Repeat after me: it’s just an airline meal. It’s just an airline meal. I wish stuff like this did not bother me…
I flew from Minneapolis to LA earlier this week on United. The flight was operated by a United Express E-175. In all honesty, I find this aircraft just as nice as mainline in both cabins of service. For this flight, I was seated in first class.
Longer regional jet flights now include meal service on United and this flight featured lunch. After takeoff, the FA began taking meal orders. Contrary to protocol, she hopped around the cabin, presumably taking meal orders by status.
At least that’s what I thought…
There were two lunch choices and the contrast between the two of them could not be greater, at least for my taste buds and diet. The first choice was an arugula salad with salmon filet and a bowl of fresh cut fruit. The second choice was cold pasta with a small side salad and grapes.
Not surprisingly, every single person in the cabin wanted salmon. And who wouldn’t: vegetables and protein versus carbs and fat?
I only have Gold status now. According to Flyertalk, meal order preference is prioritized according to:
1. Global Services
2. Premier 1K
3. All other revenue passengers (no difference between $$$ or mileage or upgraders)
I think Golds and Silvers should get preference over non-status passengers, but it is what it is. In any case, the proper protocol is:
Our standard procedure is to take meal orders from front to back of the cabin and ask for a second choice in case your first choice is not available. After meal orders are taken, our inflight crew will prioritize meal orders in the galley. This way, we can streamline the order-taking processes while eliminating skipping around the cabin for order-taking.
No Salmon For You
I like that policy. It wasn’t followed on my flight, though. As I mentioned, the FA skipped around the four-row cabin and I just assumed the people behind me were 1Ks or Global Services.
There was an older couple in front of me who took the last two salmons. They also mentioned to the FA that they never fly but there son was bringing them out to Los Angeles. Fine, good for them.
I took the pasta (it was that or nothing) and hoped for the best, though it was simply nasty:
If that’s where our story ends, this post would be of limited value. But it doesn’t end there.
We landed in LA and I stood up to retrieve my bag. I noticed the first class passenger behind me had a United ID badge on, though she was not in uniform.
I listened in on the conversation between her and the passengers across the aisle and found out that she was non-revving (not deadheading) home after visiting her daughter. It is rare for non-revs to ever get first class seats (absent shenanigans) on a domestic flight, but I did notice all elites were upgraded on my flight so it appears she was accommodated in the forward cabin.
I just had to roll my head. Way to take care of your own, madame FA…
I spent time in the Escape Lounge in MSP prior to the flight. A beautiful salad bar was offered with protein options. For the life of me, I don’t know why I don’t start eating in lounges and skipping the game of roulette onboard airplanes.
Missing out on your meal choice is no fun, but not really a big deal when both options are edible. But when one looks delicious and the other is inedible, it just dampens the whole flight experience.
Oh to have 1K status again…
Oh how pathetic to get worked up over an in-flight meal, but come on, you know you would too.