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Monday, March 30, 2009

Shamefully, The Only Way to Fly

In these troubled times dare there still be those still willing to dole out $5,000.00 and up for a first class seat to Europe or Asia; easily double to the sun laden destinations of Australia or the inner reaches of Africa. The answer is yes, and the world is, in essence their oyster, for the moment, as a number of airlines have taken on to employing celebrity chefs to woo first class passengers with offerings such as seared salmon, rack of lamb, and of course, premium caviar to begin the mile high multi-course extravaganza

May your first class journey be attributable to a nice stash of cash, diplomat status, a hefty accumulation of 'sky miles', or the lucky ducky buddy pass, you now are limited to but a handful of carriers if you crave the crackly chilly crunch of fresh Sevruga, Oscetra or any crispy roe off the Caspian trail.

Some of the airlines that still cater to fine diners in first class seating include:

Cathay Pacific: According to one previous traveler, caviar and salmon dishes are served around 50% of the time, 'depending on the crew'. There are apparently individual and 'group' service, whatever that can mean. Caviar and salmon are generally served one time per flight unless specifically requested.

Japan Airlines: Was scheduled to begin providing caviar service to their first class
passengers, including those flying in non-suite sections December 2008. Check: for full details.
American Airlines: Is still reeling from an episode of not only serving caviar with onions (oh dear), but serving faux caviar. Two foreign businessmen were recently indicted for selling the air carrier paddlefish and hackleback roe for authentic Russian caviar, and selling previously frozen and mislabeled caviar to a number of major specialty food chains.
Emirates: Does not have 'first class' per se' However, that does not prevent them from allowing their passengers full charge of services, 'order what you want when you want'. Oh and by the way enjoy to your hearts content anything from the 'all-you-can eat Iranian caviar bar.

Lufthansa: Serves a lovely spread of hors d'ooeuvres and canapes on starched table linens complimented with a Lufthansa First Class rose. Caviar is served on its own dish while the other hors d’oeuvres were served on an etagère. Hmm, impressive.

Qantas: Offers an 8-course tasting menu complete with caviar. All meals are made on board and made to order with the freshest ingredients. They also offer array of canapes are served before the main meal.

Saudi Arabian Airlines: Offers Iranian Sevruga caviar served with an assortment of traditional Middle Eastern garnishes and accompaniments. What can be more elegant than this simple gesture?

Singapore Airlines: Provides to its passengers the choice of Krug or Dom Perignon champagne upon boarding as an accompaniment to Servruga Caviar before the main meal, which is served on Givenchy china. Additionally luscious dishes such as Wagyu beef and Korean-style eel fillet are designed by a team of nine top chefs from around the globe.

Of course, the atmosphere in all settings is sure to provide the finest array hot and cold beverages, and libations of the persuasion of champagnes, wines and vodkas (aside from the libation free Emirates). Plus all the comfort based pamperings to be expected as a VIP.

For the moment extravagant international travel may not be completely in style. However on a limited number of airborne posh palaces, those with the resources can travel 'in style'.

(Ode to the yet decommissioned Concord).

Rest well all,

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