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vegan miam

Lufthansa: VGML Meal from Chicago to Düsseldorf + Senator Lounge Düsseldorf (Vegan MoFo 2013 #1)

vegan mofo 2013

This is my second time participating in Vegan MoFo 2013 (Month of Food) and my theme will be focusing on daily vegan eats in Spain and Buenos Aires (Argentina). I didn’t participate last year due to busier travels in Thailand, Fiji and Taiwan.

Today’s first Vegan Mofo 2013 post details the day before we arrive in Valencia, Spain. I will be sharing my VGML airlines meal I had on a Lufthansa flight from Chicago to Düsseldorf, and to Valencia, Spain, especially vegan options at Lufthansa Senator Lounge Düsseldorf and other airline lounges.



Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD): United Club, located in Terminal 1 near gate C16

We flew from PDX (Portland International Airport) to Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD) and attended the United Club located in Terminal 1, Concourse C, near Gate C16. There are several airline lounges at ORD. My favorite place at the United Club is The Quiet Room (photographed below), no loud talking or phones allowed. It’s pretty peaceful and it isn’t too busy.

lufthansa: vgml meal from chicago to düsseldorf + senator lounge düsseldorf

United Club (at ORD)

location: Terminal 1, Airside, Concourse C, airside, near Gate C16
opening hours: Daily 4:30 am – 9:30 pm
services: Complimentary T-Mobile® WiFi Hotspot®, Snacks, Juices/Coffee/Tea, Non-alcoholic beverages, Bar service
showers + spa: Available, just check in the desk and have your ticket/name on the list. Occasionally there will be a wait list.
access: Access to the United Club is available for United Club Members, international United/Star Alliance passengers in Business or First Class and passengers with Star Alliance Gold status.

vegan food + beverage options

Fruits are available (bananas and apples) for vegans. Their lounge snacks are not vegan-friendly. It’s best to bring your own snacks. Beverages include soft drinks, juices, coffees and teas and complimentary alcohol. For teas, they carry Numi Organic Tea varieties. Numi Organic Tea is available at most United Club lounges in the U.S.

lufthansa: vgml meal from chicago to düsseldorf + senator lounge düsseldorf

Numi Organic Tea – Moroccan Tea I got from the United Club lounge and vegan Black Sheep Peanut Butter Chocolate Brownie I picked up at New Seasons Market bakery in Portland, Oregon (PDX).

vegan miam’s vegan flying tips

1. Bring compact vegan snacks or instant beverage packs (that requires water). Some airlines have different carry on policies.
2. For shorter flight (less than 2 hours) or first flight, bring freshly made meals or pastries for shorter or first flight (they will be warm if you leave it too long).
3. For connecting or international flights, bring bagged dry snacks or instant meal cups/utensils. Instant meal cups are a great alternative to airline meals. Sometimes flight attendant will provide hot water at your seat but other times you might need to go to the galley to get hot water.
4. Make your own instant dry oatmeal packets with dried fruits, nuts, chia seeds, spices, coconut, and vegan milk powder. Make sure you bring a collapsible bowl and utensil. It doesn’t hurt to have them around.

Here are my favorite instant meal cups for the international flights:

shower access

This United Club has shower access, which is wonderful for arriving passengers or for anyone who wishes to refresh. A quick sneak peek of these shower rooms. You need to check in the desk occasionally there will be a wait list.

ORD united club shower, located in terminal 1 near gate c16ORD united club shower, located in terminal 1 near gate c16



Lufthansa: VGML Meal from Chicago (ORD) to Düsseldorf (DUS)

lufthansa: vgml meal from chicago to düsseldorf + senator lounge düsseldorflufthansa: vgml meal from chicago to düsseldorf + senator lounge düsseldorf

lufthansa: vgml meal from chicago to düsseldorf + senator lounge düsseldorf

For our Lufthansa flight from Chicago (ORD) to Düsseldorf (DUS), we both had the VGML Meal (also known as Western Vegetarian Meal), containing no meat/fish, dairy/eggs, or alcohol. I had VGML meals on Lufthansa flights throughout Europe and they were usually good.

Please note that special meals are usually offered in Economy Class on flights of more than 185 minutes duration and in Business Class on flights of more than 75 minutes duration. We did not have a special meal on our shorter flight from Düsseldorf (DUS) to Valencia (VLC).

lufthansa: vgml meal from chicago to düsseldorf + senator lounge düsseldorf

For more information about special meals on Lufthansa, view here.

lufthansa: vgml meal from chicago to düsseldorf + senator lounge düsseldorf

Lufthansa: VGML Meal from Chicago to Düsseldorf: Our VGML (Western Vegetarian) meal is steamed rice with steamed vegetables (asparagus, broccoli, green beans, mixed vegetables), without any spices or sauce. It’s a very simple and clean vegan meal. I was surprised there wasn’t any salt or pepper packets for it. It wasn’t greasy like some airline meals. It comes with a fruit salad and a lemon dressing (vegan-friendly, but gross) and raw salad. I wouldn’t eat the bread plus their butter is not vegan according to the ingredients. I wouldn’t eat anything that doesn’t have labelled ingredients in it.

