Once in a while the first class meal options are simply not appealing. That leaves you with three choices: eat it anyway, skip meal service altogether, or request something from coach. Requesting meal service from economy class is the subject of this week’s Meal of the Week.
American, Delta, and United will generally (though not always) offer a meal or snack from the back of the plane if you don’t like the choices up front. Sometimes this will be offered proactively, sometimes you have to ask for it. Sometimes, FAs ask you to pay for it, though that rarely occurs.
How your meal arrives varies by FA. Sometimes a snackbox is simply plopped down on your tray. Sometimes they will take time to arrange it and make it look nice, like a first class meal.
Once I was sitting next to a guy who did not like either choice in first class. He passed on the meal. I asked him why he didn’t at least get a snackbox from economy class. He seemed shocked, like he just had an epiphany. A few moments later he asked a FA and she happily brought him a snack box. I could not believe how pleased he was…he thanked me several times during the flight.
A few years ago I was on United flight from San Juan (SJU) to Washington (IAD) and the choices for lunch were an Asian noodle salad or roast beef sandwich. I was seated in the last row and though I had 1K status, only the salad was left when I arrived.
Noodle salads have never been my cup of tea, so I asked if I could have have a ham sandwich from the economy buy-on-board menu. The FA agreed and asked me if I wanted it heated. I was surprised (and pleased) by the warming offer.
The sandwich arrived nicely heated (this was before the days that United served warm BOB food in economy). She also included a bowl of soup (minestrone) with the meal and a bag of chips.
My point is simple: if you don’t like the food in first class, check the economy class menu. If you see something you like, ask for it. Chances are you will be obliged. And as economy class food has become healthier and tastier, sometimes an economy class meal actually constitutes an “upgrade”.
Have you had luck requesting food from economy class when seated in first class?