During one of my 10 flights in the first quarter of 2016 (3 times to Taiwan, round trip to Moscow, and to and from Berlin & Munich), the idea of writing about how I cope with meals on plane sparked. So here it is, Tips for getting through that dreading in-flight meal experience. (Obviously this excludes that juicy steak they serve on china and metal cutlery on business/first class)
(^ China Airlines upgrade business class meals with local taiwan XinYe欣葉 restaurant menu)
First tip may not be applicable to everyone but try to order tomato juice instead of soda or other beverages. Downing that thick salty sour liquid before eating opens up your stomach and stimulates your tongue to better prepare you for the undesirable in-flight meal ahead. I also always ask for extra water because you have NO idea how dehydrating the atmosphere is 40 thousand miles above ground.
（^super tiny Aeroflot in-flight meal)
Next common observation: their portions are always extremely small even for a petite girl like me (though arguably, I have a big appetite). So how to make your meal last when you are only given 2 meals in a 16 hours flight? I always eat SLOW. Drink plenty of water throughout; I cannot stress the importance of keeping yourself hydrated enough. Ration your food like mixing the sauces well with your rice and save up the best parts for last like the seared chicken pieces. For the little snack they place along the tray as dessert (mars bar, crackers…) I usually save it for an hour later to deceive your brain and prolong the feeling of a full stomach.
Third, in long haul flights, you often get a bread roll + butter. You notice since the bread is rock hard, the ice cold butter is barely spreadable. Since it’s not possible to toast your bread; warm the butter. What I always do is let it sit on top of my hot meal for a minute. Then when you open it, you can see that the yellow cube has transformed into this beautifully viscous, golden liquid, which you can then easily apply to your bread. I always eat up the butter even if my bread’s finished because nobody likes to waste food, especially not something as yummy as butter.
(^ Breakfast meal from BKK to HKG in CX. Notice it’s tomato juice again!)
Next, notice how they always give you pepper and/ or salt. Use it. Your taste buds are 30% less sensitive up in the air as they would on the ground. These black and white pixie dusts are guaranteed to make your meal more tasteful (not more delicious, but at least it no longer tastes like tissue paper. Well, it’s a taste you can imagine though I am not to say I haven’t tried it as a kid 😉
Last tip, savor the one thing that still taste as good as it would anywhere else you consume it: HOT COFFEE. It helps you feel reenergized through not only its caffeine in your blood stream and hot liquid down your throat, but also the unmistakable aroma that you can inhale like some kind of drug. Flights tire people anyways so it’s always good to get some energy boost.
How do you feel towards in-flight meals? Any personal tips you got? To conclude, picking out a good film (if you are lucky enough to have entertainment in flight) always distract you from the horrid food 😛 My all time favorite is Gone with the Wind which occupies a solid 4 hours and lately the Martian and Ex-Machina is pretty intriguing too.
Until next time,
written on Mar 27th.
to date travel:
- 7 times round trip Taiwan (I know… tiring)
- Open Jaw HK to Berlin and Munich (stopping in Moscow, it was snowing and I had to walk from the plane to terminal so yes I have stepped foot in Russia 😉
- Round trip Bangkok (yay relaxing for once)
- Okinawa (again, but was so fun nonetheless!)
- second half of the year will get more exciting I promise 😉