Vegetarian Meal #3 by James Perkins

You think airline food sucks? Try being vegetarian. I’m not a spoiled whiner, I truly appreciate being able to cross an ocean over night and I’m fine with the mass produced food they serve in airplane. Everybody complains about the food, but when you are vegetarian, you go into a new level of pain.

The first part of the pain: requesting it. I request the vegetarian food several times. I already had requests lost, ignored, not honored, whatever. I request it on the web, by phone, by carrier pigeon, etc. Several times each. Even then, there’s no guarantee.

Then it comes the second part: the crew. I just finished my breakfast in a flight from Madrid to Buenos Aires (yes, I wrote this on the airplane) with the best and the worst of the crew. I’ll describe both to be fair.

One flight attendant gave me the special food. She said “You ordered special food? ” and I replied “Yes, vegetarian “, and she handed me the long yellow box. I opened it and found little pieces of burned carcasses of chicken. I checked the label… definitely not vegetarian.

When another flight attendant came I told him about my food and they had a short conversation. Basically all non-standard food was distributed equally. Someone who should have gotten chicken was eating my vegetarian food. This is the norm. The crew will screw it up. In my experience almost always. I very rarely get an uneventful flight.

The flight attendant to whom I reported the issue was a little bit upset about the other messing up and here’s the good part: he went and picked vegetarian food from other meals and built a special box for me. To that guy, J. M. Anton: Thank you, I really appreciate what you did… you turned a terrible flight and a lot of anger into a pleasurable experience (loved the little piece of chocolate).

Should everything go well you still have to deal with the food. You may think that when everybody gets a cheese and ham sandwich you’d get a cheese sandwich. WRONG. You may imagine that when everybody gets spaghetti with meatballs you’d get plain spaghetti. WRONG. You get an insipid salad (for breakfast) or some gooey boiled vegetables. On this flight I was lucky to get some rice (next to the gooey vegetables). Who chooses this food? It’s terrible. It’s a torture. Compared to this, the food is got at the hospital is a 5 star gourmet meal.