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What do you think of airline food? Has it improved much over the past few years?


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Over the past few years? No, but it is far better than it was 25 years ago.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Yes it has .

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Generally people think that airline food is bad and there is some truth to that. But when you travel at a high altitude your sense of taste is not the same because of the lack of humidity which can actually interfere with the sinus opening. Therefore the quality of food diminishes and is not the same as you get on ground. You also have to remember that none of the meals are cooked on-board except sometimes for first class. The meals are also several hours old, not fresh and prepared ahead of time, frozen or chilled, and then warmed back up in on-board convection oven which means mass produced meals that are frozen, and then reconstituted. Thus the biggest improvement over the past few years has probably been the technology for the in-flight dining experience. However I know that some travelers do eat better at high altitude than they can on ground. As far as the quality of the food. Well, I feel over the past decade the state of the airline food has definitely been enhanced and improved so I do have my favorite edibles.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I do not care about food, just give me a bigger seat. UA has been packing too many of us like sardines in can.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

JAL's business class offerings are quite tasty. Definitely better than when I was growing up where they'd serve sandwiches, crackers, cheese, and cold cuts.

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Travelled business class one time and got bumped up to First Class. Trust me the food is splendid. I've mentioned this before but anyway - I do some business with LSG Sky Chefs who make airline meals and I learnt a couple of things. Because your taste buds work differently at high altitude the meals have added salt otherwise they would, at 30,000 feet, taste bland. And the airline food industry is cut throat like you wouldn't believe. Everything is measured within a gram or two.

But to be honest, I leave one country and a few hours later flying 7 miles above another, I get served a better meal then I could pick up at a conbi so for me not to many complaints. And I do like those cold green noodles on JAL.

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One small problem with you comment 'globalwatcher', is that you define UA an airline to begin with. I don't think that the US airline industry is a benchmark on quality of air travel, let alone the food. SimondB has it right, the airlines can't afford to be that fussy outside Business/First Class food, especially when it comes to presentation. However, I do believe that the actual quality of the food in ALL classes among Asian and European airlines has got better. Can't comment on UA, as I prefer to fly on modern planes, and their fleet, apart from a few 787's is 'aged' to say the least.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

"One small problem...is that you define UA an airline to begin with."

I had pretty decent penne on my UA flight over New Year's. Much better than those Mossburger riceburgers on JAL or combini food.

"I don't think that the US airline industry is a benchmark on quality of air travel."

I guess you haven't heard about US Airways Flight 1549.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

@JeffLee: I do not recall being negative towards pilots of US airlines. Guess you haven't eaten the food on JAL or ANA in biz or first recently. Really quite excellent.

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"I guess you haven't eaten the food on JAL or ANA in biz or first recently."

Your guess would be wrong. I flew ANA business class return in mid-January and UA economy outbound, as booking was made through UA's mileage program. My comparison is for economy-class food. Obviously the food in other classes is better, regardless of the airline.

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Having read the recent JapanToday article on how JAL prepares their flight food, one is impressed by JAL's high quality standards in that JAL does not permit foods to be served 24 hours after it has been prepared; one is also reminded that food is prepared, cooled, and then reheated prior to serving - quite an undertaking, we call those dishes left-overs at home!!

I just wonder if other airlines like UAL have any quality standards, or are they too embarassed to reveal how they manipulate the food?

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Business class food is just fine.

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"one is impressed by JAL's high quality standards"

JAL also contracts with the likes of KFC, Mos Burger and Yoshinoya to serve its passengers fast food. I normally wouldn't use the expression "high quality" to describe fast food.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

First and Business Class have improved in general over the last 15~20 years, reflecting the premium prices and profits, but economy class food is very much dependent on the airline providing it. The quality Asian, European, Central/ South American and Middle East carriers in general offer a fair meal, two selections, that has remained consistently edible, while North American airlines have in general shrunk their offering in both size and quality. The security-conscious plastic implements don't help either to eat it with. Eastern European, other Asian, African and other Middle East carriers try but are a long way from a good meal or service. Have not flown JAL for a while, but ANA's choice of Japanese or 'International' is pretty much hit or miss.

Those airlines that provide cold water/ cold drink service to prevent dehydration throughout the flight also get my vote!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I fly business class and have also liked the food on which has always been good on every airline I've flown. My problem with UA is not the food but the creeps who have served it on more than one occasion.

I am in love with Cathy Pacific. The food is good and the service is wonderful. Part of the enjoyment of food is the service, and as an air traveler my heart belongs to Cathy Pacific.

Worst food and wine i ever had was in economy on Air France. Air France business class is very good.

I've been bumped up to First Class on a number of occasions and certainly the food has been outstanding. Even so, the golden touch of a good French restaurant cannot he surpassed by anything in the air or even at sea, where I experienced a fortnight of first class meals across the Pacific.

Eating is different in a traveling mode. If your food is reasonably good you are happy. Travel is not expect comfort but to be happy with what comfort you can get.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

You mean, now that we can get KFC on some flights? Really, deciding if there has been an improvement depends on the airline, the time period, and on how bad their meals were before.

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Nice, but most of us fly Economy. I am sure Business and 1st class is awesome. My big complaint is not being allowed anymore to bring our own food aboard. So, I order Hindu and am general satisfied with it, but really, when will I be allowed to bring my damned sandwich?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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