Why Anthony Bourdain steered clear of airplane food

According to Delish’s recent post on Anthony Bourdain, the late travel legend once told Esquire that “there’s almost never a good reason to eat on a plane. You’ll never feel better after airplane food than before it.” He went on to say, “If there’s food available I’ll load up on whatever the local specialty is. In Tokyo I’ll get ramen, in Singapore I’ll get something from the airport’s hawker center. Shake Shack at Kennedy airport is the best.”

I almost always eat airplane food no matter whether I’m in the back of the plane or the front (I especially eat it when up front), but maybe Tony is right. On my next coach flight I’ll consider bringing food on the plane or—better yet—fuel up before boarding.

How about you? Do you agree with Tony or do you in general like airplane food? Share in the comments below!

Related: Slow Down and Soak It in as Anthony Bourdain Would



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12 Comments On "Why Anthony Bourdain Steered Clear of Airplane Food"
  1. Marlene|

    I never eat airplane food either. Last year I took Norwegian Airlines to Europe and they were charging $45 for a meal so I decided to buy something at the airport and bring it on the plane. It was cheaper and better than what they were serving on the plane.

  2. Mimi Slawoff|

    I, too, don’t eat airplane food. I buy a sandwich or salad at the airport before boarding, and bring my own snacks (crackers, granola bar,etc) and bottled water.

  3. Christ|

    I don’t eat airplane food – much prefer to have a proper meal in the lounge (outside US) or airport restaurants. Had enough slimy chicken, stinky egg, crumbly fish meals on board before deciding on this

  4. Will|

    I always eat airline food. Its not because its good or I’m hungry, its because it helps pass the time. I usually only pick at it, The best solution though would be to offer more options at a cost. Same with wine and booze…offer more options in economy at a charge.

  5. Hank|

    Yes, I agree. The quality and choices are much better in the airport than what is offered on the plane. Even if you pay a bit more, it is worth it, easy to carry on board, and you can eat when you want to, not when the airline chooses to serve you.

  6. Anonymous|

    I eat Business Class airline food as it’s always better than Economy When flying Economy I tend to bring my own food.

  7. Tessa Hill|

    On International flights, the vegan food is usually surprisingly edible! Plus, you get served first. :) I do understand it is super-salty, but if you avoid desserts and the obviously salty snacks, you can eat fairly healthy food with the pre-order. For domestic flights I always use the HappyCow app to find healthy veg options at the airport to bring aboard. Certainly eating unhealthy food of any kind is not going to make one feel better afterward.

  8. mallthus|

    Like so many things, it depends on the airline, the route, and what class of service I’m in.

    Eat the Biscoff DEN-SLC on DL? Of course.
    Eat the lobster LAX-NRT on SN in F? Of course.
    Eat the omelet DEN-SEA on AS in F? I’ll pass.

  9. Carol|

    I bring frozen food from home. I take it out of the freezer just before I leave for the airport. By the time I’m hungry in a few hours it’s thawed. I often take chicken salad.

  10. Louey|

    Recent trip to Dublin from Melbourne on Etihad cost extra cost for my guitar (300 E) in Dublin, (Im a musician), food was woeful too,so a cut lunch is a good idea if its not confiscated by security

  11. Ann Davis|

    I travel internationally a few times year and have begun to be really picky about airline food. I choose to eat the food with the least salt, always avoid the bread and desserts unless it is fruit–and drink lots of the tomato juice type drinks or other canned drinks only on the flight (or bottled water only). However, not counting on the plane having anything very decent, I am now taking along the 30 gram protein bars I buy at Costco before the trip which will carry me over for hours and hours.

  12. Virginia Arnold|

    I usually purchase food before getting to the airport or pay the high prices at the airport for a salad or wrap. I always pack a goody bag of unsalted trail mix, a protein bar and unsalted crackers in case of delays. I try to avoid salt and sugar as well as alcohol on the flight to help to feel better when I arrive.

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