Selecting Seats and Ordering Meals in Advance with EVA and Singapore Airlines
We have our "biggest" trip of the year coming up very soon where my husband and I are flying literally around the world to celebrate his 40th birthday. We are only stopping in a few cities, but we are technically flying around the world via Europe to The Maldives, and then back home via Asia. This award was booked all in business class on Star Alliance partners including United, Turkish Airlines, Singapore Airlines, and EVA Air for 120,000 United miles (before the February devaluation) + $90 in taxes/fees each. It's a heck of a deal for what we are getting and I can't think of a better way to celebrate a big birthday than with a big trip.
I'll post lots more on this trip after it happens, but today I worked on getting our seat assignments sand pre-ordering some meals. Since I booked via United, the only seat assignments we were able to make at the time of booking were the United operated segments. United was able to give me my Turkish Airlines confirmation number, but to get the confirmation numbers for Singapore Airlines and EVA Airlines I had to call those airlines directly and provide my name, flight number, and the date I was traveling.
Singapore has a pretty popular "Book the Cook" program for their business and first class passengers where you can book some "off the in-flight menu" items in advance. One popular menu item that folks seem to rave about is the Lobster Thermidor. You don't have to order your meal in advance, but you have more than the three or four standard selections on-board if you do choose to order in advance so it can be worth the extra time. You can do this over the phone, or perhaps more preferably, online. You do have to have your Singapore Airlines confirmation number to select your meal online, hence the call I had to make to Singapore Airlines to get it since United couldn't provide it to me.
My Singapore business class flight from Male - Singapore doesn't have the "Book the Cook" option, but we were able to get our seat assignments, and I ordered an "Oriental Vegetarian" meal, because why the heck not. I often have good luck with vegetarian special meals that are ordered ahead of time for flights. Given our weird middle of the night flight times, I doubt we will really care about eating anyway on this flight regardless of what was served.
For what it's worth, they also have some "Yummy" kids meals that you can also pick from online. This is waaaay better than with US airlines where you can request a child's meal for some flights, but you don't get any input or information about what it might consist of ahead of time.
EVA Air also allows their premium cabin passengers the opportunity to select their main course entree online from 24 hours - 21 days in advance of the flight. We have several meals in the sky with EVA, so we got to pick from the following selections online. The selections with the ＊ are the ones that can only be ordered in advance.
Pan Fried Prime Beef Fillet Steak with Rosemary Mustard Brown Sauce,Vegetables,Gratin Red Skin Potato
Steamed Cod Fillet with Nori Paste Sauce,Vegetables and Egg Noodles
Stuffed Chicken Wing with Bamboo Shoot, Shiitake Mushroom and Ham in Superior Soya Sauce, Vegetables and Steamed Rice with Pearl Barley
＊Rack of Lamb Cutlet Coated with Lime Herb Crust with Rosemary Sauce serve with Parmentier Potatoes and Mixed Vegetables
＊Pan Fried Duck Breast with Dark Cherry Red Wine Sauce and Asparagus Rolled with Bacon,Roasted Potato
＊Pan Seared Salmon Fillet and Cold Smoked Tuna Coated with Spinach and Sesame Delight Salad
＊Braised Bean Curd,Burduck,Buttum Mushroom with Monascus Purpareus Sauce in Baby Pumpkin,Five Grain Rice
＊Sauteed Scallop and Prawn with Herb Cream Sauce serve with Charcoal Noodles Tossed with Olive Oil and Buttered Vegetable
Taiwanese Plain Congee Served with Cold Delicatessen, Scrambled Egg with Scallion and Carrot, Shimeiji Mushroom with Green Beans and Water Bamboo Shoot
Double Boiled Chicken Soup with Udon Noodles Served with Traditional Delicatessens
Asparagus and Red Capsicum Egg Frittata Served with Pan Fried Chicken Sausage
As you can see for dinner your choices on board will be chicken, beef, or fish, but if you order in advance you get to throw in options like lamb, duck, salmon, scallops, and more. This also gives you the chance to google some menu items you may not be as familiar with.
Always Check Your Partner Flight Reservations Carefully:
Whether you care about making your menu selection in advance or not, it is still a very very good idea to check your reservations with partner airlines carefully and directly before departure. It is quite likely in some situations that you won't have specific seats assigned until you contact them directly, and knowing that the ticket is issued correctly is a nice feeling as well....because it isn't always done perfectly and you want to be aware of any of those issues well before you go to check-in at the airport and can't because the reservation was never actually ticketed.
Do you take the time to order meals ahead of time or double check seat assignments, especially with awards involving multiple partners?