Airline Food? Not as bad as you think!

A lot of these sumptuous photos were taken from first class and business class flights, but even the economy class meals have improved in recent years.

Singapore Airlines A380 lower deck economy cabin
Singapore Airlines A380 lower deck economy cabin during meal service

I can remember a time when we all dreaded meal time during flights. How those times have changed! These days, while none of us expect a gourmet meal (at least not in the cheap seats, anyway), we still expect a certain choice and variation in our meals, all the while accompanied with drinks. It is also the norm on full-service airlines such as Singapore Airlines (pictured above) to be given bread roll and butter for starters (as well as fresh fruit), and a chocolate bar or even a small pot of ice cream for dessert!

A typical economy class meal from Cathay Pacific
A typical economy class meal from Cathay Pacific
Compact meal in economy class for ANA
Compact meal in economy class for ANA
A typical Garuda Indonesia meal in economy class
A typical Garuda Indonesia meal in economy class

In economy class, the meals are brought to you on a trolley which is usually tended to by one cabin crew member, although on some airlines two members will share the trolley, with one handing you the meals and the other one taking care of the all-important drinks. If you are sitting at the wrong end of the cabin insofar as the meals are distributed from the other end, then you may not get your first choice meal. I suffered this once on a Korean Air flight between Hong Kong and Seoul, where all the “western” options had run out by the time they came to me, and I had to try to endure the cumbersome bibimbap instead, which is a Korean dish (and I don’t like it). The stewardess was apologetic but then looked on in horror as I tried to make the bibimbap – I must have looked like a complete novice!

A Business Class snack in Malaysia Airlines (Photo Credit: Pokfur)
A Business Class snack in Malaysia Airlines (Photo Credit: Pokfur)

By the time you get to business class, you will undoubtedly be receiving a higher quality of food, and this will include snacks that are prepared hot, rather than a bar of chocolate or a bad of crisps. For example, airlines may specially cook some satay or banana fritters, and I have even heard of some airlines offering fresh seafood inbetween meals!

Breakfast is served onboard Korean Air (first class)
Breakfast is served onboard Korean Air (first class)
Korean Air's salad cart
Korean Air’s salad cart to accompany mealtimes
A sample of the delicious desserts in Korean Air's first class
A sample of the delicious desserts in Korean Air’s first class

It is in First Class, however, where the real airline food standards are met. The above photos, courtesy of Lucky over at One Mile at a Time, are from Korean Air’s amazing first class Kosmo Suites, and as you can see meal times are sure something to look forward to on longhaul flights! The desserts in particular look like something you would find in a top Korean restaurant in Seoul!

Garuda's first class catering is incredible
Garuda’s first class catering is incredible
First Class on Garuda is extravagant - but is it really needed?
First Class on Garuda is extravagant – but is it really needed?

Arguably the best airline for catering would have to be Garuda Indonesia. The Indonesian flag carrier has got a very impressive reputation for its first class meals, with some people now even going so far as to say that maybe it’s a little too much. Garuda may have surpassed what is expected of them in terms of meal quality, but the passengers who pay for first class fares deserve to have their expectations exceeded.

Advertisements

4 thoughts on “Airline Food? Not as bad as you think!

  1. I have found it very hit and miss between airlines. I usually fly economy and order a Vegetarian meal – indian if I get a choice. I have been on flights where my special meal request dropped off my booking. Qantas earlier this year had gelatine in the yogurt. Singapore and ANZ seem to have the best meals.

    Like

    1. I usually fly economy too. It’s all I can afford! 😉 I agree that some airlines are better than others though. I find Singapore Airlines and Turkish Airlines to be among the best, with Etihad very good too. Emirates I always find pretty bland, and in my experience Thai Airways are pretty bad for food.

      Like

  2. Most Asian airlines offer good airlines food indeed. My faves are Spore and Garuda airlines foods..but once i took local flight Garuda from Sulawesi to Papua, the food was bit disappointing. I guess unpopular route will get no nyummy food.. 😦

    Like

    1. Garuda are incredible with their catering usually, but as you say the less popular routes like Makassar to Jayapura are probably not given the same priority. I love that Garuda usually give you a free drink before takeoff in economy class though, at least on international flights they do!

      Liked by 1 person

Tell me what you think!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s