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Vegan airline food: guest post by The Vegan Butcher

Following on from the immense interest shown in my recent post about vegan airline food, I have started to ask people to share their words and pictures about their own experiences.

My friend The Vegan Butcher has kindly supplied me with a written account of her meal on a recent Air Canada flight. Doesn’t sound too shabby!

If you would like to submit a story about a vegan meal you have been served in the air, please email me (with photos) at fatgayvegan at hotmail dot com. I would love to feature some guest contributors. Let’s build a library of vegan airline food stories!

Take it away, The Vegan Butcher.

When I flew with Air Canada between London, UK and Halifax, Nova Scotia for my summer vacation home in late June I booked my flight meals as “VGML” (I think they had it described as “dairy-free vegetarian”, which was the closest I could get it to vegan) and hoped for the worst. Keep your expectations low and they should always be exceeded, I figure.

Vegan food by Air Canada

I was pleasantly surprised by what Air Canada had to offer! My main meal on the way home was an Indian cauliflower bhaji with rice (flavourful and cooked well) with some fruit and a roll. They even had vegan margarine! Props, AC! Mid-afternoon they also handed out hot savoury pasties of some sort. I was totally way too into 21 Jump Street on the in-flight entertainment by that point and didn’t get a picture. I should have gotten a picture of the faces around me, though, as I literally LOL’d my way through the movie on this packed flight. A lot. And exuberantly. Plus I was decked out in a party dress for the Formal Friday airport greeting my crazy friends and I had arranged (they were all in suits and prom gowns when I landed), so you can imagine how insane the others on my flight must have thought me.

Vegan food for a Butcher

On my red eye back to London I was served some sort of grilled vegetable sandwich soon after boarding and then a delightful salsa-ridden tofu scramble with roasted potatoes at what would have been about 7am London time, which was a startling 3am Halifax time. As a girl that had just been partying for 2.5 weeks straight I was not overly impressed with the wake-up time, but at least they didn’t rouse me for fruit cocktail. (Oh, that was there too, but at least I had a hot meal to go along with it.) They also included a hard and dry bagel of some sort (I wouldn’t be surprised if it had been gluten-free). Not anything to get excited about, but again, it was at least better than a bowl of mixed fruit.

My special food requests were always delivered before the general service started, so at every meal I was happily munching away on more appetising food long before my omni-flight mates had received their chicken paninis or what have you. Jealousy abounded.

I have an omni friend who once worked as a flight attendant and she confessed that she always chose to eat the vegan option on her flights because they were consistently superior to the non-vegan options. Huzzah! Small victories!

Served with rice

In-flight vegan meal

I’m sure a snobbier vegan would have written a scathing review over the vegan food provided by Air Canada, but I’m a forgiving and far-too-easy to please vegan. To be honest, I was just happy that I was eating something other than bread and fruit salad. So thanks, AC! I’m a happy girl.

A well-fed Butcher on Air Canada

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Written by fatgayvegan

  1. Reblogged this on Traveling Vegan.

  2. I’ve been curious about vegan airline food. Great post.

  3. […] original post here:  Vegan airline food: guest post by The Vegan Butcher | fatgayvegan Tags: […]

  4. I flew first class with Air Canada last September, requested dairy free vegetarian as no option for vegan! Got served with mini canapés containing meat.. And a pasta with Parmesan on the top! However, after telling the staff I couldn’t eat it, they did provide me with a Vegan chickpea stew.. And no soya milk which was disappointing too. Flying again but economy so will see how that fairs up!

  5. Glad a vegan was actually FED on an airline flight. I starved! They “forgot” about the request and told me that you have to remind them before you board. On the flight to Europe someone scrounged up a meal that was from a first class passenger that did not show up, and that was at least edible but on the way back the stewards were not friendly at all and just shrugged their shoulders. Bring enough on a flight to sustain you, just in case. A long flight from Europe with no food — I drank a lot of juice!

