I Love Airline Food
Am I the only one who actually likes airline food?
Maybe it’s just the sheep mentality where you just say what your friends say (or whoever happens to be talking). I suppose it’s hip to say airline food is bad and then go into detail about the worst meal you ever had and make sure to describe how rubbery it was and how tasteless the mashed potatoes were. Then you can complain about how the airline was late, lost your luggage and charged you for an extra bag. Like complaining about the post office. It’s always easier to criticize anyway–it doesn’t take much energy, thought or care.
Let’s get a few standard reasons out of the way–which are not the reasons the food is good.
1.) Travel Makes Everything Better
Maybe I’m biased (OK, not maybe), but if I’m traveling, it takes a lot (truckload lot) to annoy me. The plane pretty much needs to not arrive to fluster me. So food, as compared to engines falling off for example, is going to already go from bland to at least interesting just because I’m in a moving vehicle. Preferably a noisy one.
But even if you are a business trip, even on the red-eye from Oakland to Jersey for a meeting you don’t want to go to, you’re still moving, you’re still not in the same place you stood yesterday. You’re going to be somewhere else when you arrive, you don’t know (for certain) what’s going to happen. You know for certain what will happen if you don’t go–nothing. If you go, there’s the chance for change.
2.) I’m Usually with My Family
If my wife and two boys are near me when having a meal, it adds a splash of sauce and a pinch of seasoning to anything. Also, I tend to have bites of whatever my family is eating, so I get to try to the kid menu, too (today is was mac and cheese with yummy burned-to-bottom-crunchy-cheese-delight). My 7-year old fell asleep and I had a few more bites …
3.) I’m Probably Not on a Business Trip
I think the last business trip I was on was in 2002. Probably the last time I had a day job, too. So if I’m in an airplane, I’m probably going somewhere fun–and not related to the branding strategy of a cruise line.
4.) When I Step Foot into an Airport, I’m Immediately Starving
I’ve done informal research into this topic and found I’m not the only one. I can have a full lunch (like today), step through the sliding doors, see an average looking deli, and I lick my lips like a dog. Show me a (large) photo of a (large) cloudy wheat beer and my body will physically and magnetically be pulled in the direction of said signage.
5.) If I’m Going to be Awake All Night Anyway, I’m Allowed to Eat Anything
I’m pretty sure this is scientifically incorrect, but I calculate that I’ll be up all night, my schedule is going to be a mess, and I’m terrible with jetlag (although I actually like jetlag … ) so I can eat more than I normally would–and not gain weight. I think it has something to do with nutritional time zones. Don’t check my scientific sources on this, there aren’t any.
6.) If Meals are Served, We’re Probably Going Really Far
Airlines don’t really serve meals any longer anyway, so if there are meals, we’re probably flying out of the country. The farther, the better. More meals! Yippee!
7.) International Flights Have More Interesting Meals
This might be a combination of #5 and #6, but often different airlines (today we were on ArkeFly … who?) and we had beef in a dreamy creamy sauce, buttery mashed potatoes with steaming hot carrots and green beans, a slice of Swiss cheese, butter, and a thick and crunchy cracker, a side of fresh strawberry, pineapple, pear and blueberries, finished off with carrot cake that I’m pretty sure I licked the bottom of. A travel-size bottle of wine (Euro 3.50), no phone, no work, kids happily watching Mees Kees, shoes off and a view of the planet and, I’m sorry, how can this be bad?
I actually think because flying qualifies for Lounge Chair of Timeless Oblivion status so everything is OK with my world. In fact, it’s better than that, everything is just as it should be. I’m moving, I’m going somewhere, I’ll probably be gone a while. That’s the (OK, I admit it) goal of my life.
So if none of the above is the reason, maybe I just like the food. But the points above are too powerful, I can’t deny their stranglehold on my being. They are the sauce of life.