The Not-So Starving Student—Tips & Tricks for Enjoying In-Flight Food

The Not-So Starving Student—Tips & Tricks for Enjoying In-Flight Food

For AU students planning on long-haul flights across the globe, airplane food can be either a blessing or a curse.  For most of my student peers, it turns out to be the latter.  Hence, when I began planning for this post, I felt like the sole advocate for airplane cuisine.  While airplane food can vary depending on the type of seating, I will cover economy-class food for long-haul flights to areas like Australia, Asia and Europe.  For AU students looking to travel this summer, here are some tips on how you can make the most out of your boring airplane meals.

Pace yourself

Once, my uncle finished not one but two individually packed meals in the span of an hour.  Very shortly after, he felt queasy and nauseous.  While in flight, even if your appetite is excellent, don’t feel obligated to finish the entire meal provided.  In fact, for myself, I like to save the dessert or snacks and munch on them throughout a long-haul flight.  On my last flight to Hong Kong, I did not finish the side of fruit until two hours after breakfast was served.

Eat outside of your comfort zone

Sometimes when we hear of an exotic sounding dish that we haven’t heard of, we tend to shy away from them.  Especially when we’re in flight, surely we shouldn’t be taking risks right? Well, not exactly.  Some of my best experiences in flight has been trying unique dishes I don’t have on a daily basis.  A braised pork chow mein seemed pretty adventurous to me at first.  However, after a few bites, I was more than content with the mix of ingredients.  Sure, it wasn’t a Michelin star quality bento box, but it was enough to satiate me for the next couple of hours in flight.

Tip the flight attendant and hope for the best

While the success rate of winning a first-class meal in economy class isn’t 100%, tipping your flight attendant may help you land some specialty meal items on the menu.  For example, a close friend tipped the flight attendant while flying to Australia and landed herself a small bottle of sauvignon blanc.  You never quite know, but you can be sure that your flight attendant will treat you that much better.

Buy your food before you board

Especially for long-haul flights, buying your food after going through security can be an excellent way of avoiding the expensive in-flight meals.  Often airports have an array of options of cold and hot dishes.  Bringing cold items such as sushi and dessert pastries can greatly spice up your meals and make a boring spinach pasta more tolerable.

Bring your own food

Given the lack of options for food on a long-haul flight (with exception of flying first-class of course), AU students with food intolerance or allergies might enjoy their flight experience significantly more if pre-packaged snacks and food were brought along.  For example, my favorite in-flight snacks are these flavored pretzel sticks.

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