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Food I Had Onboard XV (March 2024 – early April 2024)

In my fifteenth edition of my Food I Had Onboard posting series, I have a quite nice range of flight and train experiences, I feel. Three op-ups lead to some quite posh food insights of my travels. Hope you enjoy my share about the onboard culinary experience.

 

10th March 2024, Deutsche Bahn (German Rail) ICE 622, Munich Main Station – Cologne Deutz, First Class

After the outbound from Cologne to Munich has been cancelled due to strike (I skip the replacement flight, I did not have any food), my wife and had to get rid of quite some food and drink vouchers which were about to expire. After starting with a gin and tonic, my wife had a vegan wrap, which was quite nice. I was blown by the vegan(!) fried fish baguette, which was really delicious. We also shared a Jokolade, a chocolate bar with cookie and raspberry, which was really nice. The at seat service was very friendly as well. A lovely rail trip, definitely.

 

15th March 2024, KLM KL 1862 (operated by KLM Cityhopper), Dusseldorf (DUS) – Amsterdam (AMS), Economy Class

The packed Friday evening flight was likely the worst experience I had with Air France / KLM since I decided to try moving from Lufthansa to their services. A key issue was the way they handled luggage on board. That was extremely unfortunate as it was my first flight as a SkyTeam Gold member – I was looking forward to the comfort of lounge access and a free comfort seat. Instead I was forced to put my only hand luggage underneath the seat in front of me. Overall, I did not like the crew at all. Regarding food, it has been the good, old pizza crackers.

 

15th March 2024, KLM KL 1999 (operated by KLM Cityhopper), Amsterdam (AMS) – Krakow (KRK), Economy Class

Even though the flight from Dusseldorf (DUS) was rather delayed, I had a more relaxed transfer to my second flight than I expected. The flight felt so much better. The new Embraer E195-E2 is so spacious and comfortable, I could even fold down the table in front of me (which is rare due to my body size). I also loved the crew and the cheese sandwich had a really nice spread, so it was really yummy.

A good flight – until after landing. While we were still taxiing, the flight attendant did not stop a passenger who walked through the cabin grabbing a metal suitcase from the overhead bin above me. Of course just when he took it out, we stopped for parking. This was very dangerous in my point of view – and an absolutely unnecessary risk. We had bus unboarding anyway. The flight attendant did not take the critics from me at all. And the captain standing next to her did not say a word. I just don’t get that flight attendants just don’t take these safety rules serious any more.

 

17th March 2024, KLM KL 1996 (operated by KLM Cityhopper), Krakow (KRK) – Amsterdam (AMS), Business Class (op-up)

After a lot of trouble on the outbound, the inbound did not only start with the charming Krakow Airport Business Lounge, but with another surprise: KLM gave me an op-up to Business Class. One thing which was a bit of bothering was that my neighbor was a flight attendant on a deadhead, which lead to lot of communication between the active crew and her. Nonetheless, I really loved that flight. Nice crew and another “KLM Bento Box”. This time, the main dish was teriyaki noodles with stucky tempeh and a bunch of vegetables.

The side dishes were Atjar Ketimun (cucumber salad) and three macarons. I feel that eating noodles in a plane is always a bit of bothering. The dish could have had a stronger taste, but was overall nice. Macarons are not made for that kind of storage – nonetheless, they were better than I expected. The cucumber salad was definitely a nice thing. By the way, this time, the flight attendant explicitly asked passengers to sit down again during taxiing – good job!

 

17th March 2024, KLM KL 1863 (operated by German Airways), Amsterdam (AMS) – Dusseldorf (DUS), Economy Class

Back to economy class on the last leg of my trip. I like the German Airways flights, even though the crew this time felt to be a bit of rigid. We are all a bit of tired on a Sunday evening, I guess. Catering was a small bottle of water and the pizza snack, just like on the outbound. I did not take a picture of it.

 

18th March 2024, KLM KL 1862 (operated by KLM Cityhopper), Dusseldorf (DUS) – Amsterdam (AMS), Economy Class

Right after heading to Krakow, I had a business trip to Dublin – and was back in the KLM Cityhopper. The service was absolutely fine, the service a typical pizza cracker and water one (no pic). I still appreciate it – especially as I could feed up myself in the lounges in Dusseldorf and Amsterdam before the flights and during the transfer.

 

18th March 2024, KLM KL 939, Amsterdam (AMS) – Dublin (DUB), Economy Class

The second flight of the day was a Boeing 737 service to Dublin (DUB). Again, I really enjoyed the comfort seats you can reserve three days before the flight as a gold member. In regards of the Food I Had Onboard contents, the flight has not been overwhelmingly spectacular. KLM serves cheese sandwiches, as always. Luckily, there was just a slight delay, after the KLM ground staff had to check the visas for Ireland for quite a bunch of Asian travelers.

