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Mini Rant VIII — Airline Meals

empty plate

by Marko Peric

I don't fly all that often, but I'm going to be traveling next month, so I went online to book tickets (although I haven't actually booked the tickets yet, I have to do that this weekend). While I was on Air Canada's site, I happened to check out their travel planning section, and went into their in-flight section, and noticed under the heading of dining something that sounded wrong: Discover the gourmet delights prepared for you by our chefs.

Now, while I don't fly all that often, I have flown enough to realize that words like gourmet, delights, and chefs don't go with airline food. So I clicked through, and I do have to say that the first class meals sound rather impressive. But most interesting was the selection of Special Meals. I assumed that this would be vegetarian and kosher meals as options instead of the regular meal. I somewhat underestimated the choices. There were 17. I copied the list from Air Canada's site.

  • Asian vegetarian meal
  • Infant or baby's meal
  • Bland/soft meal
  • Child's meal
  • Diabetic meal
  • Fruit platter meal
  • Gluten-free meal
  • Hindu meal
  • Kosher meal
  • Low-calorie meal
  • Low-cholesterol/low-fat meal
  • Low-sodium meal
  • Muslim meal
  • Oriental meal
  • Vegetarian meal (non-dairy)
  • Vegetarian meal (lacto-ovo)
  • Non-lactose meal

    Certain restrictions may apply. Only the special meals identified here are offered. Air Canada cannot provide meals which are guaranteed to be free of nuts, seafood or other food products. Any of the above meals must be ordered at least 18 hours prior to flight departure except for the kosher meal, which requires at least 24 hours notice.

While I find it terribly amusing that the most commonly known special meal the osher meal — apparently is the most time consuming to prepare, and the fact that they offer a specific bland meal, I noticed that they left off the one special meal I'd want to order: meal that doesn't entirely suck.


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