5 THINGS TO KNOW BEFORE ORDERING FOOD AND DRINKS ON THE PLANE
You may want to throw a few mini bottles of Tabasco into your carry-on before heading to the airport. Yes, flying was a feat of engineering genius that we are grateful for every day. But there’s always a “but,” isn’t it? The process can be very stressful, from dehydration and general stress. It’s important to know a few things to make your experience pleasant and enjoyable.
We asked experts to share their tips on how to get the best out of your flight. Mike Crowley is the vice president of Delta Air Lines’ onboard services. Jon Shook, a James Beard Award-winning chef, is co-owner at Jon & Vinny’s Los Angeles. Other travel professionals shared their tips to make your plane travel more enjoyable.
Prepare for landing by eating something.
Crowley recommends looking for something that makes you feel excited about your destination. Many airlines offer wines, snacks, and dishes that highlight the destinations they fly to and from.
Crowley says, “That means you kick off an Italian vacation by enjoying a bowl full of our pappardelle pasta and a glass of sparkling wine.” To get you pumped, check out the in-flight menu of your airline. It usually includes at least one item from where you are headed.
You can also choose a dish that makes you want to return home. Mashama Bailey, a James Beard Award winner, created a Southern-inspired menu for Delta’s Atlanta hub. “We have a few items that will resonate with people who live far away,” Bailey said about the comfort food she now offers in flight. It’s for people who want to feel good.
You can think of short ribs with cani sauce and smoked collard leaves; vegan vegetable tagine featuring roasted sweet potato and chermoula sauce; or buttermilk cornmeal tres leches, candied kumquats, and mandarin oranges.
Do not be afraid to use your own spices.
Did you ever notice that food tastes different in the air? It’s because of the air pressure, altitude, and loud noises from an airplane that our taste buds are affected.
A group of Cornell food scientists explained in 2015 that sweet and salty flavors are most affected. However, salty flavor is greatly enhanced while sweet flavors are sadly diminished. As tempting as it may be to add too much sodium, keep your sodium levels low whenever possible. However, you should try to include more spice in your diet when you can.
“Not everyone realizes that food tastes different at high altitudes, where taste buds are duller,” Crowley says that salting a dish is not the only solution.
You shouldn’t trust the plane with spices. You can bring some of your own spices. People love bloody Marys because they can taste the salt.
You can pack mini hot sauce bottles, bitters, pearl onions, and martini olives in your in-flight cocktails. Get our guide for making delicious in-flight cocktails.
Choose a vegetable-forward recipe.
Crowley says that Delta has experienced a significant increase in demand for vegetarian-forward and plant-based meals. The airline now offers these dishes alongside meat alternatives such as Impossible Meatballs and Impossible Meatballs.
Some dishes are better suited for air travel than others. It’s difficult to make perfectly cooked pasta on a plane. This is because the pasta was heated up during the flight. The sauce-to-pasta ratio will be less than ideal. Fritz Gross, the then-director of culinary excellence for LSG Sky Chefs Asia Pacific, stated that stews hold up well to all reheating. He said that you could cook it for hours and keep it warm.
Even for shorter flights, make sure to bring the right snacks.
You won’t feel hungry even if you fly shorter. You don’t want to wait for in-flight services or save some cash. You can also pack your own almonds that are TSA-friendly.
Low humidity levels can cause serious dehydration on flights. As Bob Bacheler, managing director and in-flight nurse at Flying Angels, After landing, I make sure I drink lots of water.
How much water should you drink? The Aerospace Medical Association recommends that you drink eight ounces of water per hour and use a hydrating spray for your nasal passages.
There are many other ways to make your flight more pleasant than just food and drink. Crowley recommends checking out the entertainment options in flight, which include air-travel-specific stretches and workouts via Peloton or podcasts via Spotify. The Headspace meditation app is another favorite that you will find on many airlines. It is available on JetBlue, Delta, and British Airways flights, as well as United Airlines flights.
You can also learn how to cook: Delta Studio features Bailey as part of Master Class’s partnership. This includes ten lessons on Southern cooking from Bailey.