 

21st March 2024, KLM KL 938 (operated by KLM Cityhopper), Dublin (DUB) – Amsterdam (AMS), Economy Class

Three days later, another Embraer service by KLM Cityhopper brought me back to Amsterdam. The cheese sandwich was the typical one. The flight had some fifty minutes delay when it left the gates in the Irish capital. Even though the pilots could speed up a bit, we lost the time with a long taxi on the ground in Amsterdam-Schiphol (AMS) again. The crew did a great service and kept the passengers informed – the plane was now packed with people having short connections. When I arrived at the terminal, my transfer was already boarding. I did not believe I can make it. Food? Cheese Sandwich, of course! No picture here

 

21st March 2024, KLM KL 1863 (operated by German Airways), Amsterdam (AMS) – Dusseldorf (DUS), Economy Class

Amsterdam Airport (AMS) went surprisingly smooth and I made it to the bus of the German Airways flight. even more surprisingly, especially after my recent Krakow experience, even my suitcase made it. The KLM luggage tracking is unfortunately not that transparent in it. The crew was nice – even though I had better rides with that carrier doing services for KLM. Another pizza cracker trip – KLM is not overwhelmingly creative, but therefor extremely reliable, in this category of flying.

 

30th March 2024, British Airways BA 935, Dusseldorf (DUS) – London-Heathrow (LHR), Economy Class

After all the KLM Economy legs, I was really happy to be back at British Airways. The economy cabin in the A320 is really narrow, even in the fifth row. British Airways either served cookies or an oatmeal bar on this short leg, I went for the latter one. In a rather empty flight, the service has been absolutely nice. Apart from the hardware, a really nice flight by the British.

 

30th March 2024, British Airways BA 1516 (operated by American Airlines AA 101), London-Heathrow (LHR) – New York (JFK), Business Class (op-up)

I did not expect that I would ever be upgraded on an American Airlines flight. The more I was amazed when the US-American airline moved me from the front row in Premium Economy to a middle seat in the Business Class. The lunch service was amazing. Due to my in-cabin upgrade, I missed the pre-flight drink. The more, I enjoyed the nicely warmed nuts before the meal. The green salad and the starter, poached prawns with a paprika coriander sauce and guacamole, has been lovely. Out of a selection of four entrees, I went for the jalapeno marinated chicken. It was served with beans, potato wedges and Hollandaise sauce. The dish was an absolute treat. The desert was a hard choice. I neither went for the cheese board nor the lovely looking ice cream sundae. Instead, I took the chocolate mousse cake, which was really nice. The service was amazing, I had my desert finished 1:20 hours after take-off, without opting for the express menu. Thus, there was plenty of time to work and relax en route to JFK Airport.

I had a small sandwich and some treats during the flight (forgot to take a picture). About an hour before landing, the crew served a pre-landing snack. I opted for the more “British choice”, a steak and ale pie and a chicken and mushroom pie. They were really delicious. I really felt fed and ready for the Big Apple – something I cannot always say at the end of a Business Class flight. The alternative option would have been a Mediterranean style quinoa salad. A great flight in the Flagship Business by American Airlines – and a superb crew. Really loved that experience.

 

5th April 2024, American Airlines AA 4486 (operated by Republic Airways), Washington Reagan Airport (DCA) – New York (JFK), Economy

Due to the weather in and around New York, the crew announced that there will only be food and beverage service “on demand” in the main cabin. Honestly, I slept the whole flight. Cannot judge on their service – but it felt like that just a few passengers around me took that option. I was rather fed and happy from the Admirals Club at Reagan Airport (DCA) and looked forward to the excellent Soho Lounge catering at JFK.

 

5th April 2024, British Airways BA 182, New York (JFK) – London-Heathrow (LHR), Business Class (op-up)

Lucky me. Even when I checked in online, the boarding pass already showed seat 7E – another business class op-up from the Premium Economy seat I originally booked. I would typically try to optimize sleep time, as the short East coast to Europe flights are typically not giving you too much time to rest. The crew was absolutely outstanding, very friendly, funny – and extremely effective. 50 minutes after take-off, I was already done with my three course dinner.

As a starter, I opted for cream of sweet potato and maple soup over smoked salmon. The soup was absolutely delicious (of course, served rather warm than hot in the flight environment). For the main course, I took the fish dish and went for pan seared cod with a saffron fennel mousseline and sauted kale. The dish was a nice one as well. Other options would have been a teriyaki chicken and buffalo mozzarella ravioli. The raspberry and vanilla panna cotta I chose as a desert, taken with a glass of port, gave me an additional big chunk of passenger happiness. Other options would have been fruit, cheese or a chocolate lava cake.

About an hour before landing, the crew served breakfast. The fried egg and spinach muffin I had was a lovely choice. The alternative would have been a classic scrambled egg, bacon and cheese panini. The breakfast came with Greek yogurt and granola as well as a pastry. A really nice kick-off into Saturday morning – and a great flight experience overall.

 

 

6th April 2024, British Airways BA 940, London-Heathrow (LHR) – Dusseldorf (DUS), Economy

The flight had some 90 minutes delay overall. Apart from a delayed arrival from Madrid (MAD), the A320 faced some technical difficulties. The crew was absolutely friendly and tried to care about the passengers very kindly. Back in economy, I had the choice of a chocolate bar and a salty snack. I went for the latter one, whch came with a 250ml bottle of water. Very nice experience.

 

Food I Had Onboard

My bites and drinks on flights and trains are shown in Food I Had Onboard:

 

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