First class travel has always been the epitome of luxury and comfort. Well, it’s marketed as that anyway, it doesn’t always turn out to be true. Back in the day, you could get a six course meal on board United Airlines and I think that is pretty cool.
We are living in the golden age of air travel when it comes to premium cabins. Seats have probably never been more comfortable and of course the food and drink is plentiful. Let’s see how it was back in the 1960s.
Here’s a vintage advertisement about the “Red, white and blue” service. That’s Red Carpet First Class at four abreast, Standard at five abreast and Coach at six abreast. Reminds me a bit of today’s first, business and main cabin.
It seems the service was offered between New York and Seattle, as well as New York, Washington, Baltimore and Philadelphia to Los Angeles and San Francisco. You’d almost want to be flying that far to experience what’s on offer.
What About That Six Course Menu?
The six courses seem to be beverages, appetizers, soups, salads, entrees and desserts. While I was unable to locate a coast to coast menu, I did locate a menu for Hawaii from the period and it seems similar. I think including drinks as a course is a bit of a stretch though!
First up is an appetizer of Quiche Lorraine. This is followed by Cream of Celery Soup or Consomme Celestine Wafers. There is a choice of four entrees, being beef, chicken, veal or lobster. You won’t see the latter two often anymore and certainly not domestically.
Next there are two choices of salad, Heart of Lettuce and Watercress or Hawaiian fruit salad. Finally there are four dessert choices, a hot fudge Sundae, a Coconut Sundae, Raspberry Chiffon Alaska or Petits Fours. I’ll have all of those, please!
I’d have been all over this food, quite frankly. I quite like Veal and I’d have Lobster due to the rarity factor alone. Everything sounds pretty scrumptious and all for $160.90 New York to LA! Bargain! Of course, inflation means that price is now something like $1,530 and for that I’d expect lobster and veal.
A cursory search of the Internet did not turn up any pictures of this service. My challenge to you is to see if you can locate any and then add a link in the comments so I can see if the hype matches the reality.
Either way, you don’t often get six courses these days. Even the much vaunted British Airways Airbus A380 tasting menu was “only” five courses. Five glorious courses – come to think of it, would it also be six if you include the drinks? I think so!
Did you ever have six courses on a United Airlines First Class flight, or any flight for that matter? Thank you for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.