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Low salt meals on high class flights

Kuala Lumpur...
2 posts
Low salt meals on high class flights

Having tried three different airlines in Business Class with a request for a low salt meal I am sorry and angry to report that they were all absolutely awful.

Low salt should not mean no flavour and poached everything. One airline offered fish as a starter and main course and I’m sick and tired of fruit salad as the dessert. Only one offered bread, which was obviously low salt, and this by the way is one of the highest contributors to excessive daily consumption. It seems that airlines need to get out and look at the extensive range of spices, herb, oils and fruits which can make even a completely salt free meal tasty and attractive. In the end after the air hostess and I looked at the ‘hospital’ fish she suggested the beef from the normal menu and I must say I went for it! It’s a disgrace to pay for a premium service and receive food like this.

2 replies to this topic
Melbourne, Australia
Destination Expert
for Sydney, Bargain Travel, Food and Travel
Level Contributor
28,374 posts
66 reviews
1. Re: Low salt meals on high class flights

If you use the Search Box above and type in ‘alrline food’, you’ll find several interesting discussions about airline food, the difficulties and progresses

San Francisco...
Level Contributor
854 posts
266 reviews
2. Re: Low salt meals on high class flights

I am shocked that you are expecting a custom made high quality meal. Airlines have tight budgets (yes I know this is surprising as your paying a lot more to be in Business or First class). Often these seats offset the even lower margins from the main cabin customers. Also airlines produce tens of thousands of meals a day. Usually these are made out of one facility. 1-2 food companies makes food for each airline. The airline will give menu, recipes, and pricing to the company who then cooks the food. The food is made hours or days in advance, then either kept warm, or reheated on board. A few airlines have 'chefs' on board, but they are not really cooking, they just specialize in heating and plating the food.

Don't think of airline food like your going to a wedding at the Four Seasons. Hotels can cook fresh meals and serve them within hours. Even hotels will hold food at a temperature for a few hours. A nice hotel might cook something unique and special for a guest with allergies or dietary restrictions. Commonly they will throw something together from another part of the hotel or the restaurants as they share kitchens. Airlines cannot do this. They can't just whip up a single serve cheesecake with raspberry sauce without salt, or make the same dish they just made for 10,000 and then make it for 1 with no salt Yes to food professionals, low salt is objective, so they commonly just change it to no salt. Not only would this blow the labor budget, but also the food budget. And if that was the case, more and more people would order this signature dessert (or meal - just using an example).

Now it would be possible for the airline to make a few hundred portions of each of the special meals (gluten free, no salt, kosher, soft, gluten free, etc), then freeze them, and save them for when someone has a special order. But the only way this would make economical sense is the food company would have to keep that same menu for each of the 50+ airlines that they make food for. I can't imagine getting each company to agree to the same special meal standards.

Additionally, as you probably know salt levels are effected at high altitude. bbc.com/future/story/20150112-why-in-flight-… So chances are the food your eating is decent on the ground. Next time take snacks with you, pack sandwiches, or splurge on the one meal.

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