By Rin Cobb, Jun 26 2015 05:05PM
Okay, I admit, I'm one of those rather odd individuals who actually gets excited about airplane food. Chicken or fish? I love the simplicity of it all, perfectly packaged in sensible portion sizes (naturally) oh and the fact I'm flying off somewhere to explore probably has something to do with it too! That's not to say I haven't had a few shall we say questionable experiences onboard like the time I thought I'd try what was described as Chinese porridge and turned out to be prawn noodles rather than some exotic Scottish/Chinese fusion.
So far 2015 has been a good year for travel for yours truly and as I sit here being flown 3500 miles through the air I thought I'd pen a few thoughts on my inflight culinary experiences thurs far.
Some very good amigos tempted us to a ski trip to bring in the new year, which is how we found ourselves flying to Sophia in Bulgaria via Istanbul (not Constantinople) with Turkish Airlines. What can I say, from the moment we stepped on board, our nutritional needs (and likes) were well met. No hard sweet for take-off (in fact do any airlines still offer them?) we were handed a tasty morsel of baklava.
One of my bugbears when being offered the choice of just chicken or vegetarian is you don't know what else your meal will consist of so rather than interrogating the smiling hostie, you make a choice only to get total food envy over the person next to you. This was not to be the case with Turkish Airlines however as along with your tasty take-off treat, they hand you a menu. The meals are well thought out with a main, turkish salad of fresh tomatoes, mozzarella and black olives (big tick from me as I'm not a huge fan of those green one's) plus a delicious chocolate mousse and most important of all, properly brewed, strong coffee to compliment. On our return flight, the handy sachet of olive oil & lemon dressing was so handy it (and my comrades supplies too) made it back to my ration box at home for future self-sufficient adventures.
Turkish Airlines also have a great information page on their website to help you prepare and request any of their 21 special meals! All their meals are also moslem so any meat is halal and no pork is served. More info can be found at
Monarch (chartered flight)
On returning home from my far flung research efforts at this years Marathon des Sables (50 body composition analyses by hand in 24hrs must be a record??) I flew home with a plane full of conquering heroes on their chartered flight from Ouarzazate in Morocco. It was an early morning flight so we had the classic airplane breakfast of eggs, sausage and beans, which after working pretty much non-stop for the past 48hrs was a welcome sight even if the coffee was disappointingly instant. However, and this is a BIG however, the meal wasn't offered until after the snack trolley (which you had to pay for) had already been through, leaving me (and I'm sure I wasn't alone here) to wonder whether we were actually going to get a meal onboard? With a plane full of ravenous runners, recovering after their 150miles across the Sahara desert, no doubt the snack trolley will have made a good profit that day.
The inflight catering information is not the easiest to find on the Monarch website but it does list allergens and who the meals are suitable for should you wish to plan your meals before flying. Special meals such as vegan, diabetic and gluten free are only available on their chartered flight but not on their scheduled flights and if flying from Leeds Bradford don't expect to get a hot meal either.
British Airways (Domestic)
It's been a while since I've flown with BA; the flagship (or should that be flagplane) of British travel but as I was just heading down for a study day near Heathrow it just so happened to be the most convenient. Cue a ridiculous o'clock alarm call to get me to the airport on time but I reasoned I could sleep on the plane.....that was of course until I smelt breakfast! If I'm completely honest I wasn't expecting a proper meal for such a short flight, I'm obviously too used to budget airlines overpriced trolley services so this was a very welcome surprise. A tasty cooked breakfast prevailed which I was able to eat with a real knife and fork, complimented by a warmed roll and fresh coffee (can you tell I'm a bit of a coffee snob yet?).
BA obviously fly a multitude of routes around the world and their website is most useful at catering to your every need, after all they're there 'To Fly. To Serve'
My most recent adventure took me to Doha via Amsterdam with KLM. Despite the flight from Edinburgh to Amsterdam being less than an hour they still provided a tasty and sustainable sandwich on rye plus a good quality cup of coffee with real milk!
The next leg of the journey I was treated to a truly tasty chicken curry, slightly soggy salad and a yogurty mousse type thing with berry compote but just as I was starting to feel a tad peckish during my second inflight movie, along came the option of a warmed chciken pastry or cinnamon roll, delish! My return flight included breakfast and this was one of those occasions I had total food envy; I went for the eggs as I didn't fancy pancakes for some unbeknown reason which in fact turned out to be french toast sprinkled with cinnamon and maple syrup on the side, lesson learnt. Both came with natural yogurt and fruit salad with not a glacier cherry in sight.
For more information on KLMs catering check out
Being an adventure seeking dietitian I hope to add many more to this inflight dietary repetoire but if you have any experiences of your own please feel free to share, Bon Appetit