Almost 50 Percent of Travelers Consider Eating Smelly Food on Airplanes Rude

That tuna melt tastes better on the ground, anyway

Flickr/Dani Lurie

Survey shows 48 percent of airline passengers hate it when people bring smelly food on board. (Photo Modified: Flickr/Dani Lurie)

In a new survey conducted by GO Airport Express, 48 percent of 248 respondents expressed distaste at airline passengers who bring savory food with decidedly unsavory smells on board with them. Twelve percent said outside food should be banned altogether, Mashable reports.

“People should be considerate of other passengers, especially as planes reduce personal space,” said GO Airport Express president John McCarthy. JetBlue recently announced a measure to reduce legroom by 5 percent, enough to incorporate 15 additional seats. On the plus side, there might not be room for a family-size bag of Cool Ranch Doritos. Just order a bloody mary on the flight — tomato juice tastes better in the air.

The vitriol one might face for carrying nose-offending nosh is hardly worth it. The BBC reports that our ability to taste sweetness or saltiness drops by 30 percent at 30,000 feet in the air, as does our sense of smell. Perhaps that is why a third of the GO Airport Express survey respondents (31 percent) said they have no opinion about smelly food on flights. 

A small number of participants (9 percent) said passengers should be able to bring any food they choose, as they are paying for the ticket. Bringing food is also more economical than purchasing an in-flight meal, the proceeds of which barely benefit the underpaid and uninsured workers who pack them. According to the Chicago Tribune, more than 4,000 contracted airline food workers make less than $10.10 per hour.

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