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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.
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.
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.
Know before you go.
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