  6. Apart from a cereal bar containing honey and sometimes non-vegan margarine, Lufthansa has been pretty good at serving vegan meals. 🙂 I complained about the cereal bar by email, but didn’t get a proper response apart from an “Oh, sorry!” that sounded more like “We don’t care…” Well, next try on Friday! 😉

  7. I’ve had good vegan meals on both Virgin Atlantic and American Airlines. The thing I think’s lacking in general is snacks between meals etc, kinda incidental food. You’re usually limited to salted peanuts in this regard.

  8. I’ve never had problems with Lufthansa or Delta but just tried Iberia this summer and they “forgot” my request on vegan (at least vegetarian) food…so double check always if you choose to fly with iberia. Great blog!!

  9. Dear Flying Vegan Girl,
    I am also a vegan and 52. There is an open war against animals in the whole world. That is my motivation for being a militant vegan. In public I am representing an option I wish to spread everywhere.
    It is nice to go to parties dressed up. And I bless you for being a vegan. I worked as a flight attendant many years in Iberia Airlines. Not anymore thank God! I could not be able to handle meat now. I served many VGMLs. And ate many too. One has to order a VGML or any other special meal 24 hours before flight. And confirm at the check-in counter. I used to do it every day!

  10. I’ve done OK with United Airlines on flights from the UK to the US – the vegan food, particularly at breakfast, has looked far more appetising than the food the meat-eaters got. Brekkie for me was a really nice hash browns-style fry up, whereas everyone else got some very sweaty-looking egg or bacon wraps! The only disadvantage is desserts – on the flight over I got nothing; on the way back it was a rather dry cookie.

  11. I fly back and forth a lot between the states and Australia. V Australia (Virgin) always has fantastic vegan meals. They even have snacks between (miniature veggie rolls, chips, fruit). The breakfasts are particularly good. Even if they weren’t that great, I’d still be pretty satisfied eating something besides fruit cocktail or Fritos.

    • Ari, have you been recently? have just ordered a vegan meal for an LA flight and very interested to see what it consists of, and if its the same as back in ’12. Sounds great 🙂

  12. […] on from the wildly-popular posts about airline food (one by me and one by my friend The Vegan Butcher), I put out an open call for readers to submit their own stories of vegan food served in the […]

  13. Some 10 years ago, my boyfriend and I were on a round-the-world ticket to Singapore, Australia and India. We booked our vegan meals and on five legs of this journey they somehow ‘forgot’ on every single trip (!!!!) to cater for us. There were apples, steamed veg from business class, dried crackers….. Needless to say, the airline received a letter stating in no uncertain terms that this is completely unacceptable. And they agreed and even compensated for this major catering disaster! Great to read how things are improving 🙂

  14. I flew from Seattle to Las Vegas last week to visit a sick relative, my first airline trip in 15 years. I remember how vegetarian meal requests used to not be honored consistently in the 80s when I used to fly on business. It was just “Sorry, no meal.” so I was happy to see that there was one vegan option on Alaska each way. For six dollars (credit or debit only) you get olives, a little tube of humus, some “gluten free” tortilla chips, a package of raw almonds, dried apricots, a tiny square of dark vegan chocolate, and Starbucks coffee. They called it “Mediterranean Tapenade” for some reason.

  15. I just flew British Airways to New York then American Airlines from Los Angeles back to London. BA and AA are partners… the vegan food on the way out from BA was fine – I was happy with couscous and roast veg personally and it was tasty if not imaginative. In LA airport itself we found RealFoods Daily – all vegan, and just great food so luckily we ate there. And of course, we’d eaten amazingly in New York and California – North American being epic for vegans in general. But the food on board the AA flight?! It was like something out of 1975… Dear god… steamed cauli with a few peas and rice. That was it – no sauce, no protein, no flavouring whatsoever. A bit of salad and fruit and that was it. No plant milks, no vegan spread. Appalling. The breakfast was even worse – plus they gave us dairy yoghurt. By this time I’d given up the will to live. I’ve complained to AA so think I’ll write to BA now about their partner letting the side down, lol.

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