I've been a vegetarian for over 16 years and have been requesting vegetarian meals on intercontinental flights for a while. Unfortunately for hungry me, I often end up receiving a vegan meal. I suspect this happens in order for airlines to reduce the different types of meals to prepare. But my issue with receiving a vegan meal is that they typically don't have sufficient calories/protein for me.

On a recent Air France flight I noticed once on board that they offered multiple options for the dinner and, surprise, one of them was vegetarian! But, having pre-requested a vegetarian meal, what I ended up being served was vegan and I spent the meal looking longingly at the cheese and cheesecake my fellows were eating.

Returning from Europe I flew KLM, and I noticed when I checked in that there were options to pay more for specific meals (but not categories of meal) but no place to specify a dietary restriction (maybe too late in the process). When I asked at the counter they told me to check in with a flight attendant upon boarding and fortunately they did have a vegetarian option on the menu.

Is this typical of the SkyTeam airlines I fly to Europe with (Delta/KLM/Air France)? In order to get an actual vegetarian meal, should I stop pre-requesting a vegetarian meal and hope that I'll be able to get a vegetarian option aboard?

closed as primarily opinion-based by Mark Mayo Apr 27 '16 at 13:32

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    What's your backup plan if, when the crew reach you, all they've got left is the chicken or the beef? (i.e. the handful of non-special veggie meals were taken by previous passengers) – Gagravarr Apr 27 '16 at 13:31
  • You've not said - are you actually vegetarian? This seems kinda subjective at present. I'd say no, because meat = delicious. Others would argue for vegan, and some vegetarian. I also don't really get your question - what is 'worth it'? I'm closing for now as subjective, but feel free to read the help center and edit your question, then flag to reopen once it's clearer. Thanks! – Mark Mayo Apr 27 '16 at 13:32
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    Are not vegan meals vegetarian meals? It sounds like you eat a pseudo vegetarian diet, perhaps including some animal products like eggs or dairy. For an airline to accommodate every variation on a healthy diet would be impossible. Your best course of action would be to bring a small packet of cheese to supplement your dietary needs. – user13044 Apr 27 '16 at 13:55
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    @Tom how is this relevant to the question?\ – raphael Apr 27 '16 at 14:30
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    The wording of your question "Should I...?" does make it sound opinion-based. Maybe you should rephrase as a factual question: "Do airlines generally offer vegetarian meals without needing a special request?" – Nate Eldredge Apr 27 '16 at 14:44