This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Welcome to Fly&Dine Tuesday, a new monthly column that explores the intersection of food and travel with the help of new TPG Contributor (and expert food writer) Jason Kessler of Fly&Dine, the best online source for dining while you fly.

Hey! You in 34B! Drop the tuna and put your hands where I can see them!

If you’re like the guy in 34B, you’re one of the worst people on Earth. In fact, I believe that people that consume stinky food on planes rank just slightly behind drivers that never switch off their turn signals. I think we can all agree that anyone who opens a styrofoam box full of chow mein on a plane deserves to sit between babies on flights for the rest of their lives.

JetBlue certainly agrees, and that’s why they focused on these funky flyers in the latest video from their “Flight Etiquette” series. “Rule #19: How Not to Pack a Snack” shows an insufferable schmuck chowing down on a rogue’s gallery of smelly foods (canned tuna, egg salad, bleu cheese, etc.) as his horrified seat mates try to keep their cookies from being tossed.

If you can prevent yourself from gagging, check out the whole disgusting video here:

This situation is my olfactory nightmare. When you’re crammed into a metal tube for hours at a time with a bunch of strangers, consideration truly matters. Seat-kickers and ignorant parents may have drawn the most ire of participants in Expedia’s recent Airplane Etiquette Study, but “pungent foodies” definitely made the cut as one of the most annoying types of passengers on a plane—and I’d put them even higher than the 32% that they garnered.

By bringing stinky food onto a plane, you’re making a very clear statement that your tasty desires are more important than the nasal comfort of everyone sitting around you. It’s not that I care that you’re eating on the plane – I’ve literally made a career out of eating on planes – it’s that you’ve chosen to inflict your gustatory terrorism on everyone else.

Simply put, there are foods that work on airplanes and there are foods that don’t work. Here’s a handy list of things to keep in mind the next time you’re thinking about bringing a five-course meal on-board with you:

KEEP IT COOL

zzz
Photo: AttributionNo Derivative Works Some rights reserved by rainydayknitter

Hot foods inherently smell more than cold foods because the heat activates volatile compounds in whatever you’re eating and spreads them through the air. With little air circulation on a plane, that means your fellow passengers are forced to inhale your meal alongside you. Choosing cold foods for your in-flight enjoyment is the best way to keep you volatile compounds to yourself.

KEEP IT FRESH

Photo:AttributionShare Alike Some rights reserved by davidmulder61

There are so many reasons to focus on fresh foods when packing your flight snack, but odor is certainly towards the top of the list. Fresh foods inherently smell better than boxed or canned foods because they’re not packed away in a tiny container with all of their intense, concentrated smells. Opening a can of tuna on a plane is like starting a mini-war with biological weapons. Making a spicy tuna sandwich using fresh tuna from your local fishmonger, however, is an excellent idea.

KEEP IT SIMPLE

zzz
Photo:Attribution Some rights reserved by Thriving Vegetarian

Let’s face it, the words “airplane” and “garam masala” do not go together. Instead of a highly involved Northern Indian spice blend, how about a salad? If you’re trying to be as unobtrusive as possible in your flight food, simple is the key. The fewer ingredients, the better.

KEEP IT COMPACT

zzz
Photo:Attribution Some rights reserved by WordRidden

This is less about smell than just good old-fashioned decorum, but you’ve got a greater chance of trouble the more elaborate your meal gets. Spills, smells, and other troubles arise when there are too many components to your tray-table dinner. Compact dishes like sandwiches and wraps are a great way to keep your meal to yourself.

Flying is stressful enough as it is. Take a moment to make sure you’re being considerate to your fellow passengers with whatever snacks you choose to bring onboard and everyone will enjoy the flight a little bit more. If you’re the guy in 34B bringing tuna on the plane, just know that I spoke to the Devil and he’s reserving a middle seat for you in Hell.

The Platinum Card® from American Express

The American Express Platinum card has some of the best perks out there: cardholders enjoy the best domestic lounge access (Delta SkyClubs, Centurion Lounges, and Priority Pass), a $200 annual airline fee credit as well as up to $200 in Uber credits, and mid-tier elite status at SPG, Marriott, and Hilton. Combined with the 60,000 point welcome offer -- worth $1,140 based on TPG's valuations -- this card is a no-brainer for frequent travelers. Here are 5 reasons you should consider this card, as well as how you can figure out if the $550 annual fee makes sense for you.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
  • Enjoy Uber VIP status and free rides in the U.S. up to $15 each month, plus a bonus $20 in December. That can be up to $200 in annual Uber savings.
  • 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
  • 5X Membership Rewards points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com.
  • Enjoy access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations around the world.
  • Receive complimentary benefits with an average total value of $550 with Fine Hotels & Resorts. Learn More.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline.
  • Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your Platinum Card®. Enrollment required.
  • $550 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
N/A
Annual Fee
$550
Balance Transfer Fee
See Terms
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the 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.