Airline food is generally bad — it’s a fact that most of us have come to accept. And yet, there is still a scale by which we judge it. For first and business classes, that might include the number of accolades collected by the airline chefs, but for economy class dining, it’s a matter of presentation, taste, service, and options. Here are the best 10 airlines for economy class dining.
To compile this list, we looked at the lists of various airline-ranking websites and organizations, like Skytrax, the Airline Passenger Experience Association, AirlineRatings.com, and Saveur’s Culinary Travel Awards. We also looked at customer reviews and photos on airlinemeals.net and inflightfeed.com and perused the menus listed on the websites of various airlines.
Six of the airlines on this list also made it onto our list of best first class airline food, which reflects well on these airlines — it shows they are committed to feeding everybody on the plane well, and not just the people who can pay for it. These include Air France, Singapore Airlines, and more. Unfortunately, some of these airlines require that you pay for meals on top of your ticket, but the nibble it takes out of your wallet might be worth it.
Instead of bringing your own food on the airplane, which drives 50 percent of your fellow passengers nuts, you can enjoy foods like nasi lemak, omelettes stuffed with kaffir lime, and Icelandic happy marriage cake — all in economy class. European airlines may serve excellent baguettes, croissants, or Irish breakfasts — some of them, at least — but many of the airlines on this list are from Asia or the Middle East. America: up your airline food game.
So if you’re dreading airline food, make sure to book your flight on one of these airlines.
Air France gives you the option to pay extra to upgrade your economy class meal, but the economy class food ain’t too shabby, either. Longer flights have much-needed buffet mini-sandwiches, ice cream, and other sweet and savory treats, and their trays are designed by renowned Catalan designer Eugeni Quitllet. Traditional French, Italian, and seafood menus are offered (these must be selected and paid for in advance), while a special menu called “Une Sélection LENÔTRE” is crafted by the prestigious chefs at the eponymous restaurant.
While Austrian Airlines offers meals that are included in your ticket, for an extra €15 ($17) you can have the option of cold breakfast, skillet breakfast, a bento box, or tapas. Many reviewers on airlinequality.com call the included food not comparable to that on other airlines — while it is varied and flavorful, it is a little on the salty side. Their coffee selection is top-notch, even in economy, and the service is warm and attentive.