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airline food: your nominations for best in first or business class on any carrier USA or Foreign

  • m

are the days of first rate food served on real china dead and gone??

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  1. there is no more good food on the airline, they need to save all the money to pay for the security, baggage check and customer service to lesson to passanger's complant

    1. Actually, a whole website devoted to airline meals, with pix...


      1. Thai, Cathay Pacific, and Singapore are best in business, followed closely by Emirates (or Gulf Air?), Kenya Air, KLM, Luftansa, and, maybe, Air France (except the AF air crews often seem to hate people). There are many bad lines for business class food.

        Special mention for COPA based in Panama and serving Central and South America, Mexico and the US: excellent plus they cheefully give Silver Elite frequent flyers automatic upgrades to business if seats are available--no giving up miles, no grovelling.

        1. It's been a couple of years, but the meals on Alitalia were really nice.

          1 Reply
          1. re: coll

            I thought, so, too. And a very decent half-bottle of Italian wine came with my meal.

          2. I very recently enjoyed some lovely meals on Korean Air (JFK - Shanghai, Business Class). Full china, full bar. First course, smoked salmon with endive and some sort of dill/caper sauce. Second course, bowl of very nice tasting bibimbop (with ramen supplement). Testing to see if this attach photo function works.

            1. Though I was in coach, the food I had on Air India flying to Paris was probably the best food I ever had on a plane. They simply called it "curry" but the meal came with very well flavored curried chicken, sauteed okra and well seasoned rice with pappadum, plain yogurt and cardamon rice pudding. This beats the terra blue potato chips on Jet Blue!

              3 Replies
              1. re: NicoleFriedman

                I flew Luftansa to Mumbai a bit over a year ago, flight originating in Germany. I, unfortuantely, was in coach, my companion in business, I ordered a vegetarian meal, and was surprised with a good enough, delightful, vegetarian curry type meal. My friend in business told me that this far surpassed his offerings, but of course, the wine and dine service was not offered in my part of the plane! Thinking that many on board were vegetarians, the non vegetarian selection would be dreadful, and I was correct.

                1. re: Jesdamala

                  I always defensively order veg on airplanes, despite the fact that I'm an omni. I just figure the potential for illness/general gross-out is far worse for a meat-based meal than meatless.

                  1. re: Mawrter

                    I am going to agree! More for the gross out than illness....but this time, boy did I score!

              2. I realize that combining "British" and "Wonderful Food" in the same sentence will send many of you into gales of laughter, but .......... First Class on British Air (Phoenix-London-Phoenix) provided my favorite flying experience to date. Fresh Pea and Mint Soup with Chive Creme Fraiche was so good that I ordered a second bowl to accompany a Lobster and Crayfish Salad with Passion Fruit Dressing. I eschewed a meat-y main course but DH raved about his rare Rack of Lamb and later the Beef Filet Stroganoff. We both enjoyed Afternoon Tea with a selection of pastries and sandwiches as well.

                Order what you want when you want it and accompany your meal or snacks with an impressive choice of wines, beers, spirits makes this an enjoyable way to cross the Atlantic. Of course fully reclining-flat seats and fresh roses in your own cabin don't hurt.

                The First Class lounges at Heathrow are reason enough, with amazingly varied food choices and calming quiet luxury, to choose BA.

                NB: a Business Class flight (London-Milan-London) provided quite ordinary fare, so ordinary that I do not remember it.

                4 Replies
                1. re: Sherri

                  For those of us not fortunate enough to be in the front of the plane, however, I'd advise AVOIDING British Air at all costs. On my recent flights to and from Tunisia via London the food in coach was pretty bad, and the seats are more closely spaced than even United!

                  1. re: susancinsf

                    I couldn't agree more! Coach on BA is abysmal and that's being kind. Steerage food and cramped quarters are unpleasant ways to fly especially for long distances. The OP asked for recs specifically for First or Business Class and that's what I provided. Since my trip was a gift, I have no idea of the cost but I imagine it was substantial. I would avoid BA Coach like the plague it is.

                    1. re: Sherri

                      lucky you! I know you were being responsive; I only wanted to point it out because I think some folks (including, unfortunately, me, before this trip), make an assumption that if one class of service is really above -par (as I had heard about BA business and coach) that it somehow carries over into other classes of service. I was truly surprised in a very bad way by the level of service and the inedible food on BA. My sister, OTOH, did the same trip in coach on Air France, and was very pleased, and said the food was good. In both cases every seat on the plane was taken, so it wasn't just a case of a crowded plane. Live and learn...

                      BTW, if for some reason you MUST fly coach on BA, ask for a vegetarian meal coming out of London. It appeared to be Indian food, and smelled pretty good (judging by a neighboring seat mate's order). OTOH, going to London from SF the vegetarian breakfast was *exactly* the same as the other breakfasts (fruit, yogurt, a stale roll) and the person in front of me who got it (and who was vegan apparently) was not pleased. The flight attendant was sympathetic, and encouraged her to write a letter of complaint, to the point of bringing her a business card with the name and email of a specific person to contact...

