18 Quotes About Airline Food

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In Irena Chalmers’ book entitled The Great Food Almanac (1994), I learned that one of the reasons we find airline food bland and insipid is our sense of smell is dulled by the pressure at high altitude and the lack of humidity. This results in a decrease of our sense of taste as well.

I don’t know if this is true but as someone who regularly travels by plane, I am grateful for this blessing. Considering the quality of the “food” that I have been served with, a dulled taste bud is a luxury. Nonetheless, I’m thankful that they serve hot food in airplanes. If you think about it, it’s quite amazing.

Anyway, I still wonder why the food that I bring on board tastes just fine.

The following quotes are about other people’s opinion on airline food:

“You define a good flight by negatives: you didn’t get hijacked, you didn’t crash, you didn’t throw up, you weren’t late, you weren’t nauseated by the food. So you are grateful. ” — Paul Theroux

“Airline food is not intended for human consumption. It’s intended as a form of in-flight entertainment, wherein the object is to guess what it is, starting with broad categories such as ‘mineral’ and ‘linoleum.'” — Dave Barry, Dave Barry’s Only Travel Guide You’ll Ever Need, 1991

“An airplane is a heavy thing even before they put the food on it. Funny, isn’t it? The airlines go to all that trouble to keep you from taking a gun on board, then they just hand you a dinner roll you could kill a musk ox with.” — Dave Barry, Flying Magazine, Vol. 120, June 1993

“I love flying so much. I even like airplane food. No one bothers you and your phone never goes off and you can’t have emails go through. It’s undisturbed.” — Margot Robbie

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Image: Shutterstock

“[Airline food] is the tiniest food I’ve ever seen in my entire life. Any kind of meat that you get – chicken, steak, anything – has grill marks on each side, like somehow we’ll actually believe there’s an open-flame grill in the front of the plane.” — Ellen DeGeneres

“One good thing can be said for all airline food: it’s served in small portions.” — Sam Ewing

“To me, an airplane is a great place to diet.” — Wolfgang Puck

“We do not demand good food in public, and when we eat upon an object that moves, such as a train or a boat, we expect, and generally get, absolute muck.” — E. M. Forster

“When I go on Japanese Airlines, I really love it because I like Japanese food.” — Phil Collins

“Please take notice of these facial expressions when you’re visiting a sick friend in a hospital at feeding time: closed eyes, narrow nostrils, a downward curl of the lip, an extension of the tongue. You can see these same expressions on most airplanes at feeding time.” — Maggie Waldron

“If you don’t like airline food, you’ll probably have the same impression of space station food. I would not fly to space for the food.” — Chris Hadfield

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Image: Wikimedia

“Cost cutting by the airlines leaves fewer pennies for cleaning crews, whose appearances are being coordinated with those of Halley’s comet. Is the day far off when flight attendants will ask you to do a quick turn with a handvac to earn your microchip pretzels?” — James Morris, Wilson Quarterly (Winter 2007)

“And obviously with airline food you go through thousands and thousands of kilos of asparagus as opposed to a box of asparagus.” — Gordon Ramsay

“The quality of food is in inverse proportion to a dining room’s altitude, especially atop bank and hotel buildings (airplanes are an extreme example).” — Bryan Miller

“Some of the best fiction writers got their start writing airline menus.” — Erma Bombeck

“The more I fly, the more I’m convinced that the true wonder of modern aviation is the transformation of tasteless particles into something known as airplane food.” — Bob Blumer

“The food on the plane was fit for a king. ‘Here, King!'” — Henny Youngman

The shiny stuff is tomatoes,
The salad lies in a group,
The curly stuff is potatoes,
The stuff that moves is soup.
Anything that is white is sweet,
Anything that is brown is meat,
Anything that is grey, don’t eat,

— “What Do We Do? We Fly!”, From Stephen Sondheim’s musical Do I Hear A Waltz?, 1965

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About Edmark M. Law

My name Edmark M. Law. I work as a freelance writer, mainly writing about science and mathematics. I am an ardent hobbyist. I like to read, solve puzzles, play chess, make origami and play basketball. In addition, I dabble in magic, particularly card magic and other sleight-of-hand type magic. I live in Hong Kong. I blog at learnfunfacts.com. You can find me on Twitter @EdmarkLaw and Facebook. My email is edmarklaw@learnfunfacts.com
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16 Responses to 18 Quotes About Airline Food

  1. David Pflieger says:

    Ellen’s quote, unsurprisingly, was hilarious! Thanks for sharing this!

    Like

  2. I always bring my own food when I fly. Although I’ve been flying first class. I do notice you can identify the type of food it is. But all that $$$ and still crap food.

    Like

  3. gumiii says:

    Asian airlines have the better meals even on economy. Singapore Airlines, Thai Airways, Emirates – no complaints here. For the budget airlines Air Asia can get you a beef rendang.

    Like

  4. sportsdiva64 says:

    By and large it seems as though the Asian carriers seem to have half way decent airline food.

    Like

  5. Andrea R Huelsenbeck says:

    I’m old enough that I remember when airline food was good. That’s back when seats reclined more than 5 degrees, and you had knee room and elbow room. You got tickets from a travel agent, who gave you a lovely Pan Am bag as a thank you. You dressed in your Sunday best for the flight, because it was a luxurious experience. Those were the good old days.

    Like

  6. Some Dave Barry-ism’s very good! One of my faves; “never lick a (steak) knife.

    Like

  7. paolsoren says:

    I flew on Thai air a few years back and I really liked their food. Maybe I’m easily impressed or I was brought up not to complain.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Abigail says:

    I can’t speak for other airlines, but I have found the meals offered through Hainan Airlines, which my family and I has taken a couple of times for travel to and from China, is quite tasteful. I special-ordered the Asian vegetarian during our last trip, and they served me food akin to Indian cuisine, with lots of spice. Perhaps the spice compensated for the dulled sense of smell that Chalmers has suggested afflicts travelers.

    Like

  9. Rick Ellrod says:

    Particularly enjoyed the Wolfgang Puck quote . . . since I’ve enjoyed his restaurants in airports. (Salvation from airplane food is just a landing strip away!)

    Like

  10. sportsdiva64 says:

    It actually depends on what airline. I have traveled I the United States where the airline food leaves much to be desired , but when I worked for Malaysia Airlines and got to travel to Malsysia, Singapore , Australia and London, I thought the food was quite good, and I was sitting in economy.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Well, now I know the reason for liking airline food. Yea, I am crazy too.

    Like

  12. I think the whole point of flying is so airlines can try out their cuisine on captive diners.

    Like

  13. UGH I hate airplane food! It’s so nasty. I always bring lots of snacks and things of my own to get through the flights.

    Like

  14. masercot says:

    Businesses are always cutting services to make more money; but, in the case of airline food, I have to say that I really don’t mind…

    Liked by 1 person

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