Overall Airline Meals seem to have a fairly bad reputation . . . but is it deserved?
I think its amazing you can be eating a meal 20,000m in the air travelling at 1,000km/hour several hours travel from a kitchen.
I have never got food poisoning from an airline meal, or even heard of anyone else who has been ill.
If you are willing to fly business class you do get 3 to 4 good choices and the food is usually attractively presented.
Usually every course is presented separately as it would in a restaurant.
I have heard some airlines have a chef to finish off partially prepared meals.
It’s not the fault of the airlines that the effect of the reduced pressure and drier air on the plane affects your sense of smell and taste.
To counteract the taste issue I tend to go for the more spicy, or strong tasting choices.
To feed the 200+ people in long haul economy it is mass catering aimed at fast distribution of the meals, rather than presentation.
(From my experiences I would say Emirates has some of the better economy meals)
Due to cost and extra weight airlines are going to limit the amount of food carried
That means if they guess wrong some people will not get a choice.
Some airlines do the right thing and if you missed your choice at the first meal and make sure you get a choice at the next meal.
Some airlines (Air Canada) don’t care.
Should You Eat It?
I have heard that avoiding eating on the plane can help reduce jet lag.
Not advice I have followed as I welcome the meal as a break from the monotony of the flight.
A meal accompanied by a glass or two of wine also helps me sleep on the plane.
Some travellers have recommended ordering special meals even if you don’t need them.
Our experience though hasn’t been good .
My wife has a wheat allergy, and some of the Gluten Free meals have been very disappointing.
In my opinion the best chance of getting a good meal is to make your menu selection based on the airlines country of origin .
The chefs planning and cooking the meals are more likely to give that type of cuisine more attention.