For my flights to and from Australia, I took United Airlines. The Aussie in my office told me that was a bad idea, but since I had ridden them twice when I was going to Europe I didn’t think they could be that bad. I was wrong, dead wrong. On the flight over we were given dinner, a snack and breakfast. It was definitely forgetable, or at least, so bad that that I put the memory out of my head. Even though it was only 3 weeks ago (wow, that seems like such a long time) I can’t even remember what I had. Only that it was bad and I couldn’t wait to get off the plane and get some real food. And a shower.
The trip back though, is one I will never forget. To begin with, they cancelled my flight home, which would have been fine, but I flew in from Brisbane that morning (Qantas gave an awesome carrot cake snack on an hour and a half flight) and I found out when I went to my United gate to check in. I was then stuck at the Sydney airport for 4 hours waiting for them to get my bag from the Qantas flight to give to me. I was very unhappy with the way they handled things, but that’s beside the point. There’s a little food court in the international terminal right before you go in through security, and I had assumed that I would be able to find some good food once I went through security to try and avoid eating plane food. No such luck, I was stuck with United food again.
For lunch we were given the option of pasta or an “asian” dish. I took the asian dish, which was actually just some chicken in a teriyaki type sauce, bok choy and really, really really badly under-cooked rice. They need to learn to put more water into their rice. It was also a bit disturbing to watch them put all the food into little warmers and see them turn on the timers. Mmm, nothing like a heated up meal 10,000 feet up in the air. Awesome. Obviously everyone knows that the food trays are kept warm in heating boxes, but still.. Seeing the stewardesses actually turn the timer on? Maybe they should learn to close the curtain. The food was edible though, and the chocolate cake on the tray was actually pretty good. The salad was wilted, of course, but what can you expect?
The snack, on the other hand. Disgusting. Utterly, purely, made-me-throw-up gross. I took a bite of it and gagged.
Is it just me, or does the meat look like something else? The texture was like nothing I had had before. It was almost foamy and made my tongue tingle. There was also a cole slaw type dressing on it and the sauce was so tangy I’m pretty sure it was expired and rotten. It almost resembled spoiled milk, hence why I think it was bad.
The pregnant woman next to me had the same reaction, and we couldn’t get over how putrid it was. We were so hungry though! Luckily, she and her husband had snacks so we had something to hold us over till breakfast!
The choices for breakfast were fruit, or an egg, mushroom and sausage tray. I thought the fruit tray might be some fruit cocktail sugar type thing, and I was really cold so I thought maybe eggs wouldn’t be that bad. I’m pretty sure I had eggs on the way over, so I figured they would be edible. Quite wrong, quite wrong. The mushrooms were overcooked, but edible. The eggs on the other hand though, were some fake foamy mess mixed with potatoes. And the turkey sausage? Well, let’s just say it tasted as sketchy as it looks. I mean really, they actually thought it’d be ok to serve this?
The croissant in a plastic bag was the only thing on the tray I was actually pretty enjoyable thanks to lots of butter being baked into it, and the fact that it was premade and United didn’t have to heat it up.
I want to know what goes through the food purchasers head when they were buying these meals. I hope the food in business and first class was better. I’m sure it was, but if it was the same cheap quality as the economy meal, but different choices, I pity them and all that they had paid for their ticket. I realize there’s a recession going on and costs need to be cut, but this has got to be the cheapest food they can order. And even then, spend a few extra dollars on a meal that won’t get a constant bitch out. I know a lot of people hate airplane food, but I actually don’t mind it. And considering I’ve been to Europe three times and Korea seven times, I’ve done my fair share of traveling. I’ve had some pretty decent meals, and never had anything that I made me wish I was anorexic, or had a stash of food hidden somewhere. Or that I was able to go 5 hours without eating something.
Moral of this story is: When flying to Australia, choose a carrier other than United Airlines if you can’t handle waiting 13 hours to eat, or if you must take United bring your own food.