It’s another Fabulous Friday and this week we will talk about airlines that offer pre-order meal service for their Premium Class passengers.
Many airlines have now adapted the concept of offering their passengers in First and Business Class to pre-order specially designed main courses for their flight.
The most popular one that started it all is Singapore Airlines Book The Cook which is well known for it’s premium dishes on board Singapore Airlines with popular meal choices such as Lobster Thermidor even on Business Class flights. There are also a very wide variety of Singaporean and Indian dishes.
Then there is Thai Airways where pre-order meals are also available for many years already and I dare to say that passengers flying Thai are well advised to use this service because their on board choices are anything but stellar. My favorite dishes Thai offers are Beef Rossini and Lobster Thermidor.
Even American Airlines has now a pre-flight selection of entrees and so does British Airways in their ‘Manage my Booking’ section. Here is what BA offers me for my upcoming London-Bangkok flight in Premium Economy (World Traveler Plus):
Now these are the same options they will have on board anyway but you certainly avoid that they run out of your favorite choice. I did not choose any meal because BA is famous for frequent operational upgrades to Business Class from WT+ for their Gold Members and ordering special meals often minimizes your chance for an upgrade.
The most positive experience however was on my recent flight with Malaysia Airlines Business Class between Kuala Lumpur and Beijing. I have flown this route at least half a dozen times now in the last two years and since Malaysia Airlines introduced their Chef On Call service I always pre-ordered my meals with them.
Here as well is the recommendation to use the pre-flight order whenever available because what’s offered on board is not really the most interesting. The flight from Beijing to Kuala Lumpur leaves at 1:40am and is pretty much a breakfast flight upon arrival with the exception of the serving of Satay right after takeoff. I can’t stand standard airplane breakfasts so I decided to order a nice Filet Mignon. Why not?
The taste and quality of the beef filet on both routes was very good and as so often you can see a few jealous eyes of other passengers when they have to choose from the mediocre menu options while the steak is coming your way.
You can access the entire Malaysia Airlines Business Class Chef on Call Menu here.
Their on call menu is available to/from select destinations only:
Chef-on-Call is only available for First Class and Business Class passengers with confirmed tickets travelling to/from Kuala Lumpur and any of the following cities: London, Sydney, Perth, Melbourne, Adelaide, Auckland, Incheon, Beijing, Shanghai, Narita and Kansai.
In fact this description is a bit misleading because it should read ‘between’ these cities listed above. For example I can not book the Chef on Call for Kuala Lumpur to Taipei. This is a big difference to for example Singapore Airlines where I can use Book The Cook to most destinations leaving Singapore except the very short ones.
I really like this service of having the choice of selecting a premium meal ahead of time rather than being limited to the 2 or max 3 choices on board if they are not running out of your first choice to begin with.
For some airlines such as Thai Airways and Malaysia Airlines this improves the inflight experience greatly as I mentioned before their regular line of F&B isn’t anything to write home about. Try it next time you fly on either of the featured airlines and make sure you select the meals 48 hours before your flight.