Airline food research

I am not particularly picky when it comes to food. And I don’t think airline food is usually that bad. I think the big problem is that, if they serve you something awful on a 8h flight, the only alternative to somehow force it down is to starve. So those experiences naturally traumatize you.

Having said all that, there are quite a few airline food related stories that I could tell, but nothing really spectacular. I’m sure you guys could top me. So, dear readers, what is your personal favorite airline food story?

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12 comments on “Airline food research
  1. Fabo says:

    I don’t have airline food story. The best I ever got was a small croisant wits some cheese 🙁

    More recently there was a choice of a small Milka wafer or a 30g pack of some cloud-shaped pretzels and little airplanes…

  2. Thomas says:

    I flew a few times business class between Europe and the US. With British Airways, Lufthansa and a few others. The food was never bad but never great, either. Then, one time I got a Delta business ticket, flying from Paris to the U.S., so I got on a plane operated by Air France – Their plane was rather old and the airport (Charles de Gaule) is a nightmare to get through, but their food stood really out. I had red meat, not sure any more if it was steak or lamb, and it was excellent, and so was the rest (sides, dessert). The French take their food serious.

  3. markm says:

    Airline food is terrible, and the portions are so small.

  4. JP Kalishek says:

    Well, the only “Airline” food I’ve had was SouthWest Airlines’ snack packs, and canceled catering for Net Jets.
    The catering was some shrimp PoBoys from Portabella’s and they were delicious.

  5. Ryan says:

    The best steak I ever had was flying business from Adelaide to Perth in Australia, on Qantas.

    But what I can’t eat is the bought food from the trolley, those sandwiches make my stomach turn over!

    I have only twice been business in my life and both times it was restaurant quality food. Here in Australia I think the food is improving as the airlines compete more.

    But best meal ever was in Indonesia. It was basically just rice, and they were cooking it on the plane. Nice and plain and hot and just what was needed after a long day at work, and the whole plane smelled of cooking rice!

  6. reynard61 says:

    There are two things to remember when it comes to airline food:

    1. The vast majority of foreign airlines are subsidized by the nations that they operate from, which means that their catering budget has no effect on their overall operating budget; unlike with U.S.-based airlines, where the catering budget counts against The Bottom Line on the quarterly profits spreadsheet.

    2. The catering contract usually goes to the lowest bidder.

    This should tell you all you need to know about airline food.

  7. HT says:

    Back in 1973 flying Spanish charter carrier SPANTAX to the island of Majorca (Mallorca) the chicken served has a blue-greenish color and we did not touch it. News about Salmonella infections coming from SPANTAX´s flights later made the newspaper headlines.

    Most memorable airline food I have had was Argentinean Beef with Pepper sauce on Delta in BusinessElite. It was available also on a flight weeks later and I went for it again, which I also expressed to the Flight Attendent. A few minutes later she returned to some kids in the row in front of me who were informed that their earlier choice of Beef unfortunately was not available (guees who/what was the reason …).

  8. FTL says:

    Best… probably a steak meal on a Qantas flight from Cairns to Nagoya. I almost suspected it got lost on it’s way to first class. 😉

    Worst… hmmm.. I’m pretty easy going but if I had to pick then it would be a tie between the excuse for a meal that I had on a Virgin flight from Melbourne to Perth… mainly because if I have to pay extra for it then it should be at least decent and not dry and cardboard like versus the thing that even the cabin crew member apologised for on a United flight from San Francisco to Sydney… even though she knew what it *should* be (some curry dish) she could not identify it with any confidence… smelled and looked very wrong… in response to my raised eyebrow and questioning look “I’m sorry for this, sir, we can only give you what they load on board.” Yup, 14 hours on a plane with dozens of people with repercussions of a dodgy curry… funny looking back now…

  9. Catapult says:

    I haven’t been on a flight that provided food in ten years. I have no memory of the food, though. That was the time I flew to Turkey, where upon arrival they told me that they had forgotten to tell me that I needed cash, not traveler’s checks or credit card, to pay for my entry visa, so they put me back on a return flight to the United States. A very short ‘eight week’ vacation, with my brother and his family waiting inside Turkish customs to greet me, and no way to contact them.

  10. Charles says:

    I flew airlift during Desert Shield/Storm and the standard meal out of Torejon AB was a one slice of ham & one slice of cheese sandwich, chips, and fruit drink. One night, four hours into an eight hour leg, we looked in our box meals anticipating another fine offering from the MAC deli. After removing our sandwiches from the plastic bag we realized that some one forgot to put in the ham & cheese, leaving only the bread. This person also negleted to put in a customer satisfaction feedback . War is heck!

  11. kiravuo says:

    I think the best meal I can remember is when I smuggled a 12″ Subway sandwich in. This was on a 2 hour flight from Finland to Norway, where they usually serve dehydrated sandwiches (if I remember correctly). Otherwise I don’t remember any airline meal to stand out in excellence, some have been good, some not. The ambience of the cattle class restaurant leaves me a couple of Michelin stars short and since I am not a BDSM practitioner, the idea of tying my elbows to my ribs does not attract. Perhaps I should figure out how to get into business or first class more often.

    For the worst meals: rubber chicken on some airline in the USA. I had heard the jokes about the US airplane food, but did not really get them until I met this piece of chicken meat shaped rubber. Once, flying from Gulf to India, I had a curry that exploded in my mouth. For several minutes I could just gasp for air and try to see between the tears to find some rice and naan to eat.

    I might do that Subway trick again. Or a small serving of sushi. Or to get the message across to the airlines, some MREs.


  12. GuyD says:

    On an Aer Lingus flight, long time ago, I had an irish breakfast. Not very common for me, but it wasn’t bad in taste.

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