When you are purchasing a flight, do you have a favorite airline that you always book with? Or do you just go for the best deal? And what makes you have an airline preference — the service, the extra leg room, or maybe it's the amazing snacks and meals? For me, if the airline has awesome service, great in-flight entertainment, and other perks, it tends to have delicious food as well.
Last year, the Diet Detective conducted an Airline Food Survey, which rated how healthy the food is aboard the top US airlines. After examining the economy class menus of several airlines' domestic flights and taking into consideration the Diet Detective's results — not to mention some of my own personal biases — here are the top five airlines that I think are serving up the healthiest snacks and meals.
- Virgin America: I know we're talking about food here, but let me start off by saying that Virgin has an impressive line-up of libations to help take the edge off while up in the sky. OK, back to the food. Where do I begin? For starters, or snacks, I should say, Virgin serves up granola; low-fat yogurt; a selection of cheeses with grapes, dried fruits, nuts, and crostini crackers; vegetarian cobb salads; and Umpqua oatmeal. Yes, they still offer some fat-filled options like Texas bbq sandwiches and chocolate chip cookies, but all in all, they make eating healthier that much easier for the frequent flier.
- United Airlines: I have to admit that other airline menus pale in comparison to Virgin, but at least they are trying, right? If you don't let your sweet tooth do the ordering, with United you can get some bananas, low-cal Pop Chips, warm mixed nuts, or a Clif organic energy bar to snack on. And for meal options, try an entrée salad or a bowl of soup that comes with a breadstick.
- JetBlue: Fly with JetBlue and you can choose from yummy snacks like Terra Blues chips and roasted cashews. And because they serve up a "Shape Up" kosher snack pack for $6 that comes with Wild Garden sundried tomato hummus, pita chips, Sheffa's zesty snack mix, almonds, raisins, and Brothers All Natural Asian Pear Fruit Crisps, they get a big thumbs up from me. This certainly takes the guess work out of ordering!
- Delta Airlines: Delta's in-flight menu runs the gamut in terms of options. Health-conscious individuals will love the Kind Fruit and Nut Delight Bars, Stacy's Simply Naked Pita Chips, Wild Garden Hummus, dried apricots, almonds, and yogurt. It's all about the options!
- American Airlines: This airline is similar to Delta in that it has the best of the best and the worst of the worst in terms of food selection. My advice would be to steer clear of the breakfast café croissant sandwich that includes roasted turkey, cheddar cheese, mayo, and pita chips on the side, and stick with their almonds, trail mix, a fruit and nut blend, or get a cheese and cracker tray. By the looks of the menu, the first classers get to have all the food option fun.
Source: Flickr User Gill Bland