix it for you
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Last edited by sscywong; Jan 28, 17 at 10:46 am
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Old Jan 28, 17, 3:50 pm
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Originally Posted by Ace71 View Post
...she wanted something on the menu (mushroom pasta)...
Note also that the pasta may be "vegetarian" in a loose sense, but not necessarily in a strict sense. It could, for example, be cooked with beef broth or beef fat.

If someone has strict dietary requirements (vegetarian, Hindu, Jewish, Muslim, etc) the ONLY way to satisfy them is a special meal.

Some years ago McDonalds was sued in the US for using beef tallow to cook the fries. They had not explicitly stated that the fries were strictly vegetarian, but certainly allowed people to think so.
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Old Jan 30, 17, 9:12 am
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All passengers on the flight were subject to the same delay... What if your mother's new choice exploited other passenger's right to choose?
I'm 99% sure that some passengers seeked an alternative flight because of a important connection/event, for example a couple originally on our flight was going to a wedding (I can't remember when or where) and didn't wait for the rescheduled flight.
Every passenger has a right to choose but there is always a chance of unavailability because it has "run out" as it was the popular choice or the airline didn't stock enough of the alternative especially if you are one of the passengers to be served/asked last for your meal.

Also what is "reasonable"? Crew had already said if after all other passengers have made their choice and there's other choice left your mother can choose it... How can this be unreasonable?
The crew did not make this offer for the main meal, they offered my mother a extra bread roll.

And, that's not just about cost saving. Assume there's 3 choices on the menu for 42 passengers, you expect CX to load 42 dishes of each choices on board? That's wastage ok?
No I don't but if you or I order a no beef or no seafood meal I'm pretty sure you would expect to be able to choose an alternative meal rather than expect a meal choosen for you by the airline. If you don't eat their choice of meal isn't that wastage?
Also don't most airlines have more food onboard than is needed, we was put on a Qantas connecting flight as we missed our Cathay connecting flight from HKG to BNE, my 1st choice of dessert had run out I was asked to choose 1 or if I like all the other 3 choices of desserts and the selection of cheese?

Attached is the menu for our flight, there is 4 non beef main meals and the pasta meal is marked vegetarian. So unless the other 3 meals had beef product included as an ingrediant then Cathay did not have to prepare/provide an non beef/special meal.

Plus, if you are so care about your mother's right to choose meal, why not you take that choice for your mother and pass the right to choose meal to your mother?
I was asked/served 1st, so I couldn't pass the right to choose to my mother and she did not want to eat what I chose (stir fried pork).
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Last edited by Ace71; Jan 30, 17 at 11:31 am
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Old Jan 30, 17, 12:23 pm
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If one were to choose special meal in F or J and decide to forego it for what's on the menu is it possible? F? J?
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