Fine Dining in the Sky: The Best Airplane Meals Are on These Airlines

The meals served on airplanes are known to be so-so at best, and that’s if you’ll be getting any food at all. From the stale taste to the mysterious odor emitting from the tin dish, many people don’t look forward to airplane meals. Well, some airlines have adopted different measures to make passengers’ meals a delightful experience. Here are five airlines that treat passengers to gourmet meals.

All Nippon Airways

All Nippon Airways is a Japanese airline that operates routes between Japan and Europe, North America, and other parts of Asia. First-class passengers are treated to a glass of champagne and small bites like smoked salmon as starters.

Courtesy: ANA

As for the main course, it could be a Japanese or Western meal, depending on your choice. Having bought a first-class ticket for as much as $20,000, you deserve nothing less than gourmet. Impressively, economy seat travelers can upgrade their meals for a $23 upcharge.

Hawaiian Airlines

Hawaiian Airlines is easily the best domestic American airline; their above-average food service is the main reason. Regardless of the ticket class, this airline serves hot meals to all its passengers.

Courtesy: SANspotter

Of course, first-class guests are given premium treatment. After a cocktail (which may be Mai Tai, passion orange guava juice, or champagne) augmented with warm macadamia nuts, they are treated to the main meal. Dessert is also included.

Virgin Atlantic

Virgin Atlantic operates routes between the U.K. and Africa, the U.S., Asia, and the Caribbean. Their upper-class meals, which include a hearty appetizer, main meal, dessert, and final course of port wine and cheese, rank among the finest worldwide.

Courtesy: Turning left for less

Economy passengers flying on an Airbus A350 enjoy hot meals that come with bread, butter, biscuits, and cheese.  Passengers are also treated to tea and a small scone. It’s a British airline, after all.

Etihad Airways

Etihad Airways is a famous airline known for spoiling travelers with special privileges– and this special treatment doesn’t exempt the meal aspect. On the flight, onboard chefs, not flight attendants, are responsible for making food.

Courtesy: Etihad Aviation Group

The airline doesn’t publish in-flight menus; an on-demand menu, including the signature Etihad steak sandwich, is available at any point during the flight. The meals are usually plated, giving the feel of a luxury restaurant.


Emirates tops the list of the best inflight meals, any day. They allow passengers to choose from different options for each course. There is also a different ‘movie snack’ menu, which consists of smaller bites like french fries and burger sliders.

Courtesy: Airline Ratings

First-class passengers are treated to a glass of Don Perignon, while economy passengers can enjoy a glass of Moët & Chandon Brut for a $20 charge. Both economy and first-class guests are treated to multiple courses of mouthwatering meals.

Sign up for Airport Jams Newsletter

Related Posts