Have you often wondered what flight attendants eat on flights? They seem to be busy from before the plane takes off until well after it lands, so they must get hungry at some point. While many of us have made jokes about airline food, I would expect that most people would get very hungry while working as a flight attendant, and it’s not like they can just run out for a quick meal while on a flight.
So, what do flight attendants eat?
Flight attendants are typically offered a meal by the airline during their shift as well as the ability to bring their own food for meals and snacks.
In this article we will take a closer look at flight attendant meals. We’ll cover what they eat, who provides it, when they can eat, and many other juicy details.
Do Flight Attendants eat airline food?
Yes, flight attendants do often eat food provided by the airline while working. This gives flight attendants a convenient option to have a warm meal while working which removes the stress of having to prepare and/or cook a meal.
Do the airlines provide flight attendants with free food and drinks?
Many airlines do provide the cabin crew with meals when working.
There are some exceptions to this which includes some smaller budget airlines and when working certain shorter flights.
The meals that are provided by the airline for flight attendants are the same as the meals that are offered for passengers flying coach. This provides for a warm meal as well as the ability to choose from several menu options. Most airlines even offer a vegetarian option since there are more and more passengers with this dietary restriction.
If you work for an airline that is either based in or has a hub outside of the United States, you might also see options on the menu that we might not be used to so that the passengers of the airline have menu options that match local dietary preferences.
Do Flight Attendants eat food from first class?
They absolutely can and do! The food that is served to first class passengers is among the best that the catering company provides for airlines. It often includes meals with fresh ingredients including fruit, vegetables, and cheese.
The way that first class meals work is that there is typically a catering company that provides these meals for each flight. They are prepared specifically for that flight and are to be made available to first class passengers whenever they might want them. They have to be fresh, hot, and tasty so the highest value passengers have a great experience.
Once a flight lands, however, these meals would not be saved for another flight. Since they are often made of fresh food and ingredients they would be tossed and the next flight would also get fresh meals for the new first class passengers. So, the meals would all go to waste if not eaten anyway.
At that point, all of the leftover meals from first class or business class are fair game for the cabin crew.
The same also goes for the snacks that are served in first class. The airlines want to prevent a scenario where they run out of any perishable snacks so there are more on board the flight than would typically be needed. Flight Attendants and cabin crew are no exactly opposed to having one of these tasty snacks – especially on a longer flight.
Can Flight Attendants eat while on the job?
Yes, flight attendants are allowed to eat during their shift. Depending on the individual airline’s policy and the duration of the flight, this can be handled in several ways.
In some cases, flight attendants will have a quick meal or snack in between working with passengers and performing other job duties. In those cases, it really comes down to finding a quick moment of downtime to eat.
On longer flights, flight attendants will not only receive a crew meal as part of their shift, they might also have a specific time to take a break and eat. Considering how long some flights can be (especially transcontinental flights) this is a must so a flight attendant can continue to do their job effectively.
Do Flight Attendants bring food from home?
Yes, flight attendants are welcome to bring food from home to eat when working. In fact, many of them do just that.
Since they are around the same pre-packaged foods every day, many of them choose to pack a lunch and/or snacks for a variety of reasons including:
- Food Variety – The airline you work for might offer limited options for passengers. Many people would get sick of eating from the same small group of options every day so packing a lunch creates a way to eat something different each day.
- Healthier Options – Many of the meals that are offered on flights include options that might not be as healthy as a flight attendant would like his or her diet to be. Packing your own lunch can allow you to choose healthy and lite options like fresh fruit and yogurt instead of processed food. Also, since flight attendants are on their feet a lot while working, they may want to eat lighter to avoid feeling groggy. Being able to pack a lunch allows for this.
- Convenience – Another benefit of packing food and snacks is being able to choose foods that require little to no preparation. That allows a flight attendant to grab something to eat during a busy shift in between job duties. A meal that takes longer to prep might be too inconvenient and lead to a flight attendant not having a chance to eat at all.
There are many options for a flight attendant to eat while working. This usually includes eating food that is provided by the airline as well as being allowed to bring food with you on the flight.
While the meal that is offered by the airline is typically the same as the one offered for passengers flying coach, it still typically includes at least a couple different options as well as a vegetarian option. Being a flight attendant is both physically and mentally demanding, so making sure that flight attendants can be well fed helps them continue to perform their job duties at the highest level.