The TRUTH about mile-high meals! Travelers reveal which airlines serve the best – and WORST – in-flight dishes – from ‘very tender’ beef on Korean Air to Air France’s inedible ‘hospital food’
- Airline food is notoriously awful, from rock-hard bread rolls to tasteless pasta
- However, it is improving and some airlines now serve ‘restaurant quality’ fare
- DailyMail.com can now reveal the highs and lows of eating at 35,000 feet
The quality of airline food is a hot topic among the travel community.
And in a bid to offer insight into what’s currently on the menu, a spread of airline passengers have taken to TikTok, filming themselves tucking into in-flight meals of varying quality.
DailyMail.com can now reveal some of the best and worst-rated examples of airline cuisine from ‘flavorless’ pasta and ‘rock hard’ muffins to ‘terrible’ wine and ‘restaurant quality’ lamb.
Bite your way down to see what these frequent flyers had to say about their mile-high meals.
Delta first class from Los Angeles to New York: 6.5/10
Celine Linarte rated everything she ate on a Delta flight from Los Angeles to New York after being upgraded to first class. She said she opted for the brisket meal
A side of cornbread with ‘nice fancy butter’ scored 8/10, but Celine’s favorite dish was the cinnamon carrot cake
We love a free upgrade ✈️🤩 #firstclass #foodtok #foodie #delta #rating #flying #flight
TikTok creator Celine Linarte rated everything she ate on a Delta flight from Los Angeles to New York after being upgraded to first class.
She opted for the brisket meal – but said one of the first things that stood out on her meal tray wasn’t the food, but the ‘cool’ salt and pepper shaker.
Celine went on to score each element of her dinner out of 10.
The Californian said the meat was tender in some parts, but otherwise it was overcooked.
For this reason, she gave her main course a 6.5/10.
The accompanying greens, which included stems of broccoli, scored a slightly higher 7/10.
Meanwhile, a side of cornbread with ‘nice fancy butter’ scored 8/10 and a pesto burrata salad got 7/10 – because Celine ‘loves’ cheese.
The frequent flyer also had a taste of the chicken meatballs option, but gave them an underwhelming 6/10.
The overall winner from her dinner, however, was the cinnamon carrot cake, which she gave a perfect 10/10, adding: ‘Would do this again 100 per cent.’
JetBlue Mint class from Los Angeles to New York: 7.1/10
Rick Lox, who posts regular restaurant reviews to his TikTok account, said he was impressed by the food he got on a JetBlue flight in its premium Mint cabin from Los Angeles to New York
A ‘pretty good’ chicken Milanese came next, followed by a portion of braised lamb shoulder which he deemed to be ‘restaurant quality’
Rick Lox, who posts regular restaurant reviews to his TikTok account, said he paid $2,500 for a flight with JetBlue in its premium Mint cabin from Los Angeles to New York and the food he got along the way made the investment well worth it.
He kicked off his main meal with a bread roll which he said ‘surprisingly wasn’t as hard as a rock.’
Next up, he tucked into a small bowl of cavatelli pasta topped with tomatoes and parmesan which he described as ‘kinda flavorless.’
But the next courses made up for his lackluster appetizer, with a ‘pretty good’ chicken Milanese and a serving of braised lamb shoulder, which he deemed to be ‘restaurant quality.’
He rounded off the meal with a vanilla gelato.
The foodie concluded: ‘Overall, I was pretty impressed, giving it a 7.1/10 score, which is pretty darn good for airplane food.’
Many viewers said they were impressed with how the food looked.
One commenter said: ‘That pasta looks good.’
While another wrote: ‘That is best looking plane food I’ve seen.’
Air Canada economy from Japan to Cambodia: 4/10
Food and travel creator HungryPursuit (left) documented his meals while traveling from Japan to Cambodia with Air Canada in economy. The red wine beef stew (right) got a 4/10 rating
For dessert he had a chocolate brownie which got a 7/10 and when he woke up he was greeted by a forgettable tuna wrap
The last meal of his flight was breakfast, comprising of soy ginger-marinated tofu with rice and beef
Food and travel creator HungryPursuit documented his meals while traveling the 13 hours from Japan to Cambodia with Air Canada in economy.
For his main meal, he had a cold potato salad to start. He told viewers that he generally ‘loves’ potato salad – though this version was ‘in dire need of seasoning.’
The foodie also described it as ‘too dry and bland,’ giving it an overall score of 2/10.
Next up, the TikToker tucked into a portion of red wine beef stew, served in a plastic container. Describing the depressing dish, he said: ‘The mash potatoes had this off-putting sandy texture… the beef had really good flavor actually but was so overcooked so 4/10.’
While filming the clip, the traveler noticed his fellow passenger demonstrating ‘a nice little hack’ by warming his butter on top of his hot meal so it would spread more easily on the bread roll.
HungryPursuit made a mental note to remember that next time.
He didn’t have ‘high hopes’ for dessert – a chocolate brownie – following such a disappointing entrée. But it ‘was decent and satisfied my sweet tooth so I’m going to give this one a 7/10.’
After sleeping, the globetrotter said he woke up ‘absolutely starving’ so was looking forward to getting his teeth into the tuna wrap he was served. But it was a ‘little underwhelming on the filling’ front, resulting in a 5/10 score.
The last meal of his flight was breakfast, a morning meal comprising of soy ginger-marinated tofu with rice and beef that was the unexpected highlight of the trip. He concluded: ‘This had some really good flavor and nicely cooked rice so I’m going to give it a 7/10.’
China Airlines premium economy from US to Taiwan: 10/10
Food and travel video producer Jasmine Pak upgraded to premium economy using points on a China Airlines flight from the US to Taiwan and enjoyed an elevated dining experience
She said she tried some of her mom’s meal and the steak was ‘so tender,’ but the winning dish was the side salad with chunks of duck breast
Jasmine said the food came ‘pretty much immediately’ after they’d reached altitude
Food and travel video producer Jasmine Pak upgraded to premium economy using points on a China Airlines flight from the US to Taiwan which, she said, ‘essentially just gives you more space at the end of the day.’
However, the premium seat also landed her a goodie bag from The North Face containing a moisturizer, some ear plugs, a toothbrush and an eye mask, along with an elevated dining experience.
Jasmine said the food came ‘pretty much immediately’ after they’d reached altitude and she got to choose between a chicken and rice bowl – which she opted for – and steak and potatoes – her mom’s choice.
She said she tried both and her mom’s steak was ‘so tender,’ but she preferred her ‘succulent’ chunks of chicken.
In her TikTok, the traveler showed off some of her other meal components including an artfully presented side salad topped with a ‘pretty shrimp’ and some roast duck, which she gave a 10/10.
There were also some lengths of cucumber which were a ‘bit salty’, followed by a ‘juicy’ and ‘sweet’ fruit selection, a ‘yummy’ crackers and cheese selection, and a full-size Snickers – which Jasmine said viewers would ‘already know was amazing.’
Air France economy from Los Angeles to Paris: 3/10
Miranda Shaffer took an Air France flight from Los Angeles to Paris and said: ‘I usually love airplane food guys but this was so bad.’ Her chicken Milanese only scored 3/10
Accompanying the dishes, Miranda got a roll (left) which she said was ‘basic’ and the ‘worst cheese’ (right) she’s ever had
The morning spread included a ‘burnt’ and ‘small’ croissant (2/10), a ‘hard as rock’ blueberry muffin (1/10) and a ‘dry and cold’ roll (2/10)
Californian Miranda Shaffer said: ‘I usually love airplane food.’ But on an Air France flight from Los Angeles to Paris, she described the options as ‘so bad.’
In a short TikTok clip, the creator revealed what menu items she had during her flight, with a rating for each one.
First up, she wrote in jest that the water ‘tasted like water [so] big points for hydration.’ She gave the foil-capped tub of water 10/10.
For her main meal she had chicken Milanese with rice, which she said had ‘hospital food vibes.’
For this reason she scored the dish just 3/10. On the side, she was served yet more rice – which was cold and came with olives and peas. She awarded this concoction just 1/10.
Accompanying the dishes, Miranda was served a roll which she said was ‘basic’ and cold. It only scored 4/10.
Miranda’s meal tray also included a plastic-wrapped chunk of the ‘worst cheese’ she had ‘ever had.’
‘Very hurt by this cheese,’ she said, giving it a measly 0/10.
To wash the meal down, she went for the white wine, which she gave a 6/10 rating.
She explained: ‘Terrible wine tbh but it was free and French, so on brand oui.’
The college student also revealed what she had for breakfast on the plane. But it was even worse than her dinner experience.
The morning spread included a ‘burnt’ and ‘small’ croissant (2/10), a ‘hard as rock’ blueberry muffin (1/10) and a ‘dry and cold’ roll (2/10). However, the orange juice got 10/10 as Miranda noted: ‘You can’t go wrong’ with OJ.
Singapore Airlines economy from Amsterdam to Singapore: 8/10
Creator @amstervan pre-ordered a vegetarian Asian meal for their economy flight with Singapore Airlines from Amsterdam to Singapore. The noodles scored 8/10
On the side they had a serving of Roggebrood rye bread and low fat spread which only got 4/10. When it came to the dessert, they gave the pink-hued mousse-style pudding 8/10
Creator @amstervan said they pre-ordered a vegetarian Asian meal – one of the travel hacks a flight attendant shared with DailyMail.com recently – for their economy flight with Singapore Airlines from Amsterdam to Singapore.
