Complimentary meals or snacks are often a feature of fares with full service airlines. For some of our members, just because they are free, or being served at an unusual time, does not mean you have to eat them.

I wonder whether I’m alone in almost totally avoiding in flight meals. Whether in economy or business I tend to avoid eating the meals, even on a 14+ hour flight. But I have noticed that a lot of people eat the meal, regardless of the fact it could be a ridiculous time in the morning or the food is something in another situation they wouldn’t eat. I do like airlines who have an anytime dining option such as a steak sandwich (EY) as that can be okay if I get peckish. But honestly, I often just prefer to eat in the lounge/restaurant in a dignified way at a time that suits.

Anyone else with me? Should airlines stop serving meals and just have a galley full of snacks and sandwiches available anytime.?

While airlines in the US have long been hesitant to feed travellers anything substantial, locally it’s been a different story. The long since defunct Compass Airlines was the first to try flights without food in the late 80’s, and it was a dismal failure, forcing the airline to introduce meal bags. Virgin also started services as a low cost airline, with food available for purchase. As they move to full service, meals and snacks have become complimentary on many services. It seems domestically, many members like the offerings, but when travelling internationally, preferences can depend on class of service or if a lounge offered a better experience pre-flight.

In First and Business – always eat the meal. I see it as an integral part of the premium cabin experience. In Economy domestic – usually eat the meal unless I had something really special in the business lounge (almost never happens). In Economy international – not if I had enough time to eat (and drink) in a decent First Class lounge somewhere. I will probably have the second meal if it’s a long flight.

Others may choose to pass on the meal in the hope of getting extra sleep. Of course, anyone who has tried that will often remember meal times can increase the cabin noise levels. It’s also pretty hard to avoid the smells associated with a food service. While the extra sleep may be a blessing, avoiding eating can also have other unexpected results when it comes to post flight experiences.

I have previously been told that not eating on long flights from certain countries may increase the possibility of a Customs inspection in case you’ve swallowed drugs and are waiting to pass them on arrival.

Are you partial to airline meals, with the personality type that eats anything placed in front of you, or are you fussy about what you eat and when, why not have your say HERE.


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