though airline food has improved over the years and some airlines even
have inflight chefs for their first or business class passengers, we as
travellers still seem to enjoy poking fun at what the airlines serve, no
matter what class is travelled, or how good the food actually is.
does taste different when flying and even if we are not hungry most
travellers will happily accept the airline meal and dig in with earnest
- after all, eating takes up some time and shortens any flight boredom
you may have. There is one trick though, that airlines do not
openly advertise, but which you can use to help make your flight,
whether it be long or short haul, that little bit more enjoyable.
trick is quite simply - Special Meals. Most travellers never consider
this as an option because they do not need a 'special meal', what
these travellers should realise though, is that special meals are
available to everyone, you do not have to be Lactose intolerant or a vegetarian
to order a special meal, you don't even need to be Japanese to order the
special Japanese meal - if you are lucky enough for your airline to even
offer that option as Singapore Airlines does.
travellers will have seen other passengers get their meals first, or
will have noticed the stewardess verifying a customers selection of
food, these are regular practices that most airlines use when dealing
with a customer that has ordered a special meal.
meals should be ordered either through your travel agent or we recommend
directly with the airline at least 48 hours in advance of the flight
departure, although the time differs with different airlines etc. When
you call the airline ask them what special meals they offer, most
airlines will offer some, all or more of the following: vegetarian
(oriental, western, Indian styles), lactose free, seafood, fruit
platter, child meals, low cholesterol, Japanese, Hindu, Kosher, Muslim,
diabetic, fat free, gluton free, high fibre, low calorie, low fat, low
protein, low sodium, low purine, semi-purine, soft fluid meal etc.
while the benefits of ordering a special meal can include a sense of
more personalised service, better quality food etc the only drawback is
perhaps the lack of consistency, a seafood meal on a Bangkok to Hong
Kong route will be different from what you get on the return leg, even
though you are on the same airline.
the numerous tests we have done, the quality of the special meal depends
on the departing airport and the airline you are flying with. Out of all
our tests with different airlines on different routes, we have, on the
whole, thoroughly enjoyed ordering a special meal, you receive your meal
first and most of the time it will be superior in quality to the regular
meals being offered.
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