Don’t ask why, don’t ask how, but I recently found myself in economy class (at least in Economy Plus with an open middle) on a 15hr flight from Tel Aviv to San Francisco on United Airlines. For my weekly Meal of the Week segment I focus on two meals served during the flight.
Last week I talked about how impressed I was by economy class food on Aegean. In sticking to the economy class theme, how would United stack up on a flight significantly longer?
I had a mini-crisis in Tel Aviv when I found that I had left my iPhone charging cable in Amman. Rather than relax in the Dan Lounge prior to the flight, I scurried around the airport until I could find a replacement cord. I found a SIM card shop near the rental cars that had generic iPhone-compatible cables. Cost? 79 NIS (~$22USD)! That put me in a bad mood, especially because the charger didn’t work well. Like most replica charging cables, it would gyrate between charging and not-charging. 30 minutes later I was still at 4% battery life, though it had not dropped. But I knew if I returned it I would have nothing and then would have to be reliant upon airport wi-fi to make Skype calls. No thanks.
Security was incredibly invasive and took much longer than I thought — I reached the boarding gate toward the end of the boarding process.
Admittedly, it had been several hours since I had eaten in the Royal Jordanian Crown Lounge in AMM so I may have just been hungry for the first meal, but I found it incredibly good.
Dinner and Breakfast
The crew provided us very detailed choices: “chicken or fish” and I knew I was rolling the dice by going with fish (after my last fish meal in economy class) but chose it.
It was baked salmon balls with peas and rice. Absoteluly delicious — not too fishy, not too “bready” and the tabbouleh topping added a great flavor. Dinner was served with a barley/olive salad and a multi-grain roll.
For dessert, there was no ice cream but the chocolate pudding with fairly strong coffee was acceptable.
I slept through the mid-flight snack, but noticed it was simply a sandwich on a submarine roll with processed turkey or chicken.
Prior to landing, FAs offered a hot breakfast. The choices were scrambled eggs or quiche. A lady sitting in the row ahead of me ordered quiche and it looked very good, so good I wish had ordered it. But my scrambled eggs with chives were also very tasty. The eggs were served with potatoes and zucchini, also good, a bagel, and plain yogurt (or some sort of soft cheese). The bagel was dreadfully horrible but the plain yogurt was appreciated: far better than sugar-filled fruity yogurt.
You can look at this in one of two ways: I was either hungry and therefore would have found anything good -or- I can spot good economy class food and this was actually above average. Doesn’t matter — if you find yourself stuck in economy class on a United flight out of Tel Aviv you now know what to expect.