After a lot of petitioning, Washington, D.C. finally received the first non-stop round-trip flights to Beijing. Thank God for United Airlines stepping up and doing this. In the 12-13 hour flight, meals essentially consist of 3 waves: first meal, light meal, then a final meal. There is the typical random pretzels, water, juice, alcohol (cash) offerings as well.
Above - snap of route from D.C. to BJ over North Pole
My feeling is the food on the way there is a lot better than the return flight to the U.S. My first meal consisted of a small salad that was normal but had too much green lettuce, chicken-noodle-veggies dish, which is what you’d expect on an airplane, roll/butter, and a brownie. Brownie surprised me, since it was actually pretty decent. I almost asked the stewardess for another meal just to get another brownie, but that would have been embarrassing. I washed it down, and almost everything else, with orange juice because I was getting over a flu.
Notice the kung fu on my TV screen. What a way to make my transition from the U.S. to China but by watching martial arts and eating noodles and a brownie. I have a lot more respect for kung fu, by the way. Always did, but after visiting the actual Shaolin Temple last week, I am floored.
The airlines have a decent research team. After my meal, I watched part of a horrible movie, read part of a book, fell asleep, woke up, and was hungry again several hours later. To my happy surprise, there was the staff, rolling out a snack of cup-o-noodles. They pass it out, then they return with kettles of hot water and add it to your cup. You cover it, let it sit for 4 minutes, and now you have your snack with an almond cookie on the side. Normal Ramen noodles, nothing special, but it definitely hit the spot. This was the same procedure, food, and timing on the return flight, too.
Now this was a wonderful surprise and is probably the best meal I’ve had on a plane. Of course, I’ve never traveled first class, but this is worthy of it. Come to think of it, if this was good, I wonder what first class had. But anyway, this is lasagna. Yummy lasagna. Of course, it’s relative, but man, it was quite tasty. There was a fruit cup/tray and Knott’s Berry Farm Raspberry Shortbread for dessert.
Seriously, doesn’t that picture of the lasagna put you in the mood for some right now?
On the return flight, the food was what you would think would be served on a plane. This time I had a salad, roll, chicken-pasta-veggies, and a pastry that was like a dense cornbread with a chocolate topping.
The snack was the same cup-o-noodles, so I was looking forward to a nice ending like the last lasagna dish. No… a peach roll, fruit tray, and yogurt. It actually was refreshing, but I was missing the lasagna.