Airline Food -- what's your worst meal?

Was sort of surprised to see someone’s favourite cookie was served on an airline. Though I have seen ads to get airline meals delivered to your home just like on the plane, most of the meals I’ve had while flying were insipid. The most disgusting was a stone cold omelette made from powered egg and served, unaccountably, with orange sauce. This came with 75 mL of orange juice, 75 mL of water, a small cube of rock-hard “bread” that seemed to weigh about 100 grams and tea served with cream (milk was not available for whatever reason).

Well, can you do better (worse)?

I swear to God, the worst meals I have been served have been on Us~owned airlines. Nothing - I mean nothing- is real food. Fake butter. Fake salad dressing. Fake desserts. Lo~fat this, sugar free~that. No wonder Americans are so fat; they rarely eat real food! :rolleyes:

I tried ordering (once on NW, once on Untied) a “full fat” meal. They thought it was amusing…

Having ranted, though; I enjoy airline meals. So you don’t get home-cooked, delicious meals when you fly? It’s one meal. get over it.

I’ve been lucky I guess. I have had my worst meals in restraunts. I used to fly at least 4 times a month (I am sure not much compared to some, but for me at least a lot) and I have yet to have a bad meal. The BEST meal I had was on a Canadian charter line SkyService on my way to the Carribean. Some awsome chicken dish, but I can’t remember exactly what anymore. Better than most resteraunts by far.

That’s easy. I was supposed to fly Midwest Express, “the best care in the air” with their hot chocolate chip cookies, and their real silverware, and their leather seats, but the flight got cancelled, and I was put on America West, where I was told to grab a “snack sack” out of the cooler as I boarded. ham and cheese sandwich wrapped in plastic, an apple, and bottled water. Then we sat for 90 minutes after pushing away from the gate, in 110 degree weather, as they replaced a gauge. Then we took off, and then a fight broke out in first class, and then we turned around to go back, but had to circle and burn fuel first. Then we landed, sheriff’s men got on, took two men off, a 3rd passenger threw a hissy fit and got arrested too, and we finally took off again 4 hours late, having been given another bottle of water to tide us thru, but no new snack sack. And that was my worst meal. The plane that I was on that crashed didn’t have food service, so I can’t claim that as my worst meal, but the crash was definitely my worst flight.

All of them! Alaska Airlines was the best of the worst.

That would be the raw Salmon (cold) served with cold green beans and crackers. Oh, and Coca Cola that had little to no carbonation left.

Bleh, still not hot on fish after that…

I was flying on Northwest and I received some sort of warm pasta salad, it should ahve been cold from what I could guess…I think they ran out of pasta and shreded the box it came in it was hot dry and sort of crunchy. I think they put a pasta salad under a warming lamp. other than that the rest was okay, the brownie that came for dessert (I’m guesisng that’s what it was) wasn’t bad at all. I’m thankful the portions were so small.

When I fly US Air they have a “breakfast/Brunch” kind of bagged thing, with a piece of fruit a danish and offer tea coffee and juice it was very nice.

Amtrak has at least this much going for it; by far the best food I’ve ever had while traveling has been by train.

Well, there was the one time I was sitting next to this older man in a blue jogging suit and he offered me some leftovers from a Tupperware container in a Dean and Deluca box lunch… :smiley:

Sorry, couldn’t resist.

I’ve never had a bad airline meal. Not that they were gourmet or anything – [brag] well, except for that time BA bumped us up to business class :slight_smile: [/brag] – but I’ve been lucky enough so far not to see the ugly side of airline cuisine. I actually look forward to the meals; they’re a nice distraction on those godawful 8+ hour flights…

I’ve heard all about those omelettes before. I’ll stay away from them. And from all other varieties of airline eggs.

I thought Northwest was owned by KLM?

Normally, I don’t mind airline food all that much, but if pressed, I’d have to say the worst meal I ever had on an airline was the one I almost didn’t get.

It was a morning flight from Toronto to Vancouver, aboard Canadian Airlines. They came around with breakfast, and as things turned out, although I am allergic to very few things, I was allergic to both of the entree choices.

“Sir, you should have requested a special meal,” the flight attendant said.

“One choice has always been OK before. If I had known that both would be unsuitable this time, I would have.”

“Well, let me look after the other passengers, and we’ll see what we can do.” She carried on serving, and soon was down the aisle.

I began to regret not asking for a breakfast tray without an entree. After all, even without a hot entree, the trays did have juice, a muffin, and a fruit cup. Sitting among people scarfing down food when you have none is not much fun, and my neighbour’s ignored muffin was starting to look pretty good. At least some coffee would be nice; it was an early-morning flight and a mad dash for the airport and I had not been able to grab a coffee anywhere along the way.

The flight attendant (a different one) who came around a little while later with coffee was a little surprised. “Sir, were you forgotten?”