For lunch they had a noodle dish with vegetables – a saucy-looking concoction which they scored 8/10.
On the side they had a serving of Roggebrood rye bread and low-fat spread which only got 4/10.
Another side dish came in the form of a tomato and cucumber salad which got 6/10.
On the drinks side of things, the traveler gave their orange juice a 10/10 rating and their white wine 8/10.
When it came to dessert, @amstervan wasn’t entirely sure what was on their plate, but they gave the pink-hued mousse-style pudding 8/10 anyway.
Meanwhile, a tub of vanilla ice cream got 6/10 and the KitKat got 10/10.
For their second meal, @amstervan had noodles with vegetables ‘again,’ but this time with tofu. That dish scored 7/10.
All the other elements of the meal were the same as his first, with the addition of a tasty fruit salad which scored 10/10.
Virgin Atlantic economy from London to LA: 6/10
Content creator @girlvsglobe rated her food on a Virgin Atlantic economy flight from London to Los Angeles
At lunch she got a cardboard box containing a pasta and cheese meal which she described as ‘bad’ and only awarded a 2/10 score. She also tried the non-vegetarian chicken option
A milk chocolate and ‘seaside salt’ mousse scored 9/10, while the cheese toastie got 7/10
Content creator @girlvsglobe rated her food on a Virgin Atlantic economy flight from London to Los Angeles.
To begin with, she received a packet of lightly salted ‘pretzel thins’ which she gave 8/10.
Lunch was a cardboard box containing a pasta and cheese meal which she described as ‘bad’ and only awarded 2/10.
However, the non-vegetarian chicken dish was deemed ‘nice’ and scored 6/10, while the milk chocolate and ‘seaside salt’ mousse was a delicious 9/10.
‘It was so good,’ the TikToker gushed.
Rounding things out, she had a cup of tea – which was ‘nothing special’ with a 7/10 rating – but an organic orange ice pop hit the spot, with a perfect 10/10 score.
Before landing, the traveler was given a cheese toastie, which she awarded 7/10 because ‘I’m always up for cheese,’ and an afternoon tea box – containing sandwiches, scones and biscuits – which scored an impressive 9/10.
Korean Air business class from Seoul to Los Angeles: 9.5/10
YouTuber and content creator Ashley Yi rated her three-course meal while traveling on Korean Air’s ‘prestige class’ – the airline’s equivalent of business
Her main course consisted of a grilled beef tenderloin topped with red wine sauce and served with a side of potato and vegetables. It was followed by a wedge of chocolate walnut cake
This definitely made my Top 3 for airplane food ✨ #KoreanAir #mukbang
YouTuber Ashley Yi rated her three-course meal while traveling on Korean Air’s ‘prestige class’ – the airline’s equivalent of business.
Her meal was presented on a tray table covered with a white cloth, and she had porcelain crockery and silverware.
To start with, the social media star tucked into a roasted yellow tomato with a semi-dried tomato dip, which she gave 8/10.
Next up, Ashley moved onto appetizers. She explained: ‘I’m a soup girl so this asparagus cream soup warmed my soul… 8.5/10.’
She followed the soup up with an artfully presented plate of marinated shrimp with mushrooms, which she described as ‘so fresh’ and gave it an 8/10 score.
In between her next courses, Ashley indulged in some bread and butter, and mused why the simple combination tastes ‘so good’ while flying.
Her main course consisted of a grilled beef tenderloin topped with red wine sauce, served with a side of potato and vegetables.
She said she was shocked that the beef was actually medium rare and ‘very tender.’ She also applauded the fact that the airline noted where the beef was sourced and the fact that the vegetables were organic. For this reason she gave the medley 9.5/10.
Following the meat course, there was a seasonal fruit and cheese plate, but Ashley said she was so full she could only take a bite of the cheese and Asian pear. Despite this tiny taste, she awarded the course 9/10.
Lastly, the flight attendants brought Ashley a wedge of chocolate walnut cake which scored 7.5/10.
After her bountiful spread, the TikToker exclaimed: ‘Time to pass out!’
INFLIGHT MEALS: THE VERDICTS
Delta first class flight from Los Angeles to New York: 6.5/10 for main meal of brisket
JetBlue Mint class from Los Angeles to New York: 7.1/10 overall
Air Canada flight in economy from Japan to Cambodia: 4/10 for main course of red wine beef stew
China Airlines flight in premium economy from US to Taiwan: 10/10 for dinner side salad with roast duck
Air France flight in economy from Los Angeles to Paris: 3/10 for main course of chicken Milanese
Singapore Airlines economy flight from Amsterdam to Singapore: 8/10 for main lunch course of vegetarian noodles
Korean Air business class flight from Seoul to Los Angeles: 9.5/10 for main dinner course of beef tenderloin
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