WORST. UNITED. MEAL. EVER.

Discussion in 'United Airlines | MileagePlus' started by hulagrrl210, Apr 2, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. hulagrrl210
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    hulagrrl210 Gold Member

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    [​IMG]
    Pictured above is the raw meat I was served in BusinessFirst on a recent UAL flight HKG-SFO. No joke, it was cold. It was cleverly disguised in breadcrumbs so I had no clue what I was in for until I took a bite. Kind of ironic given this month's Smisek video is all about catering ops and how good the food is at United. I've put up with a lot of #$%@ from that airline over the years, but this was a new (disgusting) low.
     
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  2. Black Cloud
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    Black Cloud Gold Member

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    It actually looks perfect to me.
    The beauty of an undercooked steak is that it can be cooked more. Did you ask the FA to throw it back in the oven for a minute or two, to your desired temperature? You know, just like you'd do at a restaurant when the exact same thing happens?

    Cooking food on airplanes is a challenge. Altitude, pressure, and variability in the ovens has a pretty dramatic effect and makes it hard to get it perfect all the time.

    One of the many reasons why I strive to always bring on board.
     
  3. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    It might be useful if you could email the picture to Smisek (bypassing CS by finding the UA corporate email address), and ask the Big Cheese to just eat it!
     
  4. LarryInNYC

    LarryInNYC Gold Member

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    Was going to say the same thing. Of course, the diner is entitled to have the steak cooked to her satisfaction and serving steak to people with a variety of cook-point preferences with the limited facilities available on an airplane is probably a losing proposition.

    Also, the meal should not be cold (although the center of a steak cooked rare or medium rare is going to wind up close to room temperature).
     
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  5. ssullivan
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    ssullivan Gold Member

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    Exactly. I'd rather get that, and if I wanted it to be more done, asked for them to cook it longer, than what I usually get, which is so well done it's tough and chewy. I like my steak on the rare side. I realize not everyone does, but you can always cook a rare steak to medium or well done; you can't undo an overcooked steak for someone who likes it on the rare side.

    Did you ask the flight attendant to cook it a bit longer for you?
     
  6. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    Undercooked is fine. The disgusting part is that the thing was apparently served COLD!
     
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  7. canucklehead
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    canucklehead Gold Member

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    I have had food undercooked before, but that is usually a fault of the ovens/heaters not the FA. Hopefully the FA noted it and heated your food more (if you still wanted to eat it).

    OTOH, I have asked for my beef to be cooked for shorter periods of time so that the meat is still pinkish on the inside and not dried out. (The chefs at UA Do told me to make the request). The request is usually honored even though the FA tell me that they normally try to make sure its thoroughly cooked.
     
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  8. viguera
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    viguera Gold Member

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    Yeah... there's a difference between rare/medium rare and just plain uncooked. I personally haven't been paying attention to UA's catering business, but my guess is that everything is sent up cooked (or "mostly cooked), then it's finished onboard, no? Unless they do things differently in the international segments.

    I'm not squeamish in the least but I like my cow dead. Maybe a little pinkish, but certainly not red like that.
     
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  9. LarryInNYC

    LarryInNYC Gold Member

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    Rare beef is barely above room temperature and is pretty indistinguishable from uncooked meat. Even medium rare meat (a very hard standard to accomplish on a consistent basis) is still red and would appear, in a picture, very similar to uncooked meat.

    I believe, in this case, the photographic evidence is strongly supportive of the expert medical opinion that the cow is, in fact, deceased. ;)
     
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  10. hulagrrl210
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    hulagrrl210 Gold Member

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    Yeah, I don't mind my steak a little rare, but this was uncooked. The crew was nice enough to warm it up for me (I've never sent food back on the plane before) 45 minutes later what I got back was definitely cooked...but to the other extreme. Not a good day dining with United.
     
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  11. viguera
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    viguera Gold Member

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    So basically the same thing that happens when you send food back at a restaurant... :)

     
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  12. ssullivan
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    ssullivan Gold Member

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    Yuck, if they went from one extreme to the other.

