27 June 2012

United Airlines

Time to pick apart United bit by bit, exposing all its secrets for vegans to see.  I've wanted to do this ever since they made Matt and I late for our flight home from New Zealand and then yelled at us for being late.  OH UNITED.  I hate you.  I hate you bad.  You win this time, with your cheap flights and your transporting me safely overseas.  But don't think I didn't notice that when I changed my seat for this flight on the phone (a process which took over an hour), you failed to actually change my seat.  54A is the worst.  D-bags.

First world problems, man.

United Airlines

The good news is that as I write this, having finished the first in-flight meal and chapter 2 of Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer (read it), I have no motion sickness.  I'm the lightning rod for motion sickness.  Just ask Becca.  (The story involves gallons of vomit.)  I overcame the nausea I felt throughout the first 2 legs of the trip by taking a Target-brand Dramamine knock-off whilst on this flight.  Why must I convey this information to you?  Because I recently discovered that Dramamine has lactose in it.  Lactose as in milk.  So I grabbed Target's pills for half the price - score!  Now I'm basking in my health.  'Course, the thing conked me out.  But after that nap, I'm ready for anything.  Anything including, but not limited to, sitcoms with laugh tracks, the color red, and United plane food.  Bring it.

Here are all the things in my lunch that have milk in them:
  • Ranch dressing
  • Butter
  • Cookies
I improvised salad dressing.  Ya can't just eat iceberg, carrot, and red cabbage and expect it to go down easy.  I squirted the lemon wedge over everything (for some reason this made my hand sticky), then dumped on the salt and pepper.  It actually didn't suck.  The salad was fresh and crispy enough that it worked.

Next I picked up the bread packet from the upper right hand corner, turned it over the check the ingredients, and found nothing but the following message:
CHICAGO, IL    60651
 Is that precious?  NO.  It's in violation of FDA regulations.  Well, maybe it's just a little precious.

The bread wasn't too dry.  Kind of a rye taste.  I don't know.  Better ask Chicago.

The entree impressed me!  It had delicious big couscous with its own fun flavor and an Indian curry I can only assume was chana masala.  The baby-food consistency of the top layer in the picture above is misleading - that's just the sauce covering chickpeas, spinach, carrot, zucchini, and squash.  Mixed all together, it's like... authentic!  Well, as authentic as a white girl from Minnesota can discern.  The orange segment in there threw me off, but it tasted like curry.  I'm willing to overlook its presence.  Good job, United.  I'm not sure if that was vegan, but it sure was tasty and it didn't make me ill, so I'll take it.

Three in-flight movies later, breakfast!  It came with the same bread and butter as lunch.  The applesauce had no added sugar, and - yum.  You know what Mott's tastes like.  You do not, however, know what that amazing-looking cube of tomato-sauced vegetable matter tastes like.  Are you drooling?  Too bad.  I'm 99% sure it's full of cheese.  The tomato sauce was great in the super bland potato mush thing.  With salt.  Salt's important.

Bottom line: when booking your flight with United, the most you can do is request the vegetarian meal.  There's no vegan option.  I suppose you could call the airline and make a special request, but based on how they dealt with my seat assignment, I doubt it would work.  The only items I'm absolutely positive are vegan were the salad from lunch and the applesauce for breakfast.

I'm glad I brought a grillion Cliff and Luna Bars.  I suggest you do the same, and maybe even pack a PB&J or something.  You'll survive.  I believe in you.*

* Unless you are Rubschlager Baking Corp.


  1. More like GALLEONS of vomit. Or something.

    You guys don't even know.

    Where's your granola, girl?

    1. Yes, GALLEONS. And 5 sickles.

      My granola was in my one checked bag! Alas. That was like a year ago by now.

  2. I flew United this week from the US to Australia - I ordered vegan (but when I rang the airline they said it was called strict vegetarian on their system) and I was served curry and rice for dinner, and then guess what, curry and rice for breakfast! What the????