Post image for Air NZ may have the champagne, but United has the champagne comedy

Air NZ may have the champagne, but United has the champagne comedy

June 9, 2010 · 76 comments

As I mentioned in my last post (which also has details about how to win tickets to the Perth Good Food & Wine Show) I am currently off having a hot, sweaty fling with summer.

Given that the next few weeks are going to continue on much like the last couple, and involve me having pretty much no time to brag to you about the epic eating frenzy that has ensued since my departure from Perth, I thought I’d quickly share some airplane food with you before I get back to practising my conference presentation then run off to another conference function that will no doubt involve trying to hold up my end of an interesting conversation whilst juggling a stubby of beer and plate of tortilla and salsa.

Air New Zealand lunch - Chicken and asparagus tart, pasta salad and Pohutukawa honey ice cream

This food pretty much tasted like it looked. Salad had too much sauce and the tart was overly cheesy, but the ice cream was damn good. I have no idea what Pohutukawa (not Ponutukawa as I wrote before, thanks Greg!) honey is but I like it, although I suspect it will be an unfulfilled like due to Australian customs’ opinion on foreign honey.

Air New Zealand dinner - sweet potato salad, lamb something, Pohutukawa honey ice cream and other bits and pieces

Not terribly exciting, but not too bad either once I’d de-fatted the chunks of lamb. I hadn’t heard of Egmont Cheese before but I quite like the thought of an egg mountain. More Pohutukawa honey ice cream. Excellent.

Air New Zealand breakfast - scrambled eggs, sausage, baked beans, fruit salad and yoghurt

Well, I may have called the thing in the lower right hand side “fruit salad”, but in my opinion honeydew doesn’t count. It’s such a nothing fruit. I see no point in its existence. I also rejected the sausage. The honeydew and sausage are probably off somewhere making snide remarks about me.

My next flight was with United, from LA to Albuquerque, and didn’t offer any food. What it lacked in food service though, it made up for in comedy gold to a sleep-deprived brain, through the Sky Mall product catalogue. Allow me to share some of the quality products with you.

The ONLY underwater pogo stick

no! no! Face Trainer

no! no! sums this up rather nicely, I think.

Want to feel downright pleasant? You need SkyRest!

I started laughing at this and then got quite sad. I was feeling decidedly downright unpleasant, and Peter Holland‘s brother looked so comfortable with his velour contraption. I just hope the man in front of him also has a SkyRest and thus doesn’t want to recline his seat.

It’s not only when you’re flying that you sometimes need a little rest. Imagine this – you’ve spent all day looking for the perfect burgundy dress to wear to your work function, come home and done your hair just so, and suddenly found you’re in desperate need of a wee kip before you can handle making small talk with Larry from Accounts. It’s a good thing you have Relax ‘N Nap to make your stresses disappear much like your face.

Relax 'N Nap

A Unique Solution

This girl wouldn’t be looking so pleased with herself if she knew she was missing out on the cell phone of the future.

The watch of tomorrow!

Mombasa - "for ornamental use only"

I’m not really fussed either way with Mombasa, but there’s something I dig about this kid with his jaunty pose, beautifully tucked in yellow shirt and unforgiving stare. Nothing’s getting past him. He’s the modern day Encyclopedia Brown.

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{ 76 comments… read them below or add one }

Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite June 9, 2010 at 9:22 am

OMG Conor – we are going to get along SO well! Neil and I spent hours (literally – I took 15 flights in 6 weeks last summer, four of which were over 10 hours) laughing at the SkyMall catalogue. All I can say is you had better have bought me a gift ;-) See you soon!


Conor June 9, 2010 at 9:35 am

Mardi, I’m just not sure the Pet Doorbell Set I bought for Cleo is going to arrive in time. I paid for superfast delivery, but it may be slowed down by the Zombie of Montclaire Moors statue I bought at the same time.

Only four more sleeps until I’m there!!!


Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite June 9, 2010 at 9:39 am

Ah but did you not see the pet toilet seat? That cracks me up!!! (actually Miss Cleo would like the pet fountain but failing that, she would just like you to stand at the bathroom tap and turn it on and off at her beck and call!) :-D

(oh and see how darned Comment Luv isn’t working for me. Guess it doesn’t luv me)


Conor June 9, 2010 at 11:32 pm

Oh yes, I saw the toilet seat! Hmm ok will see if I can change the order to a pet fountain, not sure how long I’m willing to be her human slave.

Stupid comment luv!


Pam June 9, 2010 at 11:13 am

I haven’t flown any long distance for such a long time. The last time I did I got the smallest bag of peanuts…that’s it. I love looking through the air magazines – it’s amazing what people come up.
.-= Pam´s last blog ..Vegetable Pie with a Zucchini Crust =-.


Conor June 9, 2010 at 11:34 pm

Pam you should come visit Australia, you’d get way more than a measly bag of peanuts! When all you get is a bag of peanuts though, it’s amazing how long you can make it last.


Betty @ The Hungry Girl June 9, 2010 at 11:47 am

Oh, thank god for the ponutukawa honey ice cream (whatever that is!) and for the SkyMall catalog for keeping you entertained… haha.. that relax n nap pillow is gold!
.-= Betty @ The Hungry Girl´s last blog ..Brasserie Bread, Banksmeadow =-.


Conor June 9, 2010 at 11:36 pm

Yes Betty, thank god! Australia needs to step up with the crazy invention catalogues, we’re totally missing out. I want to see some thing to help you eat lamingtons without getting coconut all over you, or a technological version of the hat with corks hanging down.


Cakelaw June 9, 2010 at 1:20 pm

Hmmm – the Sky Mall catalogue is very disturbing. The Air NZ food is not bad at all – though the sausage scares me.
.-= Cakelaw´s last blog ..TWD – Tender Shortcake =-.


Conor June 9, 2010 at 11:36 pm

Disturbingly wonderful. Yeah that sausage wasn’t exactly enticing me to eat it. I think I would’ve gone the honeydew before touching it.


Adrian June 9, 2010 at 7:02 pm

Why does plane food taste so ordinary? Even when you’re having the Qantas menu selection supposedly created by Neil Perry?

As always, love the plastic fork and spoons.
.-= Adrian´s last blog ..Tra Vinh Vietnamese Chinese Special Noodle House, Northbridge =-.


Conor June 10, 2010 at 5:24 am

Adrian, I have no idea. I am sure they blame the fact it needs to be stored/reheated etc but I’m pretty sure that can’t possibly explain the depths of the ordinary-ness. I have to agree though, I was pretty impressed with the standard of the Air NZ cutlery! Quite swanky for plastic!


Agnes June 9, 2010 at 7:16 pm

Soooo…. did you buy a SkyRest? It looks so good! And comfy!


Conor June 10, 2010 at 5:30 am

Oh Agnes, you know I did! I also bought you a “Sling Couture Fashion Face Mask” to protect you from catching germs off people this flu season. I hope you like leopard print.


Emma @CakeMistress June 9, 2010 at 8:09 pm

Aww, all Peter Holland’s brother is missing is a snuggie.
Poor you, that airplane food looks … well … like airplane food. How do they mess it up so much?
Good luck for your presentation! You’ll be awesome :)


Conor June 10, 2010 at 5:31 am

Oh no Emma, I think you’ll find he’s missing a “Slanket”. He can also buy a “Slanket Siamese” with 4 sleeves, to share with that special someone.

Thank you!! :)


Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella June 9, 2010 at 8:20 pm

LOL at the sky rest! Now where can I order me one of those? ;)

And I think we ahd the same airline meal when we flew from NZ to Sydney! The “pie” as they called it was surprisingly tasty though.


Conor June 10, 2010 at 5:44 am

Lorraine, simply visit and your wildest dreams will come true!

