My journey from the United States to the UAE took 22 hours. I changed planes twice and had two layovers; one in New York and the other in Amsterdam. I did all of this with a baby who was eight months old at the time. With so many things to manage I’m thankful that my meals were adequate, good tasting and planned for me.

I had a 6 hour layover in Amsterdam and decided to go adventure  bit. If you ever find yourself in Amsterdam with nothing to do, I seriously recommend you to go to thingstodoinamsterdam.com. They showed me the best restaurants and spots to visit near the airport. It was great!

I flew Delta and KLM, which is the Royal Dutch airline owned by Delta. Basically, I did what some warned me not do…I flew domestic all the way through. The price was right, the accommodations on the plane were good and the meals, the greatest of my in-flight concerns, were delicious. The last time I had dinner on an airplane was back in 2004 on a flight to Alaska. The food was so-so; nothing to blog about. (Excuse the pun) Either the food options have greatly improved or the airline really matters. The Alaska flight was via US Airways. Delta, on the other hand, got it right. They offered three meals options to include a hot, cold and vegetarian meal. Both the hot and vegetable meals were noodle based, with a sauce and served hot. Thinking it was the safest choice, I opted for the cold meal, which was a salad with grilled chicken breast. Based on my previous experience, I had set the bar for airplane food low. However, when the flight attendant placed the meal tray in front of me, I was pleasantly surprised.

My tray was outfitted with the entree, a dinner roll, dessert, cheese, crackers, butter, salt, pepper, salad dressing and plastic ware; literally everything I needed. The first thing I did was prepare my entree. As I sliced the grilled chicken into bite sized pieces I noticed the ingredients of the salad. It had cucumber, walnuts, strawberries, crumbled blue cheese and chicken on a bed of mixed greens and romain. Every component was fresh and appetizing which made the entire experience a pleasure. The dressing was some variety of vinegarette and I was given two cups to ensure that I had enough. The other items on the tray were a bonus in my book. I hadn’t imagined receiving a dessert and after meal snack. The dessert was a chocolate chip blondie and the snack was a pack of Keebler club crackers with 3/4 ounce of medium cheddar cheese. I enjoyed the cheese and crackers but sadly, I never got around to eating that blondie. Darnit!

So, in an era where we joke about not wanting to see what our “friends” are eating on Facebook, why have I written about this meal? Because, airplane food has generally gotten a bad rep. I had a good experience and I wanted to share it with my readers. I also wanted to note the airline that served up that tasty surprise. If you’re planning a long airplane ride where dinner will be served, consider flying Delta.