As a first time flyer, Alfreda Eferobome Dickson watched with eagerness how the flight attendants moved round serving the meal. She must have expected the usual Banga and Owo soup which she enjoys at Warri, being an Isoko person by origin, but to her greatest chagrin, Emirates Airline offers unique and irresistible cuisines which could replace her expectation.
She had heard about how dazzling airline meals could be, but didn’t have an idea of what it entailed. Still watching with keenness, she saw how these attendants served the unique food and wine which they had made from the hard copy menu paying attention to what customers want.
And muttered ”Impeccable! Exquisite! Dazzling! such is the appearance of this food, Can’t wait to have a taste of it”.
With a well-balanced wide range of special meals, in 23 variations to meet religious, and medical dietary needs, Emirates prides itself with hospitality and service, bearing in mind that great care has to be taken to cater for customer’s ethnic preferences.
They engage in a lot of research so as to satisfy regional, seasonal, demographic and nationalities of the passengers expected to fly on each flight, thus their meal option dishes are designed to bring out food’s natural flavors without adding excessive fats and oil. Emirates don’t just stick to Arabic cuisine alone.
To ensure unique cuisines on board, Emirates’ offerings for First Class, Business Class and Economic class are different to make each flight worth it. The content of the airline meal differs from one class of ticket to another. Some of the meals that cuts across the three class ticket meals are: A complete range of drinks (alcohol and non-alcohol), hot chocolates, freshly squeezed fruit juice, yoghurts, pastries, bread, amongst others.
Some of Emirates meal offerings are Asian vegetarian meal, Fruit platter, High fibre meal, Low calorie meal, Low cholesterol/fat meal, Low protein meal, Muslim meal, Vegetarian/lacto meal, Vegetarian/ non-dairy meal, Non lactose meal, Low sodium meal, Seafood meal, Raw vegetarian meal, Oriental meal, Hindu meal, Gluten-free meal, Diabetic meal, Infant/baby meal, and Child meal.
The fact that Emirates also designed children’s menu with the aim of appealing to Emirates multi-national passengers, allowing children to enjoy both variety and favourite dishes, also thrilled Mrs. Dickson, who went alongside her little daughter.
According to Dickson, “I just travelled by Emirates Airline for the first time to Dubai, and I think I love the food quality. There were several hot dishes to choose from and the glutton in me wanted a taste of everything, but I tried not to eat too much. We made our meal choices from a hard copy menu that was tucked in the seatback pocket. I appreciated having a more detailed description of the meal choices to stating my choices verbally. For one of my meals, I had a side salad with some chicken, and one rice cake. I’d heard good things about Emirates and was not disappointed. Even my child had enough to eat the delicious meal prepared for kids of her age range. If traveling abroad, Emirates is in my humble opinion the only way to fly”.
Emirates has a repute for being committed to planning, preparation, and service of cuisine that is worthy of their passengers eminent good taste. It offers unique services especially with their food and wine. It pays attention to what passengers’ want rather that what other carriers have to offer, always insisting on excellence in equipment, facilities and service. Emirates strive to make every journey a destination in itself, with fine cuisine prepared by award winning chefs who design meals with an emphasis on creating dishes that promote good health. It offers a dining experience worthy of the finest restaurant all around the world with the freshest, best quality ingredients with a range of imaginative cooking techniques. Little wonder it has become a regular winner of the ‘Best Airline Food Awards’ in the Executive travel. It was the first airline in the world to achieve ISO accreditation for in-flight services in 1996.
Similarly, in 2014 it won the Experts Choice Award at Saveur Magazine’s second Annual Travel Culinary Awards. According to the magazine which had a panel for selection to include, industry experts, travel writers, photographers and chefs, dinning in an impeccable luxury is comparable to dinning in any gourmet restaurant or five-star hotel they’ve encountered round the world, and so cannot help but appreciate to detail on every aspect of a flight with Emirates, making the travel just as memorable as the destination itself.
Because it is believed that the best ingredients will always provide the best meals, Premium airlines like Emirates, invests a lot of money in their food and wine offerings, and to prove this, they had announced last year about the $500 million they invested in a new wine. For them, the wine list is a huge part of the in-flight experience. On any given day, over 60 different wines, Champagnes, and ports, sourced from the best vineyards in 12 countries, are served onboard Emirates to passengers in all classes.
According to Robin Padgett, Emirates Divisional Vice President, Catering, “At Emirates, we are always in pursuit of excellence and are constantly seeking to ways to deliver the finest product when it comes to hospitality. Food and Beverage are at the core. We are dedicated to offering our customers the finest cuisine in the world using the very best of produce that we can source. We believe that it is these high standards that keep our loyal customers coming back. We will continue to push the limits and explore new ideas, to ensure we are offering our passengers a dining experience that is comparable to some of the finest restaurants in the world.”
One of Emirates’ frequent flyers, Steven Nwosu also spoke about his experience, “I recently flew Emirates to Dubai and then India. I booked my flight Food. I noticed flight attendants were attentive. They had baskets of fruit & candy in the back for snacks. Food was pretty decent, no complaints. All the food there looked so good. I enjoyed the in-flight dining. I have flown Emirates a few times and they are definitely up there in my top three airlines. Emirates gives a dinner with appetizer, salad, choice of entrees and desert.
The fact that they have variations in their meal to meet religious, and medical dietary needs is one thing I also like about them. In addition you get the complimentary bottle of red or white French wine. Overall it’s a good airline I fly them often and have never had course to complain”.
Another Emirates passenger, Beauty Osahon, spoke of her experience, “I recently travelled to London via Emirates Airline. Their business class beats other airlines’ first class when it comes to their food offerings. That’s the simple fact. They’ve got an amazing selection of entertainment and delicious food and fantastic service, I cannot praise this airline enough. The food was very good as well and they gave us fancy menus telling us what we would get. They had awesome fruit juices like mango and papaya and the coffee and tea were amazing. I really love the fact that they made provisions for different kinds of people in their meal, such that children’s meal differ from that of adults, vegetarians also are put into consideration, and the likes. Overall, one of the best flying experiences of my life”.