A Peek at Continental Business Class & First Class Food (Photos)
Whenever I walk by the First and Business Class seats on a flight, I wonder just how much I'll be missing out- especially when it comes to meals. Sure, there is a bit more legroom in First Class, plus the seats are closer to the exit and the section has a dedicated bathroom, but all people ever talk about is the FOOD.
It was, of course, the food that I really paid attention to the first time I flew First Class. Since I thought you, too might wonder what they're munching on up there, I documented each and every morsel that was served to us.
For reference, these meals were served over a series of four different Continental flights between San Francisco and Houston and Houston and Cancun/Merida in Mexico, so you're seeing a mixture of domestic and international meals (sometimes that makes a difference), but none of these meals was served on a flight that lasted for longer than two hours. Those sitting in Economy on these flights were only served drinks and given the option to purchase pre-packaged meals.
To be honest, I was dissappointed to be flying First Class in the morning, since breakfast is rarely a fancy affair.
They most certainly did not serve anything particularly special for breakfast when I flew in First Class, however what WAS remarkable, at least when it comes to planes, is that we were served with REAL PLATES AND UTENSILS! How incredible! How posh! No plastic clamshell containers for us!
At any rate, the first First Class breakfast I was served consisted of:
- Milk and cereal
- Yogurt (I believe they tried to make it strawberry flavored, but I tasted like pink. Whatever that is.)
- Fresh fruit
The second breakfast (which was served on a flight out of Merida) was also standard fare:
- A croissant-like pastry
- Yogurt (with coconut shavings)
- Fresh fruit
I was not a fan of either type of yogurt we were given. They were too sweet and I'm not a fan of people tossing coconut into things all willy-nilly. That said, neither of these breakfast flights were departing from regions particularly well known for good yogurt.
Since meals are the most popular perk given on First Class flights (or at least the most pleasant-to-talk-about benefit), it makes sense that airlines feel obligated to serve food even on really short flights. This is where snacks come in!
Typically, first class and business class snacks consist of fresh fruit and cheese. On my Continental flights, they served a cheese, veggie, and meat plate (with crackers, fruit, and Milano cookies), which is lovely... unless you're a vegetarian.
Now, I could have stated before flying that I am a vegetarian, and I would have then probably been served something different, but I learned on an international Business Class flight some time back that vegetarian food requests mean that you get served economy class food on Business Class plates. I was having NONE of that.
What I had to do was pick around the meat and miss out on most of the mealtime fun. That said, the cheese was nice, and all the other carbs were perfectly fine.
Lunch on one of these First Class flights consisted of two options:
- A chicken salad
- A ham and cheese salad
When I flew on an international United flight in Business class, I noticed that all meals included at least one vegetarian option in the menu (and yes, there was an actual paper menu). This was sadly not the case on the Continental flights I took, so I just had a salad... with nothing.
Don't get me wrong- I can eat pounds and pounds of roughage, and this roughage was lovely... but one would think they would have at least some protein on hand for vegetarians!
Accompanying the meal was another bowl of fruit (they REALLY like giving out fruit) and a gross-looking brownie that I wouldn't touch with a 30 foot pole. But again... REAL PLATES!!!
Freshly Baked Cookies!
To be honest, I was dreadfully underwhelmed by the food served to us in First Class..... until I began to smell the irresistibly comforting aroma of baking cookies.
That's right, near the end of the two longer flights I took, they baked and served cookies. The first time, they made chocolate chip cookies. The second time, it was oatmeal raisin.
I don't care how disappointing the other meals were... all they had to do was shove a warm cookie in my face and I was one happy camper.
Of course, I have memories of being served a freshly baked cookie in economy (GASP!) on a flight to Hawaii when I was a kid... so I don't think this is an exclusively First Class privilege... or at least, it didn't used to be. That said, on these flights, cookies were only served those who sat up front. It must have been a real drag to be sitting in Economy and smelling the cookies baking. Now that I think of it, it must have been pure torture!
Have Your Say!
What is the most alluring thing about First Class and Business Class?See results without voting
- What is United Airlines First and Business Class Food Like?
My review of business class food on a United flights to and from Germany
If you were considering whether to fly First Class just because you want good food... don't. Choose First because you want:
- More legroom
- Free movies and a better viewing experience on long flights
- Less contact with the unwashed masses
Yes, the food is better, and you get served on real plates, but there are two very important things you should consider:
- Food on an airplane is going not going to taste as good... because you're on an airplane! The noise and the vibrations dull your senses, so everything tastes slightly less good.
- Food you can bring on your own both costs less AND may very likely be healthier and tastier. Plus, it'll be exactly what you want!
It has been a privilege to have the opportunity to fly First Class and Business Class... I have always wondered what it is like, and now I know! That said, I would never personally pay extra money to enjoy the privilege.
If you really want to feel comfort and luxury, choose a good airline. I recommend flying Virgin, getting wireless on the flight, and bringing your own food. You'll spend a lot less, and be just as- if not more- comfortable!
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