The Truth About Airline Food
Travelers need not be informed of the poor quality of airline food. Many have grim memories of bad indigestion caused by bad airline food, combined with turbulence. What people don’t know is how it ended up so bad. All airline food starts edible, when it is first made. Once it gets put into that little package the problem begins. First, it is important to take the nature of air travel into consideration. Planes cannot accommodate a kitchen and theoretically making food up there is difficult. All the ups and down the plane makes cooking time a nightmare. In order to avoid the logistics of making fresh food, all the plane food is pre-made. To assure heated food, air liners prefer precut meats, swimming with sauce. The sauce allows for pre-heating to work pretty fast. It is also designed to deal with the dryness of pressurized air. The end result is a soggy piece of meat, ideal for cutting with the plastic utensils available in the airport. It is so easy to cut, you don’t need a knife. It has been overcooked so much; you can just cut it with a fork. Another issue has to do with the popularization of commercial flying. Before the 1960s, airlines used to only get like 50 passengers per jet. This gave flight attendants plenty of time to deal with the passengers, without being overworked. In the old days, passengers had more than just the choice of beef or chicken. Morning travelers had something called a menu. They could pick from a wide selection of foods and have personalized omelets. Now with hundreds of costumers in just one plane, attendants do not have enough time to take your order. The food options are still there, they simply have shrank somewhat. Also, today’s passengers enjoy cheap luxuries unknown to air travelers from the 1950s. The seats have TVs installed in them, with hundreds of movies. Other airliners prefer the cheaper alternative and offer the same bad movie to everyone. Planes have been redesigned for entertainment, not for food. This entertainment orientation requires less man power. It is also a good way to distract people from the bad airline food. Still, the music, and Wi-Fi does have its advantages. They have allowed airlines to cut back on food expenses. The shift toward better entertainment happened in the 90s. Airliners noted that passengers were less likely to complain, if they were distracted by surfing through movie options. When air travel started, the planes did not have sufficient power to direct toward the kitchen. Passengers were always offered cold meals, like sandwiches. With increased size, planes were able to have something that could be called a kitchen. In order to lure more passengers, airliners started competing in the culinary realm. The plane that offered the better amenities got enough passengers to stay in business. These days it is a price war within major airliners. They will cut cost in everything, especially in food. At this rate, it might be back to cold sandwiches and bags of chips. When airliners were deregulated in 1978, they were free to compete in whichever way they so desired. This young industry soon discovered that passengers will put up with anything, if it means flying cheap. Some airliners have opted not to have a kitchen at all. This provides more room for seats. If the meal is not hot, then you must know that the plane no longer has a working kitchen. If one wishes to fly cheap, expect the service to go down. It is interesting how airliner food has gone full circle. So, enjoy the hot airline meal while it lasts.