It was hard to leave New York. Saying goodbye to our new friends and all of the fabulous food wasn’t easy. I headed to the Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey a little sad but ready for the next part of our trip to begin. Before taking off, I had a chance to scope out the food offerings and was delighted to see a giant sign that included the word VEGAN. At The Market, in the terminal B food court, before you pass the security checkpoint, there are a small selection of vegan-friendly snacks.
They had Odwalla smoothies, which make a great airport breakfast. They were incredibly overpriced, $3.60 USD, but that’s what you can expect to pay if you arrive at the airport unprepared.
You can also find granola and energy bars without any dreaded milk ingredients. They’re priced $2.50-$3.00 USD. The selection isn’t very extensive but at least there’s a selection, right? It’s a start!
Before going through security, I was considering buying some snacks with my leftover US change. I decided to wait, assuming there would be more options on the other side. I went through empty handed, stopping to notice an interesting Zappos advertisement in the security bins. I <3 unique ad placements.
Once I reached the gate area, I was disappointed to find there weren’t many places to spend my change (just over $3.00 USD). Actually, there wasn’t much of anything, only a tiny magazine rack, coffee vendor and fancy cosmetic and perfume store. I did find an Odwalla bar and put my chance to good use. If you’re visiting the Newark airport and need a snack, I’d recommend buying it from The Market before the security screening.
Okay, now for the more exciting bit. The flying! I was really looking forward to flying with Virgin Atlantic. I’d heard so much about the airline’s cool vibe, entertainment system and food. My choice to fly with them was purely economical, they were the cheapest option. I wouldn’t have paid more for any of the features I received but appreciated them as a nice little bonus.
For example, this cute little amenities pack. The eye cover, socks, pen and tooth brush kit are still with me and have come in handy. This is the kit they give to the economy passengers, the premium economy and business class version is even swankier.
Now, the moment you’ve all been waiting for. I present to you, The Virgin Atlantic Vegan Meal. The main was vegetables (baby corn, broccoli, peas, eggplant and cauliflower) and rice with a teriyaki sauce (I think). The sides, an iceberg lettuce salad, whole wheat roll, fruit cup and water. Both the Naturally Fresh salad dressing and Country Crock spread contained milk ingredients. The main was good, but the salad with it’s one lone tomato was lacking. Overall, I was happy and well fed but disappointed to find non vegan items in a meal that’s supposed to be for vegans.
The biggest let down of the flight was my experience, or maybe I should say lack of experience, with the seat to seat messenger. I was oddly excited about this feature and would have loved to try it out with another passenger. Sadly, I could not find anyone online. It wasn’t like you could see a list of all the people who had the messenger turned on, you had to randomly select a seat number or know someone on the flight willing to chat with you. I tried and tried but couldn’t find anyone online. I suppose I could have asked a stranger, but that would have been weird.
To sum it all up, I’d recommend flying with Virgin Atlantic if they’re the cheapest option. I wouldn’t pay a premium to fly with them, or any other airline for that matter. I choose flights based on the airports they start and end in, price, and layover times. That’s it. I’d rather bring my own food, entertainment and amenities than pay more for a plane ticket that has these items built into the cost.
I landed in London Heathrow and met up with John, who had spent two nights there because of the volcanic ash. He was lucky to have packed so much food and didn’t have to buy anything other than tea, chips and orange juice.
Leaving London Heathrow via Terminal 1, heading to Dublin, we found a Bugsy sandwich made by Fresh Organics. Their organic vegan sandwich was made with carrots, hummus, salad leaves, alfalfa sprouts on wholemeal bread. It was really good and just the right price (2.20 British Pounds) to use up our leftover change. It seems like there are more and more vegan options every time we fly. This is great news for vegans but I’d still recommend packing your own snacks and meals whenever possible.