                      1. re: susancinsf

                        The food on Air France WAS good, or at least decent...and the wine and champagne was drinkable and free-flowing (and free). And contrary to an above post, every flight attendant was wonderfly attentive. I especially liked the fresh-baked baguettes (one full baguette per person!) passed out with the meal. This was in coach. Oh, and on the Air France flight from Paris to Tunis (and back), a two and a half hour flight, we were served a full meal, and more wine and baguettes. Yes, both were full flights. And on the way home, when our plane developed mechanical problems and was forced to return to Paris for repairs, we received an extra meal on the plane during the two hour wait on the tarmack. (No, I wasn't upset about the return to Paris, it could have happened to any airline and even the non-French speakers were kept well-informed....).

                        As for the vegetarian out of London, I have a story: many years ago we took a BA flight from London to what we then called Bombay. I don't know if things have improved, but even the vegetarian food wasn't all that good (and yes, it was Indian). Besides, we really didn't get to taste it: the plane stopped in Dubhai, and just about everyone on the plane after that were Indian nationals. (Most were oil-field workers returning to India for the New Year's holiday...). Now, apparently BA didn't stop to think that there might be an unusual demand for vegetarian meals on a plane full of Hindus....and loaded exactly TWO veggie meals on that entire wide-body...the two my husband and I had ordered. We felt so sorry for the folks sitting in our row as they were served their beef (TRUE STORY!) that we offered to switch with them. The beef was inedible anyway....

                        However, I must say the WORST meal I ever had on an airline was on Air India. It was literally rancid.....

                2. Korean Air
                  Asiana Air (also a korean airline) comes close but quite.

                  not biased.. (i swear!), according to Korean Air, they won some airline food awards many years in a row

                  1. thai air and cathay pacific both have really good food - even in coach.

                    within thailand - bangkok air has amazing food!

                    1. My vote would be for Thai. The food on SAS used to be very good for airline food, but has gone downhill in recent years.

                      1. I fly about 250 days a year for work, and though it seems privileged to fly up front, believe me I'd rather be home. That being said I have apretty good read on airline food. Cathay Pacific is hands down number one for food and lounge service. British Airways is inconsistent from flight to flight, and class to class. That being said, when they are on they are very good. Swiss actually has excellent food in First, but like British, there is a dropoff in business. Virgin has awful food in Upper Class despite their superior service. Malaysia has very good variety from flight to flight and excellent preparation. Alitalia and Swiss have the best wine lists. EVA AIr is second to Cathay to Asia. Their dumplings are much better actually. Singapore is riding on a long gone reputation for food. My last two flights (one biz one first) the food was practically inedible. Find a reason to fly Cathay if you are going to Asia, their food is better on the whole than anything in the sky.

                        1. In the past couple of years I have flown Biz Class on BA, El Al, Emirates, JAL, ANA, Air France, Lufthansa, Delta, American. All of them have edible food, but it's not something i look forward to.

                          On an overnight I like the idea when I can have everything delivere3d 30 minutes in, I can get it over with and go to sleep (I am fortunate and have the ability to sleep like a baby on a plane - my record is 10.5 hours from SIN to LHR).

                          I also like, what BA calls their "Nibbles (love the name." On a long flight I walk around every 30-45 minutes to avoid DVT and I like a couple of cookies or piece of fruit. BA does a good job with their nibbles.

                          1. Are there seriously people on here who have so much experience on 1st or biz class that they can nominate their favourites? If there are, they should shut the hell up about it. I've flown on biz class too few times to comment, and I am positive that I speak for the vast, vast, vast majority of the flying public.

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: John Manzo


                              I have never eaten in Per Se, French Laundry and probably never will in an analogy to your tri-vast majority. That's why I do not post on those threads. Whether good or bad, my butt has been on more biz class flights than i truly care to think about over the years (try doing around the world in 5 days flying west before you get jealous) and the OP was interested in our opinions, which we have posted.

                              So post where you can add and read where you can learn. No need for daggers.

                              1. re: John Manzo

                                JM, unfortunately, yes, I've had to fly a LOT, and a lot in business. So why should I "shut the hell up about it"? I love my work, but hate the actual travel part of it.

                                1. re: John Manzo

                                  Why should we shut the hell up about it? We were asked to comment. It is interesting to those of us who are forced to spend alot of time in the air. You were obviously interested enough to click on to this thread. Business class is so named because business people fly in that section with great frequency; people who fly business should be able to discuss the food up there. It shouldn't matter if the vast majority have not, enough hounds visited this thread, you among them, to warrant the discussion. Now get moving, they just began boarding rows 66-74....

                                2. "good" is definately relative in the air, that being said,

                                  Korean Air has pretty good food -- imho, the flight attendents are surprisingly lovely and service oriented too.

                                  Much as I hate the monopoly, Air Canada does pretty well with first class food. Though it varies greatly by destination.

                                  And it's been a few years, but Air New Zealand did well -- probably the best china service upstairs in a 747. I loved the little dish of salt crystals.