This week’s Meal of the Week installment takes us back nearly 12 years to my first trip to Europe and first longhaul flight on Lufthansa.
I was only a United Premier Gold at the time, but a friend had given me a United systemwide upgrade for my Lufthansa flight home from Germany. Back in the day, this had to be printed and mailed.
Upgrades could only be requested at check-in and were available on a space-available provided sufficient meals were loaded. I was told my chances did not look great, but to sit patiently in the gate area.
That’s exactly what I did. And waited. And waited. Occasionally I would check with the gate agent and he would tell me that it did not look good and that even Lufthansa’s own silver members would clear before me.
Boarding began and I resigned myself to flying in the back for the 11hour flight to Los Angeles aboard a 747-400. Suddenly, however, the gate agent ran over to me with a boarding pass in his hand…for business class! As you might imagine, I was elated. I still get elated when an upgrade comes through, but this was my first time flying Lufthansa long-haul and my first ever non-United upgrade. The gate agent seemed elated that I was so elated!
Onboard, service began after takeoff with a packet of salted almonds and a glass of water.
The appetizers consisted of a green salad, bread, and a small dish with mushrooms, hummus, and pine nuts.
I chose pike perch for my main course and to this day it remains the best fish dishes I have ever had on an airplane. It was perfectly moist, not too “fishy” and also served at the perfect temperature. The pea and potatoes casserole that accompanied it were also superb.
Second Main Course
Of course I was a bottomless pit in my teenage years (and still am, to an extent). I was still hungry and requested the pumpkin ravioli as well.
The FA was happy to oblige. I think he felt a little bad because he yelled at me pretty harshly for getting up while the seatbelt light was still on. I had just sat in the gate area for over an hour, afraid to even use the restroom in fear of losing my upgrade. Handed my boarding pass, I immediately boarded and sat down in my seat. By the time we took off, I could not hold it any longer and used the lavatory while we were still climbing. The FA hissed at me to sit back down. I deserved it.
Anyway, the meal continued with a bowl of fresh fruit followed by a bit of chocolate and panna cotta.
While I had only my United flight to compare it to, I was extremely pleased by the quality and taste of the meal.
12 years later I don’t get quite as excited anymore when an upgrade comes through, but there is still great joy in trying a new product for the first time. My first flight on Lufthansa was an excellent one.