Food I Had Onboard XII (Late October 2023 – Mid-November 2023)

After my eleventh Food I Had Onboard posting majorly concentrated on two Lufthansa First Class legs between Frankfurt (FRA) and Tokyo-Haneda (HND), this episode is having a lot of variety. There are economy class flights, Transatlantic business class, but also rail experiences in my set of trips, which I had between late October 2023 and November 2023. Hope you enjoy traveling with and looking at some mile-high (or: on the tracks) nutrition.


25th October 2023, Eurowings EW 788, Cologne (CGN) – Budapest (BUD), Economy (SMART)

After I already introduced you to the curry sausage and the French fries you can purchase on board Eurowings flights, I felt just that this economy flight was a good opportunity to check out the third warm dish on their menu. In fact, the flight to Budapest even had two pasta dishes, the Napoli style one and Bolognese pasta. I went for the normal tomato sauce, as advertised their onboard literature. I heard that Ryanair is offering the same dish as well – and I was really surprised how tasty the food was. The pasta had a nice bite as well. Together with the bottle of apple spritzer, the price was 9 EUR. The crew was overall nice and a had a nice attitude.


26th October 2023, Finnair AY 1252, operated by Nordic Regional / Norra, Budapest (BUD) – Helsinki (HEL), Business

The following day, I kicked of the “main part” of my trip to the USA with a flight from Budapest (BUD) to Helsinki (HEL). The Embraer 190 flight was operated by Finnair’s regional flight subsidiary Nordic Regional or Norra. The crew on this flight was really charming and friendly. Furthermore, lunch was amazing. The main dish was beef ragout with mash and beetroot, which was absolutely tasty. The starter, cream cheese with pickled radish was a nice one as well. The sealed muffin, however, felt a bit week to it. I also had the opportunity to check Northern Blush, the Finnair signature gin and lingonberry cocktail. Lovely sip, which made me forget an absolutely terrible check-in performance at Budapest (BUD).


26th October 2023, Finnair AY 15, Helsinki (HEL) – New York JFK (JFK), Business

The second flight of the day was also the longest plane leg of my late October / early November trip (two rail legs were longer, though). I was so happy to finally make it to the updated Finnair Business class (the ones with non-reclining seats. After the pre-flight champagne, I continued with the Northern Blush, which became a good friend of my trip. The pre-meal drink was served with roasted almonds.

I had ordered a menu before the flight. The reindeer meatballs with mashed potatoes with mustard and beets were simply amazing and as Finnish as it could get, as the lovely flight attendant stated. The two starters served together with the main, a Finnish fish and pork pate and roasted beetroot with three different sauces, were nice as well. The blueberry pie for desert might look quite simple – but it was actually a really nice treat. I also loved the really friendly and very attentive crew.

The pre-landing bite was a vegetable and cheese quiche. It was actually nice and somehow slightly filling. I at least did not feel too hungry when I arrived at the hotel in New York. A big kiitos to the wonderful crew of this flight – Finnair is a really one of the best picks in Europe.


27th October 2023, Amtrak 43 Pennsylvanian, New York Penn Station – Pittsburgh Union Station, Business

I was really curious about this nine hour Pennsylvanian train service from New York to Pittsburgh. I opted for Business Class, which did not add too much seating comfort, but at least had a dining advantage, as non-alcoholic drinks were free. You had to grab them in the cafe car, though – which was okay, as the lady working there was really charming. I just went for a drink twice, both times in combination with having a bite: the first time, I opted for hummus with pretzel slides as a snack and a cheeseburger. The cheeseburger is heated in a microwave oven and you get condiments of your choice (mustard, ketchup, mayo, relish) with it. Actually, it was a really nice bite, regarding you are in a train. The coffee and the coke was actually urgently needed. The price for the food was 12 USD.

Some two hours before arrival, I had a stromboli for 7.50 USD. It was filling, which is the positive side, but I felt that the burger was the much better option. I like those pizza rolls, which are not Italian or European at all, typically. Nonetheless, I had much worse bites and the price was okay. Unfortunately, the prices did not match the ones Amtrak is stating on their own website.


29th October 2023, Delta 2852, Pittsburgh (PIT) – Atlanta (ATL), Domestic First

In some of the frequent flyer Facebook groups I am in, one of the “new tradition” feels to be that once a week a North American troll is complaining about the weird European-style business class in narrowbody airplanes, where the only feature finally is that you sit in the front of the plane and have a free middle seat. Delta had the opportunity to do it better for me – but they failed. An old and rather run-down Boeing B757-200 and no service at all while in the air. There was a tiny water bottle at the seat during boarding and I had a pre-flight ginger ale. Luckily, I chose their Domestic First solely for status point reasons.


