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11 Facts about Airplane Meals

Did you know that 1 billion plane meals are served each year? Having a nice meal in the sky when traveling a long way, for instance, from the United States to Australia, will surely improve your mood. There are many interesting facts about airline food that crew members serve during flights. Just keep reading this article to find them out.

Fact #1 — Meals Are Not Provided on All Flights

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Usually, any flight class passengers can have a meal on board. However, passengers can opt for cheap domestic or international flights with no snakes included for the sake of the economy. But this makes sense if a trip lasts no more than 2-3 hours. When you are on an international business or personal trip that lasts for a long time, you would like to enjoy a nice catering service.

Fact #2 — All the Meals Are Prepared on the Ground

There is no chef onboard cooking food. All airplane food is cooked and packed on the ground, which is required for safety. All the meals prepared on the ground then simply reheated during travel. While there are no advanced kitchen appliances, the cabin crew can handle everything with a convection oven. This does not improve food taste but makes a better impression.

Fact #3 — The Quality of Food Depends on the Flight Class

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Yes, you read it right, meals served for economy class passengers are very different from those available for people flying in business class or first class. Meals and drinks are not free because their cost is included in the ticket price. Different airlines have their own menus, and meals served by British Airways are not the same as those offered by American Airlines.

You should be able to find a list of dishes right on the website of an airline. Just scroll down to “All rights reserved” to find a menu with airline meals. Passengers of business/first class can choose something from a great drink selection, including wine, champagne, beer, or simple juice. Many airlines offer international flights with a great choice of restaurant meals from the best chefs in the world.

Fact #4 — Employees Cannot Take Leftovers

You might believe that flight attendants can take airlines’ meals home. No, everything left is simply thrown away. Most airlines have very strict rules about that. Some people got fired for grabbing airline meal after serving there for years. Moreover, they are not allowed to take even small bottles of alcohol.

Fact #5 — Flight Delays May Result in Wasted Food

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Not only the uneaten food is trashed after every flight – all food prepared for a flight will also be thrown away if it delays for more than 6 hours.
It would not be a major problem if it was just one flight delayed a day, but there are a lot of them. An enormous amount of airplane food is wasted every day! It is the one thing that makes the airline catering industry one of the most expensive. Imagine that by the end of 2023, the market size is expected to grow from 13 to 18 billion dollars!

Fact #6 — Pilots Get Different Meals

Airline catering is different for pilots. The main reason for that is possible food poisoning. Don’t worry, as such cases are very rare. Additional precautions are taken to make sure that pilots will be able to fly an airplane without such problems.

Fact #7 — You Can Order More Than One Snack

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Often, people eating food on the board just cannot get enough. They don’t know that snacks are unlimited! Many people believe that once crew members provide a snack, they cannot ask for more. There are actually many more snacks that you can have. Just ask for the next serving politely.

Fact #8 — The Food Onboard Is Not Fresh

The food in plastic containers served on a plane is prepared several hours earlier, so it is not fresh. In some cases, everything is ready 72 or more hours before you have it! To keep it edible, it is stored frozen. Even though it waits for three or even more days, eating such food is safe.

Fact #9 — The Meat Is a Bit Raw

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When meat gets on board, it is not entirely cooked. Therefore, it needs to be well heated in the oven before being served. Nevertheless, the most popular item on transatlantic flights is steak. So, when you get meals on board, you can eat all the products included in your dish without worries.

Fact #10 — Meal Tastes Different in the Sky

You may find meals tasting different in the air than on the ground. The food tastes unusual when a plane reaches 30,000 feet height. Tomato, rice, meat, and other products may seem to taste horrible.

The reasons for that are low air pressure and humidity, so there is nothing about food quality. Due to these factors, the sensitivity of your taste buds decreases. This does not mean, however, that you cannot enjoy flight meals from a high altitude. For example, knowing that acidic and high in tannins vines aren’t as enjoyable in flight, many airlines make changes in the wine menu and give preference to fruity and fragrant drinks.

Water on the board can be disgusting too if it isn’t bottled one. So, it is better to order some juice instead of tea or coffee.

Fact #11 —Avoid Eating Meals on a Plane Is Not Good

You should not start out for a journey in the sky with an empty stomach. If it is a long international flight lasting for many hours, make sure to have a full stomach when boarding. Anyway, you will need to have some snacks on board to avoid various problems, such as a drop in your blood sugar levels. Simply drinking water will not help the situation. Don’t be afraid to take on board your own snacks from home or shops in Departures if you want to. It isn’t forbidden.

About Suzan Vega