Flights and Points | Airline meal showdown: which airline has the best in-flight dining?
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Airline meal showdown: which airline has the best in-flight dining?

best inflight dining

Airline meal showdown: which airline has the best in-flight dining?

There are several aspects of a flight that can make or break it for a seasoned traveler. Airline meals are one of them, as a poorly-done dish can leave them hangry and inclined to leave a poor review upon landing. This can sink their fortunes of carriers over time, as the competition for passengers on many routes can be very intense. The quality of food in general means a great deal these days, as millennials regularly seek out peak experiences in their lives, top-shelf meals being one of them.

Below, we’ll list five airlines that regularly rise to meet the increased expectations of today’s frequent flier and offer the best in-flight dining.

Austrian Airlines

When it comes to best-in-class lists, carriers like Austrian Airlines don’t arise often in conversation. However, this smaller European player has attracting increasing amounts of attention in recent years for their eye-popping breakfasts and offers some of the best in-flight dining.

Its most recent business/first class offering arrives at your seat in a miniature mock cast-iron pan, filled with soft potatoes, fried mushrooms, tomatoes, a portion of scrambled eggs, and two strips of perfectly cooked bacon. Served with a side of yogurt, fresh fruit, oven-baked bread (with a mini-jar of strawberry jam) and juice to drink, all future airline breakfasts you have will be measured against this standard.

Turkish Airlines

best inflight dining


When it comes to long haul flights, the case for serving quality food is an easy one to make. When many of the flights you offer are shorter in duration, though, the pressure on airline CEO’s to cut costs can be enormous. However, Turkish Airlines has made the conscious decision to maintain high culinary standards on its short haul routes in recent years, as they see it as a cornerstone of their identity.

With meze platters, olives, feta cheese, and baklava just being a few of the options available, you can expect to eat well as you fly to an endlessly intriguing country that lies on the transition line between Europe and the Middle East.

Air New Zealand

Traversing some of the longest air routes on the planet, Air New Zealand’s culinary professionals have had plenty of practice crafting meals that make all those hours spent at 40,000 feet enjoyable ones.

Head chef Peter Gordon consistently puts together amazing creations despite the deleterious effects of altitude on taste. With whiskey-cured smoked salmon, Moorish chicken, and braised beef just being a few of the dishes he and his team have come up lately, the culinary talent you’ll witness on board Air New Zealand will prove be a smashing introduction to one of the more fascinating nations in the world.

Singapore Airlines

A battle-tested veteran of the cutthroat Asian airline industry, Singapore Airlines has long maintained its high standing by putting the experience of their passengers first.

Their culinary offerings only bears witness to this commitment – with menus that change quarterly, multiple offerings that are tested under cabin pressure to simulate taste differences, and international consultants that advise the airline on emerging trends, they are leading on this measure as well. None of these even mentions their most groundbreaking service – first class and business passengers have access to the Book the Cook, which allows them to select highly specialized meals like lobster thermidor up to 24 hours before their flight.


airline meals

Few lists on airline excellence leave out Emirates these days, as the Dubai-based airline has poured tons of resources into becoming the world’s best carrier. As such, it should not be surprising food served aboard the average Emirates flight will stand head and shoulders above many meals you have had throughout your life. With well-established relationships with some of the finest fresh food and wine suppliers, you can be assured the ingredients and drinks that go into your dining experience are nothing short of top grade.

With three courses served in economy class (economy!), five fantastic servings in business and seven in first class, the meals you will be served will easily be one of the highlights of your journey with Emirates.


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