Each week, my Meal of the Week feature examines an airline meal from my travels over the years. This may be a meal from earlier in the week or it may be a meal served over a decade ago.
Working for an airline…or group of airlines…does have its perks. Today’s Meal of the Week looks back eight years on a generous upgrade…and tasty meal.
I took a two week holiday to Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, and Argentina in 2011. At the time, I was living in Frankfurt and TAM had recently joined Star Alliance, my employer. Thus, the first segment was a 12-hour transatlantic journey to Sao Paulo.
I was just a student at the time and booked an economy class ticket. But I knew the staff at TAM and they took great care of me. Business class was nearly empty and I was upgraded at the the last minute, without even asking. It seems like these sorts of days are over, but I certainly appreciated the space to spread out on the long overnight flight.
TAM is finally completing the upgrades on these 777s…some still have the seats pictured below, which are flat, but not horizontal to the ground.
After takeoff, a choice of drinks and nuts (mostly peanuts, with a few cashews) were served.
Despite being a very long flight, dinner was quickly served thereafter on a single tray. But it was a very tasty dinner, including steak with potatoes, a delicious salad with bresaola, mushrooms, artichoke, and rosemary, and best of all, some creamy mushroom soup. The warm olive bread was also wonderful.
For dessert I had cheese followed by Häagen Dazs Macadamia nut ice cream.
As a bonus, the breakfast before landing included more meat and cheese, fresh fruit, a croissant, and eggs with sausage.
I have not flown TAM since the merger with LAN and would imagine the meals you receive today look much different. But this was a nice walk down memory lane for me, both in terms of the onboard meals and especially the unexpected op-up.
What is the point of a 2011 review? Honestly, why?
Do you know how to read? Try reading the first paragraph…
Thanks Matthew, I think all of us have the very same reaction after seeing meaningless comments like this one from John.
What a great experience! Years ago the WSJ used to present a weekly wine column written by a couple. They promoted an annual “open that bottle night” as an opportunity to celebrate the wines we all tucked away for “that special night”. They published many reader summaries about that annual experience.
Their point was that the wine “rating” was really based on the experience/memories of it – with friends/family/events.
I think of that reading this, and wonder if this was an earlier experience for you that you’ll keep in memory forever. I know I have mine.
Thanks for the classic meal reviews. We sometimes forgot how things change (seats, meals, etc) as we’re always looking at it one flight at a time. Looking back on old seats especially reminds me of how good we have it sometimes compared to even just eight years ago.
Gotta love the Brazilians (and Argentinians) when you’re a meatitarian. That steak looks solid.
Please do a post on your workout routine, so that we might better understand how you’re able to consume these truly appalling meals, year after year, without becoming a blob.
Selfies too would be great.
Tam airlines was the best beford the fusion with Lan..now is a terrible airline in the world….ufff
I use Latam quite a bit back and forth to Brazil. And while the seats are a bit dated in business (new Business is slowly rolling out looks much better) the food is pretty much the same as you post from the past. Fairly decent meat offerings are the norm. Better than AA but certainly not Austrian or Turkish. Flight attendants are usually polished and very nice. Other than the seats it is a much better (and often cheaper) option to AA metal to GRU. But that is changing as we speak on the 777-300’s. Let’s hope they keep the fares reasonable as well since you can usually find $2K r/t’s in business from MIA-GRU – which is a much better value than using 300K AA points given the new dynamic pricing.
Those were the good old days of TAM. I remember they even used to offer toffees when you boarded the airplane. Now that they merged with LAN to form LATAM, the airline is quite bad. For domestic flights, at least in Brazil, they act like a low-cost carrier as their prices are lower and their soft product is no frills (the only food or beverage that is complimentary is water and for entertainment, they have streaming and WiFi). Meanwhile, the airlines that are classified as “low cost” (Azul and Gol) offer complimentary snacks and beverages.
I can only you assume you encountered turbulence, else there’s no excuse for any Flight Attendant to not wipe the rim of that plate before serving that steak!
There was turbulence, though it was served that way.