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special in-flight airline meals

Getting to Samara and Carrillo

Juan Santamaria Airport

How To Get The Best In-Flight Meals

Why settle for rubber chicken when you can dine on fresh seafood? For the past few years, most airlines spent less on meals and eliminated meal service entirely on many flights.

We heard many reports of people travelling for six to eight hours using connecting flights, with little more than a cup of coffee and some pretzels.

That trend is shifting because the airlines have realized that this "small thing" is of big concern to many air travelers. If you are booked on a meal flight, there are several ways you can get the best available in-flight meal:

  • Get your choice of the day's standard entrees by asking the flight attendant to take your request when you board the plane. No more getting stuck with the rubber chicken when you prefer the polyester beef.

  • When possible, book a flight that is the first domestic leg of an international flight. Meal service is markedly better.

  • Consider ordering a special meal. All major airlines offer a wide variety of special meals available to all passengers. They usually require six to 24 hours advance notice. If you make your request well in advance of the flight, be sure to reconfirm 24-hours before departure.

This chart lists the most widely available meal choices by airline. All choices may not be available on every meal flight. Many different vegetarian meal options are offered. Even if you are not a vegetarian, you might want to consider a vegetarian meal or a salad. Most studies indicate that light eating in-flight is healthier and helps decrease fatigue.

U.S. Airline Children's Meals Specialty Meals
American West Chicken nuggets; peanut butter & jelly Fruit plate; low calorie; low sodium; low cholesterol; diabetic; Kosher
American Peanut butter & jelly; hamburger; hot dog; fried chicken All American Breakfast; seafood; fresh fruit bowl; Great American Hamburger; Heart Healthy; diabetic; non-lactose; low calorie; low sodium; low cholesterol; gluten free; bland and soft, low carbohydrate; Kosher
Continental Chicken fingers; hamburger; hot dog; grapes, carrot sticks and celery plate Fruit plate; diabetic; low calorie; low cholesterol; low fat; low sodium; Kosher
Delta Chicken nuggets; hot dog; pizza; peanut butter & jelly Fruit plate, hot or cold seafood; bland; diabetic; gluten free; low calorie; low cholesterol; low sodium; Kosher
Northwest Hot dog; hamburger; peanut butter & jelly Hot or cold seafood; fruit plate; bland; diabetic; low calorie; low sodium; low cholesterol; low carbohydrate; gluten free; sulfite free; soft diet; Kosher
TWA Chicken nuggets; hot dog; cheeseburger Seafood; fruit plate; low calorie; low cholesterol; low sodium; low carbohydrate; low sugar; diabetic; Kosher
United McDonalds Happy Meals; hot dog; peanut butter & jelly Fresh fruit plate; seafood; bland; chef's salad; diabetic; gluten free; high fiber; low calorie; low cholesterol; low fat; low sodium; low protein; non-dairy; Kosher
US Airways Chicken & tater tots; hot dog & macaroni and cheese; peanut butter & jelly Cold seafood; fruit plate; bland; low calorie; diabetic; gluten free; high fiber; high protein; low cholesterol, low fat; low protein; low sodium; Kosher


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