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This airline will soon let you upgrade your meal for $25

Sept. 18, 2022
3 min read
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If you’ve ever flown first class or business class internationally — or been within smelling distance of the prime seats on long-haul flights — you know the comfort of the seat is far from the only upgrade you get.

The food is, with few exceptions, far better than what you are served when flying in coach.

For travelers who aren’t looking to pay the hefty price for a premium seat but would like better food, one airline is offering up a far less expensive option than a full cabin-class upgrade.

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Taiwan-based EVA Air is trying out a new service that allows a limited number of passengers in coach and premium economy to upgrade their meal to the food offerings being enjoyed by passengers at the front of the plane.

An EVA Air plane taxis at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). FG/BAUER-GRIFFIN/CONTRIBUTOR/GC IMAGES/GETTY IMAGES

At a cost of just $25 for the upgraded meal, it’s not a particularly expensive add-on.

That’s especially true when you consider the food offered in Eva Air’s nicest cabins; one TPG writer specifically pointed to the food as a key factor in why he enjoyed his trip on EVA Air, after pre-ordering lobster for his flight.

Today, the airline’s premium meals are curated by Master Chef Huang Ching Biao and Evergreen Sky Catering's Joe Huang.

EVA AIR

One menu option includes Biao’s signature dish: steamed halibut with chopped chili paste paired with seasoned shrimp and lime vinaigrette, along with chayote vines salad with pine nuts and a water chestnut cake with osmanthus for dessert.

EVA AIR

On par with some of the prime meals you’ll find on international airlines, the meals are “elegantly plated,” the airline says, with tableware from Singapore luxury brand Luzerne.

A member of the Star Alliance, EVA Air flies to six U.S. destinations from its operating base in Taiwan including Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH), Seattle/Tacoma International Airport (SEA), San Francisco International Airport (SFO), Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK). The airline also flies to Toronto and Vancouver, British Columbia.

The upgraded meal option will begin on flights departing on Oct. 1, and as of now, run through the end of the year.

How to upgrade your meal

If you’d like to try and upgrade your meal on an upcoming EVA Air flight, you’ll need to do it before departure. Reservations for the high-end meals are available online 21 days prior to departure and up until 24 hours before takeoff.

There is a limit on the number of upgraded meals available, so the earlier you can make your reservation the better. The airline will offer a maximum of eight such meals in its premium economy seats and 12 to passengers in economy.

Bottom line

While additional fees can often be frustrating for passengers when they involve services like picking a seat or bringing a full-sized carry-on bag on board, this could be $25 well-spent, since it ensures you a far superior dining experience on what’s sure to be a long flight for U.S. travelers.

Featured image by ANADOLU AGENCY/GETTY IMAGES
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
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  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
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Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
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3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
1XEarn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Intro Offer
    For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

    Earn 80,000 ThankYou® points
    60,000 points
  • Annual Fee

    $95
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent, Good

Why We Chose It

The Citi Premier’s 3 points per dollar spent across a wide range of popular categories is one of the more lucrative offerings in the world of points and miles. The Citi Premier comes with a $95 annual fee and is currently offering a solid sign up bonus of 80,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months. It also has some valuable transfer partners to make the most of your rewards. Add in access to Citi Entertainment plus a $100 hotel credit for any single-stay hotel booking that exceeds $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through the Citi travel website, there are few reasons why the Citi Premier should not be in every traveler’s wallet.

Pros

  • Earns 3x points on restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel and hotels.
  • $100 annual hotel savings benefit (on single hotel stay bookings of $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through thankyou.com)
  • Points transfer to 16 airline programs, from JetBlue to Virgin Atlantic.
  • World Elite Mastercard benefits, extended warranty, damage and theft protection.

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • Lacks travel protections that other travel rewards cards come with
  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases