PASSENGERS on transatlantic flights can now upgrade their dinners at a cost.
Aer Lingus is launching a new "premium" dinner service where passengers in economy class can pre-order and pay for a much fancier meal than is normally dished out to those in steerage.
While the airline will keep serving up standard meals at no extra cost to passengers, they can now opt for a more upmarket meal including wine for €17.50.
Options include the steak house meal featuring fillet of beef and sauteed potatoes with onion, spinach and mushrooms topped with tomato tartar and served with peppercorn sauce, with dessert of Lily O'Brien chocolate mousse or cheesecake.
For fish lovers, there's also cod with salsa verde crust served with baby potatoes and steamed fresh vegetables with seasonal fruit salad for dessert.
Another option features chicken stuffed with Irish black pudding and wrapped in bacon, served with colcannon mash potato and steamed root vegetables.
The meals come with red or white wine, or customers can opt for beer or a soft drink instead.
Aer Lingus said they were not the same as those served in business class, where customers get a wider choice and extras like champagne.
However, they were made in-house by the airline rather than from an outside caterer, and had been designed by its head chef James Keaveney.
Currently, customers in economy class on Aer Lingus transatlantic flights get more modest offerings such as pasta bolognese, and have to pay to wash it down with any drink apart from water.
However, that's still better than short-haul flights, where you pay dearly for every morsel – and also run the risk they'll run out before they get to you.
The new 'Sky Dine' menu options can be booked in advance on the airline's website, the airline spokesperson said.
They are only available in limited quantities and cannot be purchased on the flight.
Aer Lingus recently began pre-selling meals on flights to Britain and Europe, including full Irish breakfast, chicken noodle salad or seared beef salad at €7.50 each.