Slight confession to make: I am fascinated by food that’s served on board any airline. Why? I assume because of competitive pressures, most airlines have stepped up their game in this department.
And, the truth is that it used to be so disgusting—worse than a frozen TV dinner. In some cases, it still is.
Enjoy a few shots of premium class eats within the oneworld Alliance while I’ve been Instagramming (which hasn’t been for very long) so more to come.
Best Bloody Mary: Alaska Airlines
Believe it or not, very few direct flights exist out of San Diego. Alaska Airlines has recently taken advantage of this and started seasonal direct flights to Hawaii and year-round direct flights to Mexico. They aren’t a part of the oneworld Alliance, but American AAdvantage members may earn miles on Alaska Airlines.
My dad and I used to fly to Puerto Vallarta while drinking Bloody Mary’s on Alaska Airlines.
Best Cheesecake: American Airlines
I’ve had my fair share of complaints with AA over the years but I’m digging the New American. Customer services is better, food has become edible and, on occasion, the flight attendants in premium classes seem to cruise the aisles with wine bottles glued to their hands.
I’ve enjoyed loads of American Airlines cheesecake in a number of flavors. It’s really good (for airplane cheesecake) especially when soaked in caramel sauce.
An ice cream or cookie option is also usually on offer during longer domestic and international flights. The ice cream sundae is also a hit with me.
Outstanding Wine: British Airways/American Airlines
Wine is difficult for airlines because our taste buds lose the ability to differentiate between flavors at 35,000 feet—by up to 40%!
British Airways, I once read, buys 500,000 cases of wine per year and usually offers a decent selection of Bordeaux, which is a hit with me.
Ken Chase, the wine consultant from American Airlines, is the the life of the party. I had the pleasure of attending a wine-filled private event in Beverly Hills with him in December.
He’s re-vamped the airline’s wine program from training the flight attendants (see the heavy-handed pour reference above) to selecting wine that tastes good in the air. I haven’t seen it on my last few flights, but there used to be a section on the menu labeled, “Ken’s Choice” where he asks guests to taste a particular wine and email him with comments.
Most Beautiful Food: Japan Airlines
Always gorgeous, Japan Airlines has been serving impressive airline in the decade I’ve been a fairly regular guest on board. The top photo is of ochazuke (rice in green tea soup) served in Executive Class. The kids meals are a bit exotic as kids in various countries eat differently, so keep in mind that soba noodles and steamed rice are always available.
If Japanese food is your thing, always order the Japanese option on Japan Airlines. The presentation, even in economy class, is stunning for airplane food. We’ve flying the Dreamliner in Executive Class in a few weeks, so I’ll prove it to you later. Did know that in all classes of service, a Yoshinoya beef bowl lunch set (our favorite Asian fast food) is on offer?
Best Overall Experience: Cathay Pacific
From the welcome drink to dim sum breakfast upon landing in Hong Kong (if taking the overnight flight), the service on board Cathay Pacific is unparalleled. They do a nice job of spreading out courses and making premium class service feel as if you’re fine dining in a high-end restaurant. I fall so into the moment on this airline that I forget to bust out my camera. And, we’re talking over 100 flights in the last decade—to the point where the flight attendants recognized my daughter and I and brought us our favorite chocolates without asking. Expat life, at its finest.
Stay tuned as I Instagram our trip to Asia in a few weeks.
I also have a Pinterest board dedicated to airplane food. I have so much more to add, but if you’re like to pin to it, leave me a comment.
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*Ochazuke and Yoshinoya photo credits: Japan Airlines