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?