Getting fed on a flight can be a contentious issue for some people. I recently read a diatribe from someone complaining that he and his wife did not get their choice of meal on board. Turns out he was a high level frequent flyer and was rather miffed that this has occurred.

While that person probably has issues around entitlement, there are ways to help tip the scales in your favour when it comes to being fed on a plane. Some might be obvious to frequent flyers, but some might be new to some.

Make You Choice Of Meal Before You Fly

Call me Captain Obvious, but some people don’t realise certain airlines let you choose from the menu before you fly. Both Alaska Airlines and American Airlines offer this, which I have used to my advantage on several occasions.

Airlines tend to load what they think will get used, so there will be a finite amount of plates for each choice. In fact, on an Alaska Airlines flight from Honolulu to Seattle, they ran out of fruit plates after exactly one person who had not pre-ordered asked for one. Always pre-order when you have the option.

Where You Sit Is Important

Flight attendants virtually always serve from front to back, even in sections where the galley is in the rear. Quite logically, this means that those at the front of each cabin will generally get their choice of meal. This is especially true in Premium Economy or Economy Class.

That means people who book earlier have an advantage, as more seats will be open to choose from. This is why choosing a seat is important, though it may cost you. Airlines that charge for seat selection usually charge a premium for those towards the front of the cabin.

Now For The Frequent Flyers…

To quote someone replying to the upset man I mentioned earlier, “One of the benefits of status is being able to seat yourself near the source of food. Do that rather than sitting yourself in the veggie Lasagne zone.” How true!

Nobody wants to be at the back of the cabin where you’ll get what is left, which is often the vegetarian option. If you’re picky about the food, use your status to select a seat as far forward as possible. Happily, it’s usually also free!

Overall Thoughts

Now you know some strategies for getting your choice of meal when flying. Choose your meal online before the flight, sit at the front and book early so seats at the front are free. Hopefully if you think about things this way, it will prevent you having to throw your toys out of the pram when they don’t have the choice you want, like the guy who inspired this article.

In my own experience, life doesn’t end if what you want has run out. There is always something else you can have and it certainly doesn’t ruin things. But then again, I am pretty relaxed about things like this, as opposed to others to whom it’s apparently a major red flag.

What say you? Do you always get your choice of meal? Are the tips above relevant? Have you ever seen anyone annoyed at not getting what they want when it comes to plane food? Thank you for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.

Like planes? See my “Does anyone remember” series.
Flight reviews your thing? Mine are all indexed here.
Follow me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Quote from bisonrav on FlyerTalk.