Did you like the ice cream? I could go some now. I don’t think you can find ponutukawa honey in Santa Fe though :(


mademoiselle délicieuse June 9, 2010 at 8:31 pm

This is so, so sad and funny at the same time. Then again, I’m sleep-deprived right now so maybe it’s just fitting for my state of mind!
.-= mademoiselle délicieuse´s last blog ..Epicure Recipe Card #21: Chilli con Carne =-.


Conor June 10, 2010 at 6:09 am

Being sleep deprived is the perfect state to be in with these magazines. I got the giggles big time.


penny aka jeroxie June 9, 2010 at 9:59 pm

I want all those magazines! Hilarious….. And I am never a big fan of plane food.


Conor June 10, 2010 at 6:22 am

You know, the only thing missing from the magazine is the opportunity to buy back catalogues. Hours of fun.


Simply Life June 10, 2010 at 6:25 am

Ha, I wonder what people thought of you taking pictures of your food – maybe they can just tell you must be a foodie :)
.-= Simply Life´s last blog ..Roasted Veggies! =-.


Conor June 12, 2010 at 8:01 am

Luckily I just had my friend sharing a row with me so I don’t think anyone else noticed. At least, if they did they chose not to comment!


Jo @ secondhelping June 10, 2010 at 10:36 am

Maxwell Smart would have loved that cell phone watch, much snazzier than the shoe phone.


Conor June 12, 2010 at 8:03 am

Good call (boom boom)


ylenate June 10, 2010 at 1:09 pm

Oh my gosh – this is very funny! I have actually seen someone use the SkyRest before.


Conor June 12, 2010 at 8:08 am

I want so badly to see someone using one. I have so many flights ahead of me in the next few weeks, I can only hope to see one in action.


Maria@TheGourmetChallenge June 10, 2010 at 3:46 pm

the women in the face trainer should have pulled it down over her eyes, that way no one would recognize it was her in the picture! Way too funny, hopefully there is some sort of adult diaper product in there, surely you would need one while reading the catalog!!
.-= Maria@TheGourmetChallenge´s last blog ..Cutler and Co. =-.


Conor June 12, 2010 at 8:10 am

She actually looks pretty happy to be wearing it, strangely enough. Perhaps she is getting paid in SkyRests for the modelling gig.

Oh god, I would not be surprised to see some diaper action in there. Velour ones in a range of fashion prints.


Chanel11 June 10, 2010 at 4:08 pm

I completely agree about honeydew – and cantaloupe as well – and to my chagrin they tend to monopolise airplane fruit salads – that ice cream look yummy though…


Conor June 12, 2010 at 8:13 am

Damn greedy honeydew taking up all the space. I should have traded the fruit salad in for more ice cream.


Karen Harris June 10, 2010 at 9:11 pm

Doesn’t everyone have a Sky Rest?! It’s perfect for napping after a big helping of honeydew. I so agree with you, honeydew melons are a nothing fruit. Their beautiful color is always so appealing but their flavor never fails to disappoint.


Conor June 12, 2010 at 8:15 am

Oh and the SkyRest could also double as a receptacle for extra honeydew. You could pack a fair bit in there.


tasteofbeirut June 11, 2010 at 3:14 am

Hilarious post! I just flew 16 hours from the US to Lebanon and for the first time in 30 years was able to sleep on the plane and avoid reading sky mall out of sheer boredom and wondering if the business is profitable and if they do find customers (I guess yes); other than that the food was simply ghastly until we reached Paris; then on Air France it turned almost good.


Conor June 12, 2010 at 8:17 am

Thanks! It is pretty alarming to think that they are making enough money to stay afloat. I can only think that maybe there are lots of lonely people ordering things just so they receive something in the mail.

I am so very jealous of your ability to plane-sleep. It is a skill that has eluded me for years.


5 Star Foodie June 11, 2010 at 4:03 am

A fun post! The Ponutukawa honey ice cream sounds great! We always fly United and never get any food.
.-= 5 Star Foodie´s last blog ..Poppy Seed Slices =-.