lufthansa: vgml meal from chicago to düsseldorf + senator lounge düsseldorflufthansa: vgml meal from chicago to düsseldorf + senator lounge düsseldorf

We also had a Lufthansa welcome snack: salted crackers and the ingredients are vegan-friendly. Here is the listed ingredients: wheat flour, vegetable oil, raising agent, sugar, salt wheat malt, yeast, and maltodextrin.

lufthansa: vgml meal from chicago to düsseldorf + senator lounge düsseldorf

We had breakfast meal service consisting of a fruit salad, wheat bread roll (ingredients are listed on the package), Smucker’s Strawberry Jam and a bar that wasn’t vegan (and of course, their butter isn’t vegan, I’m not surprised that the VGML and vegan airline meals serve non-vegan butter). We only snacked on the fruit salad, to be safe. I’ve blurred the non-vegan items in the breakfast VGML meal.

lufthansa: vgml meal from chicago to düsseldorf + senator lounge düsseldorflufthansa: vgml meal from chicago to düsseldorf + senator lounge düsseldorf

Breathtaking aerial view of clouds

lufthansa: vgml meal from chicago to düsseldorf + senator lounge düsseldorf

Beautiful aerial view in the morning, on the way to Düsseldorf, Germany

lufthansa: vgml meal from chicago to düsseldorf + senator lounge düsseldorf

Again, another aerial view of Düsseldorf, Germany taken via Instagram/iPhone.

lufthansa: vgml meal from chicago to düsseldorf + senator lounge düsseldorflufthansa: vgml meal from chicago to düsseldorf + senator lounge düsseldorf

Arrived at the third largest airport in Germany: Düsseldorf International Airport (DUS). I hope one day I will visit Düsseldorf. I have been to only few German cities before: München, Berlin and Stuttgart.

lufthansa: vgml meal from chicago to düsseldorf + senator lounge düsseldorflufthansa: vgml meal from chicago to düsseldorf + senator lounge düsseldorf

I admire German airports, but not as much as the Scandinavian airports.



Düsseldorf International Airport (DUS): Lufthansa Senator Lounge, located near Gate 76, Terminal A Schengen Side

“Re-opened in June 2006, this lounge has now nearly doubled in size to 700 square-meters featuring a large bistro-area, a larger lounge-area with chairs that provide more privacy than before and a relaxing-room where you can retreat and lie down.” (Loungeguide.net)

lufthansa: vgml meal from chicago to düsseldorf + senator lounge düsseldorflufthansa: vgml meal from chicago to düsseldorf + senator lounge düsseldorf

United Club (at ORD)

location: near Gate 76, Terminal A Schengen Side (on mezzanine level, elevator access behind the Lufthansa Transfer Center)
opening hours: Monday-Friday: 5:15 am – 9:00 pm, Saturday: 5:15 am – 8:00 pm, Sunday + holidays: 5:30 am – 9:00 pm
services: Complimentary WiFi, Medium Food Selection, Juices/Coffee/Tea, Alcoholic/Non-alcoholic Beverages, Beer on Tap, Unstaffed Bar
showers + spa: Available with large showers, and restrooms located inside the lounge
access: Senators, First class passengers, Lufthansa Business Jet (DUS-EWR, DUS-ORD) passengers and Star Alliance Gold members plus one guest

lufthansa: vgml meal from chicago to düsseldorf + senator lounge düsseldorflufthansa: vgml meal from chicago to düsseldorf + senator lounge düsseldorf

vegan food + beverage options

I have been to Lufthansa Senator Lounge before in Stuttgart. They have almost similar medium food selections. I think the food selections are better in the other Lufthansa lounge in Stuttgart. Standard vegan options include pickles, juices, fruit jam, raw vegetables and complimentary vodka/alcoholic beverages. They have a generous selection of German herbal tea in different flavors by Samova. I didn’t photograph them but I brought them with me to Valencia, Spain.

shower access

There are two different Lufthansa lounges: Senator and Business. The Lufthansa Senator Lounge has shower rooms, but the Business Lounge doesn’t. I love their shower rooms, except for their toiletries.

lufthansa: vgml meal from chicago to düsseldorf + senator lounge düsseldorflufthansa: vgml meal from chicago to düsseldorf + senator lounge düsseldorf

lufthansa: vgml meal from chicago to düsseldorf + senator lounge düsseldorflufthansa: vgml meal from chicago to düsseldorf + senator lounge düsseldorf



Arriving in Valencia, Spain

We slept throughout the 2 1/2-hour Lufthansa flight from Düsseldorf to Valencia. The special meals are usually offered in Economy Class on flights of more than 185 minutes duration and in Business Class on flights of more than 75 minutes duration. We did not have a special meal on that flight. Their snack was a vegetarian Greek salad for everyone (not for us).

lufthansa: vgml meal from chicago to düsseldorf + senator lounge düsseldorf

Another exceptional aerial view of Valencia, Spain.

Stay tuned for the next post about my first 3 days in Valencia, Spain. You will see “go back” and “go forward” buttons in the end of each VeganMoFo post.


Question for you: Have you ever had a VGML/vegan/special meal? What was your favorite VGML/vegan meal you’ve ever had?


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