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22      Airline Meals

  There is an airline, there is a meal. But when you decide to get on board, the meal might not necessarily be there for you.

Stewardess serving passengersWhether it is a one-hour flight or one-day flight, something that is always there is airline meal. A simple standard when it comes to the meal is either a snack for a short flight or a real meal for a longer flight.

In order to cut cost, airlines eliminated one of the amenities — the airline meal. Several articles pointed out that passengers often complained the meals were nothing but terrible and they did not eat that much due to the overwhelming food.

Meal service during a flightSome airlines changed their meal deals with small snacks such as potato chips, pretzels, crackers, fruits, breakfast bars, cookies and yogurt. Ironically, airline passengers began to complain that the meals had become inadequate. Some even change flight plans to have an airline meal. Go figure.

Several flights introduced flights without any meal service for economy class, significantly eliminated for short flights such as from JFK to Macarthur Airport on Long Island. On a recent flight between New York and Miami, I received a snack meal consisted of a multigrain bar, pretzels and cup of water. When I asked for a cup of OJ, surprisingly the steward gave it to me. Nevertheless, I was left hungry throughout the two-hour flight.

Meals on Garuda Indonesia Airways

At first some airlines implemented charges on beverages, such as Orange Juice, Apple Juice, Cranberry Juice. A recent charge on alcohol beverages such as wines and beers. Some other flights started charging passengers for food. For instance, a bagel with cream cheese on Song Airlines costs you US$4. Meanwhile, Thomas Cook Airlines charge EUR3 (about US$3.60) for a glass of wine.

Meals on Bali Air and Merpati Air

Back to the thumb rules of airline meals, most flights do not have any meal service for flights under two hours. For longer flights, meal service has been reduced significantly. Be ready to fork out extra cash for beverages and other snacks (such as candy, chocolate, etcetra). When traveling with children, be prepared, bring your own snacks to munch on. Water bottles are also good to prevent dehydration during a flight.

Meals on Qantas and Singapore Airlines

There used to be times when anyone can request meals according to their special diet needs. Some airlines still offer that but most of them have gotten rid of the concept. Be sure to check with the airlines. KLM Royal Dutch Airlines offers 13 special meals in four categories -- Diet, Religious, Vegetarian, and Children's. Their special selections include: Diabetic, Low cholesterol/low fat, Low calorie, Low sodium, High fiber, Kosher, Moslem, Hindu, Western vegetarian, Strict vegetarian, Asian vegetarian, Baby food and Child meals.

Meals on Northwest and Thai Airways

So why did I write about airline meals again? Because we have probably all experienced airline food. We have probably all complained. When you have experienced so much of it, you might as well discuss it.

Meals on Lufthansa and Japan Airlines

On a lighter side, a joke titled ‘Airline Meal Choices’. It goes like this.
It was mealtime during a recent flight this guy was on with a small airline.
"Would you like dinner?" the flight attendant asked him when she reached the row of seats he was sitting in, pulling the food cart behind her.
"What are my choices?" he asked.
"Yes or no" she replied.

Meals on Korean Air and Malaysian Airlines

Do you have a favorite airline meal? Do you have any experience on airline meals?   (Credit pictures: Airline Meals)