In years gone by, you could look forward to a gourmet multi-course meal in the skies if you were amongst the privileged few to indulge in air-travel – the passenger was truly king. But unfortunately, with the surge in air-travel for the masses, those days are very much gone; as airlines are ever searching for ways to cut costs, airplane food is getting an increasingly bad rap for its lack in taste, quality and presentation.

But in fact science could provide at least some of the reasons why meal time is the worst part of everyone’s flight. Cruising at 35,000 feet, the cabin must be pressurised to allow you to breathe, however this numbs your taste buds, rendering a blander, more tasteless meal.


Other cabin conditions also contribute to an impaired eating experience; cabins are only about 30% as humid as the normal atmosphere, which dries out food a lot more quickly, as well as diminishing the nerves in your nose, which is inextricably linked to your sense of taste. Also, the recycling of air and constant air conditioning is said to cool down your food a lot faster than normal.

So how should you best combat this? Well I’d recommend taking a small supply of your own condiments with you, whether that be hot pepper sauce, ketchup or sweet chilli dip. These are a sure-fire method to liven up any bland meal.

Remember that if you don’t like the sound of an airline’s grey meat casserole, you can always opt for a vegetarian option. On top of being served before everyone else, your nut roast might well be the lesser of two evils!

Also, consider which airline you’re booking with. With most airlines offering similar fares, but highly varying quality of service and product, we’d recommend you do some research into which would most ‘tickle your taste buds’. The World Airline Awards voted these airlines as their top 5 for inflight meals in Economy Class:

1 Asiana Airlines
2 Turkish Airlines
3 Thai Airways
4 Garuda Indonesia
5 Singapore Airlines


Final Thoughts

It’s not all doom and gloom. Looking forward, airlines will have to start getting their act together in regards to inflight catering, as increased competition in the skies and demand from passengers begins to persuade them to invest more attention into their culinary offerings. The passenger is becoming king once more!


What are your favourite airlines for food? How about your favourite ever onboard meal?

Let us know down below!