Vegetarian = Vegan to United

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I don’t fly often, but as I mentioned earlier, I’m headed to Seattle next week and that will require putting my fears aside and getting on a plane. On my flight there, I’ll be served a meal, so naturally, I wanted to get a meat-free meal. While I have no idea exactly what I’ll be served, I came across this page about vegetarian meal options on United’s site. Interestingly, if you specify that you’re a lacto-ovo vegetarian, you will be served a vegan meal! I guess that way, they figure everyone’s happy and it makes planning a little easier for them. United First and United Business passengers, however, are offered the option of dairy desserts and milk, should they so desire. I ordered a vegan meal, but was happy to see that even if they misread it or enter it into their system incorrectly, I’ll still get what I ordered.

I thought I had remembered reading about specialty meal requests being dropped by a lot of airlines as a cost-cutting measure, but apparently that’s not the case with United. I’ll be sure to report back on exactly how soggy my giant plate of canned string beans is.

2 Responses to “Vegetarian = Vegan to United”

  1. Sunil Joshi

    You just touched on one of my pet peeves!! I only wish people knew the difference between vegan and vegetarians. Is it that difficult to understand? Forget that, what baffles me is that some times I’ll say I am a vegetarian, and they will offer me a chicken or some sea food! Now, I have no idea why they think a shrimp is a vegetable, but clearly some thing went wrong in the childhood education process!!

    The only thing worse than misinterpreting the term “Vegetarian” is to forget it altogether. God only knows how many times I have been on flights within US and International, when not only do they misread the request for a vegetarian meal, but some times they just plain forget about it!!

    This has happened so many times that now I have stopped asking for a vegetarian meal (which I know I won’t get any ways), and I just pack myself a nice little sandwich – from the Einstein Bagels, or some such food store in the terminal. The food quality goes up a 1000 notches, and I get what I want.

    Better to pay $6 extra than to go hungry for 6 hours!

    -Sunil

  2. Pamela

    I remember how embaressed a British Airways flight attendant was to ask if I minded that the pre-ordered vegetarian meal was fish. (groan) It’s the sort of thing that you expect from a low budget airline… but BA?

    I just discovered you blog and I’ve found it most entertaining. I’m a vegetarian and its nice to know that I’m not the only one to go through the “And this is the vegetarian..?” when taken to some formal dinner. It’s not a flaming disease!

    I must say that my (meat eating) partner is very accomidating and does try to see I’m catered for when we go out to eat.

    Pamela

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