Conor June 12, 2010 at 8:19 am

Cheers! I’m flying with them again tomorrow and will be packing muesli bars and fruit to see me through. A book too, seeing as I’ve already read the catalogue cover to cover.


Tim June 11, 2010 at 9:20 am

Moe: Aw, we’re going to die and I never tasted cantaloupe.
Krusty: Eh, you didn’t miss much. Honeydew is the money melon.

So it’s not true?!


Conor June 12, 2010 at 8:19 am

Well that explains my financial situation I guess.


Tim June 11, 2010 at 10:43 am

Bob Saget totally tweeted the face trainer too ;)


Conor June 12, 2010 at 8:21 am

He’s stealing my material!


Forager June 12, 2010 at 8:13 am

Hilarious! I love the skymail catalogue – so entertaining! And they thought the Japanese were masters of useless junk! That skyrest thing looks like it’d take up half the luggage allowance.
.-= Forager´s last blog ..Breathtaking dining in La Paz, Bolivia =-.


Conor June 12, 2010 at 8:26 am

But the SkyRest is “very flexible”! And “miraculous”!

A Japanese version of the catalogue would be AWESOME.


Jenn [Defunkt Gourmet] June 12, 2010 at 11:50 pm

BEST!! First you had me at the ice cream. It sounds amazing and I’m glad that it was the saving grace of your lunch and dinner.
And those pictures. OMGoodness… that pogo stick is the best and the face trainer. i just bought four of each because you just can’t get enough, non??
Hope you’re having a good time :)
.-= Jenn [Defunkt Gourmet]´s last blog ..Okonomiyaki =-.


Conor June 30, 2010 at 12:14 pm

I think I want to save all my money and buy a pool just so I can get the underwater pogo stick and use it all day.
Thanks!! :D


Patty Price June 13, 2010 at 7:03 am

I must be hungry because the airline food actually looks good to me! The face trainer is scary, do you ever get to take if off? New Zealand Air is a great airline, I didn’t remember much about the food but your post brought all the memories flooding back, thanks you really captured it!


Conor June 30, 2010 at 12:15 pm

If you’re hungry enough, anything looks good. But really, this food wasn’t too bad, and certainly pretty good compared to some of the airplane food I’ve attempted to eat in my time. My pleasure, thanks for reading it! :)


rebecca June 13, 2010 at 10:58 am

love this post so funny
.-= rebecca´s last blog ..Prawn Curry =-.


Conor June 30, 2010 at 12:16 pm

thanks Rebecca :)


Sweets By Vicky June 15, 2010 at 9:29 am

It’s soo hilarious how plane food looks so retro-kiddy when you’ve taken a photo of it. It looks much different when it’s infront of you. :)

I actually like Singapore Airlines and Emirates’ food. I had this awesome raspberry cheeeesecake once. MMM.
.-= Sweets By Vicky´s last blog ..Half Naked Granola =-.


Conor June 30, 2010 at 12:17 pm

Haha, you’re so right!

Also right about Singapore Airlines – I flew back to Australia with them and the food was really pretty good. Three options for mains, too!


OohLookBel June 15, 2010 at 1:03 pm

Hey, can you pick me up a face trainer on the way home? Or I’ll trade you a Winter 2010 Adriano Zumbo cake for a Relax ‘n Nap pillow (that’s a really good deal, by the way).
.-= OohLookBel´s last blog ..Delicious Pear Pancakes =-.


Conor June 30, 2010 at 12:18 pm

Sure thing, we can do a switcheroo next time we see each other! Unless of course you eat the cake in the meantime…


Alisa June 16, 2010 at 5:08 am

Oh my, this post really had me laughing especially with the 8 foot giraffe. I wonder if they have a T-rex version of that…now THAT would surprise my neighbors :)
.-= Alisa´s last blog ..Eating My Way Through Iceland =-.


Conor June 30, 2010 at 12:20 pm

Ooh, I think you might be onto something there. You should contact the SkyMall people, you might be rich!


