15 Foods And Drinks Flight Attendants Avoid On A Plane Slideshow

Although many passengers buy any kind of food that sounds good at the airport or bring their favorite snacks from home to eat on the plane, flight attendants are more selective about what they consume on the job. Although a greasy egg sandwich from Dunkin' Donuts or a bag of crunchy chips might sound appealing, experienced flight attendants know better than to bring them on board.

Cabin crews often have to grab a bite to eat when they can. Their job demands that they be on call to attend to passengers for the entire flight. Easy-to-eat snacks that don't have to be refrigerated or warmed up take precedence over actual meals. Out of consideration for passengers' noses — and allergies — crews will try to avoid smelly foods and those that can induce allergic reactions.

But there are even more foods and drinks that flight attendants will avoid in flight, for a variety of reasons. Read on to find out what 15 foods and drinks flight attendants avoid a plane.


Carbonated Soft Drinks

Carbonated drinks such as sodas can create heart burn, so flight attendants tend to skip them.


Crunchy foods like tortilla and potato chips make excess noise and might disturb passengers, so flight attendants generally avoid eating them.

Coffee and Tea

Flight attendants are often seen to bring their own coffee or tea on board from the airport Starbucks or Peet's . Why? Because they don't trust the water with which on-board hot drinks are made (see "Tap Water" in this slideshow).

Foods That Affect Your Breath

Flight attendants try hard not to consume foods that affect their breath, like tuna and garlic — for obvious reasons.

Food They Can’t Finish

You won't find a flight attendant eating a big take-out meal on an airplane. Should he or she not be able to finish it, there is limited room in the galley to store it, and probably no refrigerator to keep it cold.

Foods That Make You Gassy

Beans, broccoli, onions or any other ingredients that could potentially give you gas are avoided in flight, again for obvious reasons.

Foods That Need to Stay Warm

The ovens on airplanes are rarely microwaves, so there's no way to quickly heat something up. Some airlines, like Spirit and Frontier, no longer even have ovens.

Greasy Foods

Greasy foods leave you with greasy fingers, and greasy smells can hang in the air.

Instant Soups

Instant soup is not easy to eat on a plane. Unexpected turbulence and a cup of steaming liquid make things like Top Ramen and any sort of instant noodles a less than ideal meal for flight attendants

Messy Foods

Avoiding foods that make a mess is a must. Staining an outfit or helping a passenger with food on your face would be just embarrassing. (Flight attendants aren't likely to be enjoying this burger smothered in melted cheese anytime soon.)


Although they sometimes hand out little bags of peanuts on planes, flight attendants try to avoid consuming foods that people might be allergic to. Peanut residue on their hands could cause serious problems for some passengers.

Salty Food

Salty foods can make anyone feel bloated, but the effect is particularly strong in the air. That's why you'll likely never catch a flight attendant eating one of America's saltiest fast foods aboard a flight.

Smelly Foods

Odors become trapped on airplanes. No one knows this better than flight attendants. That means particularly fragrant dishes (tuna salad sandwiches, pepperoni pizza) are better eaten in the airport terminal before boarding.

Tap Water

According to many flight attendants, the water tanks on airplanes rarely get changed. There have been reports that some tap water on airplanes contains E. coli. So flight attendants tend to skip any non-bottled water.

Yogurt Cups

Although yogurt cups are a great source of probiotics, flight attendants don't eat them on flights. The cups tend to explode due to the cabin pressure, and anyway there's probably no way to keep them cold. We'll bet that more than one flight attendant, though, heads for one of the 25 best frozen yogurt shops across the US once the plane touches down.Click here for 13 things your flight attendant won't tell you.