“No, it seems I was allergic to the entrees–”

“Oh! Let me see what I can do for you.” And he dashed off.

“–and could I at least get some coffee?” I asked to the empty air.

The coffee server and the entree server reappeared in a little while, and we went through the “you should have requested a special meal” thing again. But they were also concerned that they had a passenger who would like something, just not the entree. This seemed to make them realize that something was better than nothing, and soon a tray was produced with juice, a muffin, and a fruit cup. And plenty of coffee.

It was okay, but of all the airline meals I’ve ever eaten, that one stands out. Not necessarily as the worst, but definitely as something.

Anything with chicken. There must be an FAA regulation that real poultry is not allowed on airplanes or somethin’.

(And I’m sure I’m not the only one who brings my own food on the airplane, right? Sure beats starving through an eight-hour flight…)

Nimue, you may be right, in any case NW is in some sort of partnership with KLM. But NW flights all get their US vendors.

Slight hijack: Once on NW, the evening flight had NO MEAL (only that icky little bag of three peanuts.) I was absolutely ravenous, so I asked the attendant if he could bring me about 87 more bags of peanuts. The dear man brought me back a giant deli sandwich on French bread, complete with chips & a cookie! He said it was an extra attendant’s dinner.

Yum. So that was very sweet of him. Best food I’ve had IIRC was on Turkish Airlines.

Well, the worst coffee I’ve EVER had was on a St. Louis - Tampa TWA flight 2 years ago. Gahh. I think it was fuel in a coffee cup, or something. I’ve never had a “real” meal while flying, but I didn’t fly for the first time until '98, so I think I missed those days…


Easily the worst was when I went on a plane just after Delta had introduced the grab-a-bag-with-a-snack idea and I didn’t know about it. So once we were on the plane I noticed a lot of people had these bags, and I didn’t. They hadn’t exactly gone out of their way to advertise this new innovation…

I wouldn’t have eaten much anyway, because I’m very picky, but I was mad anyway. I do not eat sandwiches I did not make, for example, because people like to put disgusting things like mayo on them. shudder

I’m going to be flying to Europe later this year and am already planning on bringing along my own food. I can survive a cross-country flight on airline food, but I can’t go that far, I don’t think.

My worst meal was on a TACA(yes, that would stand for Take A Chance Airlines) airlines flight from Honduras to Miami.

shudder It was some form of chicken. There was a roll, which was decent, and some type of dessert that seemed to have apples. I picked at it, but couldn’t bring myself to finish it.

Other than that, I can’t remember the last time I had a meal on a flight.

british airlines flight from london to nyc, some years ago.

olive loaf
something whipped
something else really disgusting

And Braniff (remember Braniff?) was the worst of the worst. From the coffee that had hints of vinegar, to the beige salad to the “Is it bread? Then it shouldn’t have that texture. Is it a cracker? Then why does it have a crust?” baked good, to the pressed meat thing that was vaguely chicken-like, I still shudder when I remember that meal. (It didn’t help that I was airsick as hell and the guy sitting next to me had decided to let his aftershave be a personal statement about his lifestyle and the woman on the other side had apparently smoked enough in her life that she exuded burnt tobacco fumes.)


I’ve been a vegetarian for almost 16 years now, so I’ve had to endure a lot (including starving because no matter how many times I rang to confirm my special meal, it still didn’t show up on the plane). I’ve definitely noticed an improvement in airline vegetarian meals over the past decade or so, though; apart from the occasional annoyance of anchovies turning up in the salad (British Airlines) or being served yoghurt with gelatine (America West - didn’t truly bother me that much as I’d sooner eat steak than yoghurt anyway, but on principle…), I can usually rely on a decent meal nowadays. I still bring a couple bagels along, though, just in case.

The one real exception was the meal I was served on Virgin (a hugely overrated airline, BTW) last year. Some dry, absolutely tasteless, kidney bean concoction I couldn’t swallow more than two bites of.

At some point in the 80’s, a connection with a relationship that was soon to become known as the “Microsoft Abstract” was made. All or nothing to many or few.

Food prepared hours before a flight, transported, stored, delivered by a less than concerned crew, to be consumed by those with full expectations of complete compatibility with various and assorted gastronomic tendencies.

Jumbo whole cashews, purchased with extreme prejudice from an airport vendor, coupled with the airline version of adequate red table wine can be your best or worst nightmare.

Gastronomy indeed.

It might have been AeroFlot (I think that’s how you spell the old USSR State carrier) but they didn’t manage to find any food so I’ll never (hopefully) know. But the in-flight vodka did the trick.

Of those that did produce something, I think it has to be Egypt Air. I like to sample food from around the world but I think this dish had made a few tours of the globe before getting to me. Not sure what it had once been but I wasn’t about to try and find out.