Eat Up: The Top Five Airline Food Fails

Categories: Holidays, Lists
Eating a bad meal on a flight is adding insult to injury.

Thanks to the post-9/11 security increases, you've already waited in a security line in your socks, slipped on urine in the restroom, and rushed across four different terminals to make it to an early flight... only to find out it had been delayed for five hours.

So after all that hassle, the only thing every passenger wants is a cup of coffee, a warm meal, and an in-flight movie.

The first and the last arrive right on cue and up to your standards. But then that "warm meal" is plopped on the tray in front of you and all of a sudden it's not just the turbulence that makes you want to hurl.

According to a study conducted by the University of Manchester in 2010, background noise heavily affects how meals taste. The study found that loud noises reduce the sweetness or saltiness of a food item, which is considered an explanation for why airline food tastes so bland.

A flight attendant for American Airlines told us that the meals arrive frozen and the flight attendants are responsible for zapping them in a convection oven. It's not the most appetizing means for making a hot meal, but it's the best they can do without a kitchen onboard.

But that doesn't stop airline passengers from complaining, and perhaps rightfully so, in many situations. Thankfully, this is America, and there's a website to document these atrocious meals.

Check out the five most disgusting meals we could find on and just pray that you won't encounter this slop.

5. United Airlines "Sandwich"
Poor, H.S. NG was just trying to fly from Hong Kong to Singapore on a United Airlines flight only to find out that the airline company mistook him for a bovine. Is that tuna, or is that a crowd of mystery meat cowering in the middle of what looks to be a double-decker sandwich? 

The soggy lettuce might be fit for a cow king, but human food it is not. Frankly, we're impressed that Mr. NG was kind enough to award that meal two stars. That lemon cookie must have been damned good to make up for the sandwich atrocity. 

4. Cathay Pacific "Dinner"

Jailam presumably did not perish after consuming this meal (or the "deserts"!) served by Cathay Pacific, and for that we are thankful. This meal greatly resembles what our poodle puked onto the carpet last night, and without this photo evidence, we wouldn't know what airline to avoid.

That chef who thought this meal would be acceptable should have his eyeballs and tastebuds checked. Heck, even the name, "spicy white fish," sounds like an atrocity left over from our third cousin's bar mitzvah last March.

3. British Airways "Sandwich"
We'll be honest here. Dave Gaskell's sandwich doesn't look all that bad.​ Then again, from this vantage point, all we're seeing is neatly-cut white bread wrapped in heavy-duty cellophane. It doesn't look exciting. It looks... bland, much like every other meal served by the Brits. 

But the comments brought us back to elementary school and the mystery meat the lunch ladies seemed to think was acceptable. The thought of enduring the stench of "sweet pickle and factory cheese" for a two-and-a-half flight is nothing short of revolting. More power to the man for allowing a cup of red wine to lift his spirits in spite of it.

2. American Airlines' "Vegan" Breakfast


Will H. made a rookie mistake here: He assumed that an airline would understand dietary needs. Just like we wouldn't ask American Airlines to understand that gravy contains gluten, Mr. H shouldn't have presumed that the airline would understand that vegans don't consume milk.

But alas, it must be a major disappointment to stare savagely at your breakfast only to realize they've given you carbs that can't be improved with butter, snacks fit for a kindergartner, and orange juice that was probably "freshly squeezed" from a can of frozen concentrate instead of an actual fruit.

1. British Airways "Breakfast"
Alert the presses, British Airways has done it again! Gino was correct when he described this meal as "revolting." There might be nothing more unappetizing than eggs, pepperoni (?), and some sort of mystery meat that have decided to take a bath in an unknown substance.

Just like Gino, we respect the sanctity of breakfast and firmly believe that eggs should be soft and scrambled, not lumpy and watery. May Mr. Gino live a long and prosperous life following this unfortunate event.

Follow Clean Plate Charlie on Facebook and on Twitter: @CleanPlateBPB. Follow Devin Desjarlais on Twitter: @ddesjarl.

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