Friday, August 16, 2013

Airplane Food

Here's my problem: I'm so old that I can remember when the stewardess on my flights (they were always pretty young women called stewardesses in those bad old days) would cook my filet mignon to order. Medium rare and sizzling, it would be delivered with a smile to my seat, and the accompanying vegetables were equally well prepared.

Was I traveling first class?  Heck, no!  This was steerage and still the food was good, prepared to order, and served with a set of actual cutlery. No plastic forks and knives back then. Of course, the flights weren't quite so smooth in those days, being much lower in altitude, so one was more likely to spill the drink or to actually need the airsick bag, and the heavy drone of the propellors did get to me after several hours.

Never mind!  

Deregulation changed all that. Now, airlines compete on the basis of price, so they have whittled away at all the costly little extras that used to make airline travel a pleasure. It is true that today's airline travel is a far cry from those halcyon days. Today, you're lucky if they will sell you for a princely sum a really, really bad tray of food or, as Michael Pollen would call it, "food-like substances." And, if they don't serve food, consider yourself fortunate if they throw a tiny bag of peanuts or mini pretzels at you with your small glass of liquid.

So, now when we travel by air, I usually pack a lunch. I make fat sandwiches at home and cut up fruit into manageable pieces. Or I take a chicken leg and a handful of almonds. Or a chunk of cheese. Or whatever is in the fridge that might go bad before we get home. I have sometimes taken a salad in a baggie with a separate container for the dressing.

During the flight, when we open our little black nylon lunch bag, inevitably the person next to us goes, "Oooooooh, look what you have!" and clearly wishes they had thought to bring real food with them, too.  This reaction is so predictable that I have taken to packing a little extra so I can offer some to my seat mates if they look particularly envious.

I'm not sure why I'm telling you all this, except perhaps to mourn the good old days, and to remind you that you, too, can be the envy of your fellow passengers. When you bring your own, airplane food can be quite delicious.


Blogger Kailyn said...

I miss the days when on Delta they would hand you a menu that had a watercolor of one of their destinations on the front. sigh

Friday, August 16, 2013  
Blogger Greg said...

We do something similar when we train it. Even on car trips we, find it healthier than fast food.

Saturday, August 17, 2013  
Blogger Katie Zeller said...

When frequent flier miles first came into existence, we managed an upgrade to first class on a trip across the pond. There was an ice sculpture with caviar and iced vodka to welcome us on board. I don't think they do that anymore LOL

Saturday, August 17, 2013  
Blogger Namastenancy said...

After he retired from the Navy, my dad worked for Pan Am but I don't remember steak cook to order. But I sure remember the comfortable seats for all passengers and the way that the airplane crew looked after my then little brother and sister. We flew a lot and it was always fun. But I flew Virgin America to Seattle this month and it was a marvelous experience. No steak but the meal was tasty, my seat was expensive but comfortable and the stewardess was a sweetheart. Plus, I sat next to a very smart young man and we discussed world affairs until the plane touched down.

Saturday, August 17, 2013  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Kailyn, ah, the good old days...

Greg, not only healthier, but tastier by far.

KatieZ, nice! I have traveled first class on frequent flyer miles, too. It is my observation that even the children in first class are better behaved. :-)

Nancy, maybe I need to try Virgin America and see if they do a better job. My seat mates are usually nice people, it's only the skinny seats and rotten food that I hate.

Sunday, August 18, 2013  
Blogger Diane said...

This made me laugh. Yes, I too BYO onboard.

Sunday, August 18, 2013  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Diane, so smart. So inexpensive. So much better.

Sunday, August 18, 2013  

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