Nirmala June 16, 2010 at 12:28 pm

Wow! What a culinary misadventure! I hope you get better food very soon!


Conor June 30, 2010 at 12:20 pm

I certainly did, thanks! Lots and lots of better food. Possibly too much. Luckily it is winter back home ;)


Magic of Spice June 18, 2010 at 2:19 am

This is one of the funniest posts I have ever read…
.-= Magic of Spice´s last blog ..What’s for Dinner? – Salmon Burgers with Rum Spiced Salsa =-.


Conor June 30, 2010 at 12:21 pm

Thanks very much! :D


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Andrea@High/Low June 21, 2010 at 1:59 am

Hi Conor! So glad I met you in person this past week…and as I’m sitting in the airport awaiting yet another flight, I was thinking about this post (so of course I had to read it again). So funny! Safe travels on the rest of your journey and hope to meet up again soon!
.-= Andrea@High/Low´s last blog ..HLFD in SF: Farmers Market / Ferry Plaza Marketplace =-.


Conor June 30, 2010 at 12:30 pm

Hi Andrea!! Really great to meet you too, hope you had some skymall laughs too :) Am back home now, madly trying to catch up on piles o’ work and oh god, blog reading! Hope we can cross paths again one day :)


Evelyne@CheapEthnicEatz June 21, 2010 at 5:00 am

Oh yeah, Skymall catalogs are worth their weight in gold for comedy. Love reading them. I am taking a plane soon, just might do a post like yours with my finds lol.
.-= Evelyne@CheapEthnicEatz´s last blog ..Incidental Noodles =-.


Conor June 30, 2010 at 1:37 pm

I think our local Aus airlines need to take a leaf from their book..


Greg June 23, 2010 at 8:56 am

BTW: The ‘n’ in “Ponutakawa”, it’s an ‘h’. The Pohutakawa is a native New Zealand tree, sometimes referred to as the New Zealand Christmas tree due to it blooming at Christmas time. :-)


Conor June 30, 2010 at 1:39 pm

Thanks Greg, you’re totally right! Just had a look at some pics of the tree, it’s pretty impressive. Thanks for the botany lesson :)


Hannah June 23, 2010 at 10:44 am

*hysterical laughter* I’d forgotten about American in-flight catalogues and their pages and pages of pure crazy! Just the thing when you’ve already finished your half-a-glass of free soda and have nothing else to do for three hours…

I hope the conferences are going well, that you’re currently bottling up some Summer warmth to share with us back here in Aus, and that you have bucketloads of delicious/hilarious/horrifying American foodstuffs to regale us with upon your return. Dear Jesus I love American foodstuffs…


Conor June 30, 2010 at 1:42 pm

American foodstuffs provide hours of entertainment. I spent a very long time wandering supermarket aisles in Santa Fe (failing to get a basket, so I had an armful of things, struggling to hold onto everything).

All went super well, thanks! Slowly readjusting to reality now :(


Liz June 23, 2010 at 10:47 am

I love plane food!!! I used to travel to Melbs for work all the time and I would excited about what I was going to get offered THIS flight. lol When I become a pilot (of my own airline of course) you can be my plane food “advisor” Conor :p

Have a safe trip!


Conor June 30, 2010 at 1:49 pm

Oh yes please! Count me in! Do I have to wear a hair net though?

Thanks :)


HollyT July 2, 2010 at 9:14 am

I regret I didn’t take a pic of the worst airline food I have ever been served in my life on Virgin Blue last Thursday. The description was lamb shanks with Italian sauce (alarm bells started ringing right there), with mash and green beans. The greyish gluggy stuff was the lamb, apparently, the white stuff with the texture of wallpaper glu was the mash, apparently, and the green beans were green beans straight up no seasoning no nothing. just green and mostly raw.


Iron Chef Shellie July 4, 2010 at 1:17 pm

lol I love airline posts. this one is by far the best!
Iron Chef Shellie´s last blog post ..Meatballs with Tomato Risoni


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