Do Economy Class Passengers Eat? Some Airlines Think So.

In my last post about airplane food, we can see that using very scientific research, airlines in the US serve economy class passengers nothing remotely flattering; better yet, those in-flight meals may even warrant their own wing in a modern art museum.  US carriers are in good company in commercial aviation– check out the most likely competition.

Today, we’ll look at a few more airline meals, though I confess that I cheated with the last photo.  Grab the nearest bib and let’s get to it:

Olympic, ATH-JFK
Olympic (based in Greece), Athens to JFK (New York).  It’s a nostalgic photo, not for the airline OH NO, but for the food.  See, they don’t fly their A340s anymore, nor do they fly to New York.  But when they did, they had the catering right.  The thrushy banana is actually kourabiedes, a sugar-dusted walnut cookie.  To the left is a capsized cookie called melomakarono, made with olive oil and honey.  Sweet, now I know the names too.  Twenty slices of wishes-it-were Swiss cheese notwithstanding, the desserts clearly stood out.  Why do YOU travel?  Apparently, to learn how to threaten my pancreas in Greek.

airBlue, KHI-LYP
airblue, Karachi to Faisalabad (Pakistan), another route that doesn’t exist anymore (for airblue).  Save for the stereotypical “redundant roll” on the left, this lunch set has a hospitable, Pakistani feel.  The taste was lacking, but at the time, I was already feeling the brunt of some in retrospect, excellent but disastrous cashew ice cream.  That’s no orange juice either- it’s sugar’s sugar.  Orange-tinted sugar.  No matter, the flight was short-haul, so shukriya for the thought, airblue!

Emirates, DEL-DXB
Emirates, Delhi to Dubai.  Now we’re on to something.  Eh, if you like eating Indian food, that is.  Or simply staring at it.  While I can’t figure out why how succotash factors into the meal (or are those peas?), Emirates catering in Delhi said let’s go local.  Daal, bhindi, not the roll, extra sour raita, and ras gullah, a dessert containing milk/paneer, citrus juice and syrup.  Northern Indian food is relatively heavy for long flights (it’ll make you feel like that neighboring passenger taking up half of your seat), but because there’s no way to order a special Middle Eastern meal on most airlines, I go for “Hindu” sets instead, since the taste is usually leaps above the standard gruel.

Etihad, AUH-CGK
Etihad, Abu Dhabi to Jakarta.  We’ve reached the business class picture.  Caloric calamities, indubitably.  If airlines don’t want to us to complain about shrinking seats, don’t feed us the whole food pyramid at one time.  The other question is, how did I get to sit up front?  Weirdness lies ahead: the flight was oversold in economy, and one of the check-in agents told me to sign up for an Etihad frequent flier card.  Just for that, I was upgraded.  Swell, but it doesn’t make Jakarta traffic move any faster…
A staple of business class meals seems to be garlic bread, hurrah, but not for the Mrs. (if there was a Mrs.).  Eggplant salad, which might’ve been “burta,” hummus, tabbouleh, dolma, innumerable pint-sized bottles of olive oil, and pita.  Right on.  Middle Eastern for breakfast, Indian for lunch, and Korean for dinner (oh, and sushi for dessert)- sounds like a larf.

–Have the offerings gotten any better?

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12 Responses to Do Economy Class Passengers Eat? Some Airlines Think So.

  1. gkm2011 says:

    I will be flying Emirates soon for the first time and am very interested to try their food. Great post.

  2. KarenEllis says:

    This reminded me that I could have taken a photo of JAL coach, small tray full of food. Was delighted. The napkin was substantial, the plastic utensils were sturdy, and the drinking glasses were a good size. Darn, could have had a photo! Good job on the blog!

    • Thanks for liking my airline food post, and for reblogging it Karen!

      Yep, JAL gets that humans fly in the back as well as the front. Imagine?!

      Come to think of it, Japan Airlines is one of my favorites; their FAs have always been approachable (though I suppose speaking Japanese with them makes things more amusing), the food’s edible and being bearded and doing calisthenics (along with the elderly Japanese passengers) doesn’t scare them in the least. Those seats have some sort of eating disorder though, way too small.

  3. KarenEllis says:

    Reblogged this on Karen Ellis's Blog and commented:
    This reminded me that I could have taken a photo of JAL coach, small tray full of food. Was delighted. The napkin was substantial, the plastic utensils were sturdy, and the drinking glasses were a good size. Darn, could have had a photo!

    So many different cuisines and foods on airlines. The Coach or Economy service is a telling trait of how the rest of the airline is run. IMHO.

  4. My favourite part of a flight is getting my meal! So it’s a real downer if the food is unappetising. Keep the pics coming!

  5. Liz says:

    I love the emirates food. Looks like something I can eat and looks well organized too. Where do you get all these photos. Very interesting, I must say!

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  9. Pingback: The Best And Worst Of Airline Food - Page 3 - FlyerTalk Forums


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