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TPG reader Michael tweeted me to ask about in-flight dining:

@thepointsguy– “You love to hate on American’s first class meals, so which airline has your favorite meals?”

If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve probably seen some of the nasty food pictures I’ve uploaded during my travels.

No meal in the sky can really be expected to equal what you’d find in a real restaurant. Obviously, airlines have limited means for heating and cooking food on board. Still, some are better than others, with in-flight offerings ranging from cold and inscrutable to fairly appetizing meals prepared by a private chef. I’m excited to one day maybe fly the Etihad Residence, where you get your own butler!

American has served me some pretty nasty meals, especially after the merger when they started using US Airways catering. I don’t necessarily need caviar and champagne, but my beef with American is that there aren’t enough decently healthy options available. It’s difficult to stay healthy on the road, and when your only option is a tortellini creme with butter on top, it doesn’t make eating well any easier.

Delta does a pretty good job on its short-haul flights, offering healthy salads with chicken, for example, and I would love it if American would do the same.

NOURISHMINT on JetBlue Mint  allows you to customize your main meal by choosing three items from a list of five tapas-style dishes curated by New York City's Sexon + Parole restaurant
NOURISHMINT on JetBlue Mint allows you to customize your main meal by choosing three items from a list of five tapas-style dishes curated by New York City’s Sexon + Parole restaurant.

I think JetBlue Mint is the domestic winner for best in-flight meal service. You get to choose several options and they are smaller portions, all inspired by the NYC restaurant Saxon + Parole.

I doubt I would see any U.S. airlines serving quail as Singapore Airlines does!
I doubt I would see any U.S. airlines serving quail like Singapore Airlines does!

The international winner goes to Emirates First class, which offers a gigantic menu with caviar and the airline’s own special vintage Dom Pérignon champagne. Coming in as a close second or even as a tie would be Singapore Airlines First Class, where I recently ate some delicious quail. The Middle Eastern and Asian carriers just blow domestic airlines away when it comes to in-flight food.

I wish that U.S. carriers would up their game a bit (instead of complaining about competition) and start serving up some healthy options. I’m not expecting Dom champagne on all domestic flights, but some simple, healthy food would be much appreciated.

Feel free to share in the comments section which airlines you think have the best (or worst) food options.

If you have any other questions, please tweet me @thepointsguy, message me on Facebook, or send me an email at info@thepointsguy.com.

Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express

There’s no telling how much longer these cards will be around and available for new applications because of the Marriott takeover, so now might just be the perfect time to apply. Apart from hotel redemptions, you can transfer Starpoints to over 30 airline partners, and now also transfer points from Starwood to Marriott Rewards at a 1:3 ratio, opening up even more redemption options.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 25,000 bonus Starpoints® after you use your new Card to make $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months.
  • Earn 2 Starpoints® for each dollar of eligible purchases spent on the Card at participating SPG® & Marriott Rewards® hotels. Earn 1 Starpoint for all other purchases.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on International purchases.
  • Receive free in-room, premium internet access. Booking requirements apply.
  • Redeem Starpoints® at over 1,300 participating hotels and resorts in over 100 countries and for flights on more than 150 airlines with SPG flights, all with no blackout dates.
  • $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95.
  • Terms and Conditions apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
15.74%-19.74% Variable
Annual Fee
$0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95.
Balance Transfer Fee
3.00%
Recommended Credit
Excellent Credit
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.