May 20, 2002
1:15 AM   Subscribe

Ever wonder if the airplane food sucks everywhere? Find out at Airplane Meals, or add to this vastly underrepresented body of knowledge by sending him a pic of your next mile-high snack.
posted by Su (12 comments total)
I'm not a big eater of the stuff -- I never travel if I can help it -- but the airline food I recall was no worse than the fast food people happily eat every day. So why do people happily pay to gobble down junk and then complain about airline food? Or do passengers expect fancy meals on these flying buses?

What they could do: let you order food on the ground at a check-in terminal (or online when you buy your ticket). If you did it in time, the exact food and drink you wanted would be prepared and loaded and delivered to your seat. If you were late, you would get a generic meal. All of the airlines in the airport could combine on this, so anyone flying anywhere would have the same good choice (at least five or ten different meals) even with a fairly late arrival. And you'd pay extra for it, of course, or pay nothing for food if you chose the no-meal option. I know they already offer "special-needs" meals if you call 12 or 24 hours ahead of time or whatever, but that's more of an exception. Custom meals should be a standard part of the service, something you always do when you take a flight. It would give people a feeling of control and reduce the griping.
posted by pracowity at 3:38 AM on May 20, 2002

Considering the restrictions surrounding preparing food on a plane, I don't think airline food is that bad. No worse than a frozen ready meal anyway. After seeing those pictures I'm desperate to fly Japan Air, first class.
posted by Summer at 3:45 AM on May 20, 2002

The thing that always gets me is that 95% of the people on the plane will always eat the meal, irrespective of the fact that people that claiming to enjoy airline food are few and far between and that more often than not it isn't served at a mealtime (at least during the short Western European flights which I often find myself on).

What is *that* all about? Primal urge to ingest it because its there and its free? Relief from travel boredom through mastication? I never touch the stuff... yuk.
posted by bifter at 3:57 AM on May 20, 2002

I always get the vegetarian meals, even though I am not a vegetarian. I'll take a wrap or some hummus over a poor tasting steak or turkey sandwich anyday.
posted by corpse at 5:02 AM on May 20, 2002

Fly first class - I had lobster with butter sauce last time I did. You get what you pay for.
posted by sperare at 5:15 AM on May 20, 2002

Last time I flew, the ticket form gave a surprising number of options for food, including "bland."
I just had to know. Unfortunately, I got the same dumb snack everybody else did. I guess the food choice bit of the form isn't actually for every flight/airline and they didn't bother having it customize itself. Bah.
posted by Su at 5:36 AM on May 20, 2002

Since you can't actually cook stuff on a plane, (considered harmful,) it has to be pre-cooked on the ground and warmed over later. There is food that is robust enough to stand treatment like this but the airlines typically consider it too prole (macaroni+cheese) or too exotic (curry.)
posted by jfuller at 5:41 AM on May 20, 2002

Ask for the children's meal . Always more inviting, and it might even come with some toys, drawing books ,and a plane pin.
posted by Voyageman at 6:56 AM on May 20, 2002

Ahh! You've discovered my secret...the kid's meal IS always better.
posted by bradlauster at 8:50 AM on May 20, 2002

I don't think anyone expects a wonderful dining experience, but come on - there's no reason for a sandwich to be stale or half-frozen. At least fast food tastes like it was prepared within the last week or so.

The safest bet is to bring your own.

Voyageman, they don't do pins anymore. My kid got a little sticker shaped like pilot's wings.
posted by groundhog at 8:54 AM on May 20, 2002

I'm always just so amazed that there's food on planes at all, it usually tastes fine to me. And since I always try to get a window seat, the view is usually good enough to distract me anyway.

But then again, I'm easily amused.
posted by Poagao at 7:41 PM on May 20, 2002

If you ever get a chance, fly Air Jamaica. Nice, cooked meal - and even on the short flight from Florida-Jamaica. You even get champagne. Beats the hell out of domestic flights...
posted by owillis at 8:35 PM on May 20, 2002

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