29th October 2023, Delta 2517, Atlanta (ATL) – Myrtle Beach (MYR), Domestic First

The second leg with Delta was much better, indeed. The crew was significantly more attentive. This time, I also got one of the “premium” snacks, dried apple chips (there are some other to choose from… But it is very hard to get all they got in stock if you are not used to the brands. Apart from a pre-take-off Coke Zero, I had three (!) glasses of ginger ale while airborne. Nice performance in a Boeing 717.


31st October 2023, American Airlines AA 2037 (operated by PSA Airlines), Myrtle Beach (MYR) – Charlotte (CLT), Main Cabin (Extra)

Nothing to report in regards of in-flight service in ehre. The flight has an effective flight time of 35 minutes, there was no service in the main cabin. What I did not like at all is that at boarding, the gate agent skipped boarding group 2 (I guess it is non-American Airlines oneworld Emeralds only). This means she announced group 3 right after 1. I feel that this is respectless – it should be easy for her whether there are passengers in this group or not.


31st October 2023, American Airlines AA 2624, Charlotte (CLT) – New York JFK (JFK), Main Cabin (Extra)

Regarding the inflight nutrition, the service of this some one hour flight was absolutely fine. A bag of pretzels and a full can of soda (you might not even get that in Domestic First…) was absolutely nice. However, they had a similar boarding issues (this time announcing group 1, then “group 2 and 3”).

I was even more pissed about one flight attendant, who first of all did not do the cabin check pre-departure correctly (I needed a departure, my seat belt was hanging down the aisle due to that reason) and then, during take-off and landing, played something on her cell phone all the time. Sorry girls – I love to take you seriously, you are majorly there for our safety, not as soda pushers. But if you behave like that and don’t care a (add f-word in here) about you main task and rather hunt a high score, you work are a key reason, why people see you like flying waiters and waitresses and ignore the key safety rules.


31st October 2023, Finnair AY 4016 (operated by American Airlines as AA 104), New York JFK (JFK) – London (LHR), Business Class

I don’t topic the boarding group thing any more too strongly (this time, they booked a fully booked B777 for priority in two groups, Concierge Key and Group 1 as well as 2 to 4…). The beginning of the service was… Let’s say: bumpy. Hardly any contact to the crew before take-off, the plastic champagne was served without communication. The warm nuts were served when I already had my main dish.

It became much better, though, also due to a very charming and attentive female flight attendant – you really felt her passion for the job. I pre-selected the bourbon-glazed salmon with orzo, sugar snap peas and cherry tomatoes online. The main was a treat. Due to time constraints on the very short flight (less than five and a half hours), I was glad that they served it together with two starters, a salad with a lack of dressing and sundried tomato tatar on microgreens (don’t need to go for that another time, I think…). After about one hour, I was done with dinner, including a cheese plate and port.

Three hours of sleep later, I was fine for breakfast. I went for the American breakfast, which were scrambled egg with cheese, bacon, roasted potatoes and herbed tomato. It was average, but the fruit and pastries to it were very nice. Thus, overall, I had a pleasing service with American Airlines.


1st November 2023, British Airways BA 866, London (LHR) – Budapest (BUD), Business Class

The ground operations at Heathrow (LHR) were at their worst again for this final flight of the trip. Parts of the plane were already boarded and waited in the waiting area of Gate 24, the bus gates of Heathrow Terminal 3, when the ground staff had to interrupt boarding. The plane had a technical issue. These things can happen, the plane had an issue and two hour delay at its morning leg already. Better be safe than sorry. However, we all had to walk to gate 3A, which is about the very other end of the terminal. Why not taking the bus and boarding from the rear of the plane with stairs?

I was exhausted from the trip. Nonetheless, I felt the crew was nice and also did well in cooling down the nervous passengers. There were three lunch options (due to the some 60 minutes delay at departure, I was somehow hoping for afternoon tea, but of course, the 13:20 scheduled departure made it a lunch one). I went for a chicken Thai curry. Regarding this was a Do & Co meal, I was rather disappointed. The chocolate mousse felt like a good old friend on the other side and lead, apart from some drinks, to a pleasing experience for the final flight leg of my Hungary-USA-Germany trip.


2nd November 2023, MAV Hungarian Rail Euronight EN 40476, Budapest-Nyugati – Berlin Hbf, Single Sleeper

The sleeper car trip included a breakfast, which has been served some 1:45 hrs before we reached Berlin Main Station. You could select up to seven items from a list, where an “item” either equaled to a drink, some cold cuts, two basic bread rolls or a bowl of preserves. Actually, I really enjoyed this start of the day (with a peppermint tea). The train staff was lovely and very helpful throughout the entire trip as well.



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