As a vegetarian, I feel personally attacked by the revelations that my special meal requests on planes are barring me from a free upgrade and therefore form living my best life of a Business/ First Class passenger. Well, that and the fact I can’t afford to just outright pay for the rich people tickets.
But that’s exactly what flight attendant Neil Jackson, author of Welcome Aboard, told The Daily Mail.
And no it’s not just vegetarians, it’s any special request meals. Why the prejudice for different needs and tastes? Apparently, they worry they won’t have a suitable meal for you on hand in a different class. Which I GUESS makes sense but also I’m TOTALLY happy to eat my peasant meal in a better class, and surely what’s on my plate won’t be so horrible it offends the delicate, rich senses of my hypothetical fellow non-economy passengers?
What do you do if you really want that free upgrade? Leave your morals and allergies at the damn door, make no special meal requests and join up to the airline’s frequent flyer scheme.
This isn’t the first time a current or former flight attendant has made the same claim. A couple of years ago flight industry professional Nik Loukas, who made a name for himself with a blog and Instagram account reviewing the latest airline food, told Business Insider the same thing.
“If there’s a special meal request in your booking, the airline won’t even look at you (for an upgrade),” he said. However, Qantas did deny these claims at the time, saying they would actually provide a special meal for anyone bumped up a grade. It seems like they’re not speaking for other airlines though, as flight attendants seem to find this common knowledge.
You’re one solace? Sure, it’s still plane food so the bar isn’t set that high, but the vegetarian meals tend to be a lot better than the regular ones – yes I have meat-eaters to corroborate this claim. So, cool, yeah, GO ENJOY YOUR FANCY UPGRADE SUCKER.