    It is difficult (at least I think it is) to tell from the photo that it's rare versus completely uncooked. And, given differences in people's computers, mobile devices, monitors, and browsers, the level of red in the same photo will vary from one user's screen to the next, which is why I questioned whether it was just rare or not.

    It certainly doesn't sound like their finest moment, for sure. And, it's quite possible that the problem originated with an oven that wasn't properly working, or with a steak that was delivered to the aircraft much colder than it should have been (I once had entrée come out practically frozen because the caterer over-chilled it to the point where the normal heating time wasn't going to be sufficient) as much as it could have been a problem with a flight attendant not properly following directions on how to prep the meal.

    Unfortunately I do think they tend to err on the side of well-done, which I personally find, way overdone, but I know different people feel differently about their meat.
     
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  13. tommy777
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    tommy777 Co-founder

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    Looks delicious. Too bad it was cold
     
  14. Weatherboy

    Weatherboy Gold Member

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    I've returned food to the FA to heat up more in the oven. They've always obliged.
     
  15. boondr

    boondr Gold Member

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    The steak I had on UA a few weeks ago was somewhere between medium-rare and medium, in other words perfect.
     
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  16. Gargoyle
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    Gargoyle Milepoint Guide

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    What is so rare as a steak well done?
     
  17. genemk2

    genemk2 Gold Member

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    Don't forget to email 1kvoice when you get on the ground!
     
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  18. tom911
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    tom911 Gold Member

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    I'd say the same about my steak in Cathay F last year on the same route---was just perfect. Hopefully the UA error was a one-time thing or we'd be seeing more posts about it.

    [​IMG]
     
  19. viguera
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    viguera Gold Member

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    Actually some people "over there" might even throw a fit over this and demand 40k miles as compensation. Sad, but true.
     
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  20. genemk2

    genemk2 Gold Member

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    I probably wouldn't demand compensation, but offer it up as some constructive criticism and suggest that some retraining on meal preparation be included for FAs in the future.
     
  21. Bay Pisco Shark
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    Bay Pisco Shark Gold Member

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    The FA could have done it perfectly per the instructions, and it could be an oven issue, and have absolutely nothing to do with training.

    ps - that looks far far far better than anything even close to the WORST.UNITED.MEAL.EVER by a longshot.
     
  22. viguera
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    viguera Gold Member

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    Good point... a quick search revealed this gem on UA 1446 (LIR-EWR) a few days ago actually. Yes, that's a hot dog for breakfast and reportedly made the passenger sick. :)

    bad_meal.png
     
  23. KenInEscazu

    KenInEscazu Gold Member

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    I had something similar on my flight from SJO-IAH this morning. The FA asked if I wanted scrambled eggs or french toast. I asked what came with the scrambled eggs, and he was visibly irritated with my inquiry. He sai, "plantains, I think." I aked to him to find out, and he seemed to be holding back a tantrum.

    He came back and said, "sausage." So I ordered the scrambled eggs, and they came with half a sausage link (in Costa Rica they look like a hot dog), half a strip of bacon, the fruit bowl, two tiny strips of plantain and something that literally looked like fried vomit. The sausage was inedible, and being on a low-carb diet I can only say that the scrambled eggs were scrambled eggs, and the bacon was bacon. Can't comment on the rest due to the carbs, but the attitude was the worst part by far. This on a paid Biz fare.
     
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  24. hulagrrl210
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    hulagrrl210 Gold Member

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    I'm done complaining to United. I already contacted them about a seat assignment issue on this flight- they separated my 1-year-old son from us AGAIN! Got some canned response about an aircraft swap (that didn't happen). :rolleyes:
    I have more certs than I even need right now and the last thing I want to do is get a reputation for complaining too much. I'll save it for the next time they strand me in an airport overnight or something.
     
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  25. hulagrrl210
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    hulagrrl210 Gold Member

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    Funny you should mention hot dogs, because they had those in the United Club (Hong Kong).

    IMG_1285.jpg
     
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