Airplanes and Food

Blogging is one of my favorite things to do on an airplane, and right now I’m fired up so I want to discuss the ridiculousness that is food choices. (Don’t judge me. It’s 9:22 pm, and I haven’t had dinner.)

I’m on a flight from New York to New Orleans. We were delayed over an hour one we boarded, which is nothing compared to the several hours of delays I faced on the way to New York. Now it’s time for dinner, and I don’t have any reasonable options.

While visiting the city that never sleeps, I found myself in bed relatively early every night. I slept so well every night, and I’m looking forward to climbing under the blankets in my own bed tonight.

Going to bed significantly earlier means that I need to eat dinner earlier too, but that’s not going to happen tonight. My options on the plane, apart from the complimentary pretzels, cookies and peanuts, are potato chips or trail mix. (Really, Delta?)

It’s not just Delta though. Sadly, apart from first-class flights from L.A. to New York, I’ve never had very good options, and that’s aggravating. They serve up drinks that I’m not interested in so I ask for water, which is fine. They’re not flying us around for free so I just wonder why the airlines can’t do better than overpriced Pringles and trail mix.

I’d be willing to pay ten bucks for a sandwich, snap peas and hummus or something similar on a 3-hour evening flight, but that’s not an option today. Instead I’ll just sit back, relax and be happy that I’ll be able to make better choices tomorrow.

What do you think about airplane food? Do you have any ideas regarding how they could offer better choices in flight?

19 thoughts on “Airplanes and Food

  1. Hi K,
    I hate plane food with a passion.
    its to gross and yucky.
    obvious if I am travelling for longer hours I have to eat all that is offered.
    But ya hummus–and sandwich is good.

    Anyhow…we can pack some snack bars and boiled eggs?

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    • I didn’t pack a meal because my flight was on time, and my plan was to eat at home. That didn’t work so well because I got home at 1 am. I just didn’t eat dinner.

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    • I am all for packing food for trips on a plane….but boiled eggs?
      um…no. I would be horrified if the person on the side of me was eating a smelly boiled egg. lol. It would smell up the entire plane!

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  2. I almost always buy food from somewhere around the terminals and bring it with me on board. Even if the flight I am on does have food options for purchase, as a vegan they rarely have anything I eat so I always BYOF ;)

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    • I usually do that too when I’m not traveling from home. I just thought I’d be home in time to eat dinner, but next time I’ll probably carry a meal anyway.

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  3. I hear you. Now that you have to pay for your food it is even worse than when you did not have to pay for your food. Whenever we fly I do my best to pack some healthy snacks, fruit, nuts, cheese, things like that. Flying has gone from bad to worse the past 10 years.

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    • I pack better when I’m leaving home than I do when I’m heading back home…I’ll have to plan better on my next return flight.

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  4. I gave up eating decent airplane food a long time ago. I tote along snack packs of cottage cheese, guacamole or hummus with celery stick and carrots. Jif has those groovy single serving little cups that travel well for the return flight. Another option albeit not the healthy one… cheese crackers with peanut butter. Some folks call them “nabs”. I am getting a little protein and I am not always in the mood to eat something sweeter like a protein bar. (which gets very boring). I laughed at your overpriced Pringle comment because I was starving once after a 4 hr delay and pulled the trigger and bought a $5 mini can and sat there eating STALE Pringles!!

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    • Yeah, that’s gross. Ha. It’s a lot harder to pack for return flights than it is when I’m leaving home. I suppose I should have stopped at a grocery store before I headed to the airport. That’s just not always easy to do.

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  5. I always pack my next meal and snack with me. There is no problem bringing food through security if it is solid – I have not had any problem with yogurt, fruit, eggs, oatmeal, chicken, salads . . . and then when everyone else is eating sugar and salt and lamenting the lack of fresh anything, I can have a healthy meal and arrive in good shape. I often travel to NYC. Although I bring my food with me to the airport I know the airports there have ample food courts with many choices and you can always take food on the plane – although your fellow passengers might hurt you if you bring something that makes them stab at you with their peanut wrappers.

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    • I mean, I am good at that when I’m departing, but I’m not as good when I’m returning. I could have purchased food at the grocery store, but I’d waste a lot doing that on the day of a flight. I’ll need to think this through better next time. The delays on these flights were the worst that I’ve ever experienced. It’s not typically, thankfully.

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  6. Delta actually sells these small boxes of decent snacks but you have to ask for them. Almonds, hummus, olives, etc. For airplane food it is a nice healthy option. Maybe other airlines will follow suit soon.

    Love your blog. Makes me feel like I’m not alone in my own daily struggle with my weight.

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    • They sell small boxes like that *if* the flights are longer than 1400 miles. The distance between NYC and New Orleans is only 1300 so they weren’t available. I was craving the cheese and fruit box…

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  7. yes it is always difficult for the return flight isn’t it. Even though Jif peanut butter isn’t the healthiest option it does travel well in those individual packs. I don’t get the option to get to a grocery store either. I lucked out once and the hotel I was staying at had a continental breakfast and I grabbed a yogurt. It wasn’t the coldest when I ate it but not room temp either. I figured all the cultures in the yogurt would kill any bacteria! LOL!

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  8. Coming home from the Dominican Republic this spring I had packed the Jif snack packs and had crackers plus a few other sorta healthy snacks. And peanut M&M’s. When we starting off the flight attendant announced that a person on the plane had a peanut allergy and not to consume peanut products. I /family were hungry so I later asked where the person was sitting, many rows behind me, I ate the peanut products…

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  9. I just saw in the news that there was a weather delay for a Frontier Airlines plane & the pilot personally paid for pizza for all the passengers. Cool. You may have been hungry enough to eat a piece. :)
    Glad you slept well; ahhh!
    Welcome home.
    Chrissy

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  10. Your experience is exactly why I always pack snacks when I fly. You never know how long a “short flight” will be with delays.

    Sorry you had to go through that but New York looked fun!

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  11. I always keep food in my briefcase when traveling domestically. Usually an apple and several granola bars. It’s mostly for work (no one is going to starve me into caving in a mediation), but more than once I’ve delved into it on the flight home for reasons similar to yours — didn’t think I needed to go to a store or an airport eatery b/c we were boarding on time and I didn’t think I’d need to eat before I got home, but delays, circling, being diverted, waiting for a gate, whatever, ending up without food much longer than planned. I’ve always been glad the apple and granola bars are there in a pinch, better than the Pringles that I’ve caved and bought before in desperation.

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  12. You make a good point! If they could make fruit or veggies with hummus an option, I’d pay a couple bucks for that! Instead it’s boring Wheat Thins, etc., that have too much sodium. Flying already makes you dehydrated, so all that sodium isn’t helping!

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