21 March 2007

‘First Class’ lunch at 36,000 feet

I travel a fair amount for work. I travel enough that occasionally, I qualify for an upgrade to First Class. However, my most common destination is Washington, DC. There are so many ‘elite’ travelers to DC that you have to be platinum or at least gold to get an upgrade. My measly ‘silver elite’ status usually doesn’t cut it.

The last couple of times I got an upgrade were for personal, vacation travel. I let my wife have the first class seat. (I may be dense, but I’m not stupid.) But on my trip to DC this week, I got an upgrade. It must have been a combination of time of day (mid-day) and the fact that I was flying to Dulles instead of Washington National.

It’s been a long time since I’ve been served a meal on an airplane. I just can’t imagine being hungry enough to buy those snack boxes they sell for an outrageous price on airplanes these days. But they were serving a lunch in first class on the flight to Dulles. I was curious to see what a first class lunch consisted of these days.

The choices were a lunch salad or a ‘cobb salad wrap.’ I chose the wrap. On the tray were the wrap sandwich, a side salad, and a commercial oatmeal/raisin cookie wrapped in sealed plastic.

The best part of the meal was the side salad. It was barley, roasted corn, and black beans with a few pieces of red pepper and a hint of cilantro. The dressing was a simply oil and vinegar combo. It actually tasted pretty good, and it was fairly filling. I should have stopped there.

The cobb salad wrap was awful. It had no flavor, no color, no texture, no redeeming qualities whatsoever. Take a look at this Wikipedia photo of a real cobb salad. I should have realized the improbability of wrapping a cobb salad in a flour tortilla, serving it in flight, and having it having any semblance of a genuine cobb salad.

The cookie was sadly disappointing too.

A first class upgrade is nice. If you want to work while flying, you actually will have enough room to work semi-comfortably. But based on my experience this week, the food it not a reason to want an upgrade.

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