Gone are the days when airline food was expensive but often weird, small in proportion, and not delicious at all. People just couldn’t be bothered to look forward to on-board meals as they were generally unexciting. But with airlines making more investments on state-of-the-art galleys and working with renowned chefs and bartenders, passengers with discriminating tastes can now delight in gourmet offerings even in the skies. What’s more is that these gastronomic perks are not reserved only for the rich and famous. Even economy passengers can enjoy a tastier flight experience.

Etihad Airways Diamond Menu
Sometimes airline food does look like it belongs in a 5-star restaurant. (Photo Credit: Etihad Airways)

Here’s a low-down on the airlines that bagged 2013’s Skytrax Best Catering Awards. Skytrax, by the way, is a UK-based consultancy that conducts surveys of the best in air travel.

Etihad Airways

As this year’s First Class Catering Award recipient, this Arabian airline sure do know how to take their in-flight catering service to a whole new level. From rare boutique wines to carefully chosen cutlery, they are all about providing luxury to their First Class passengers. The airline prides itself on a team of culinary experts and managers on-board who were trained not only on meal preparation but also on making informed food and wine recommendations. Another food service feature on-board is that passengers can choose when they want to enjoy the meals specially prepared for them, which are always of generous proportions.

Etihad Airways First Class Food Service
From rare boutique wines to carefully chosen cutlery, Etihad Airways are all about providing luxury. (Photo Credit: Etihad Airways)

Turkish Airlines

Business Class passengers couldn’t feel any more welcome on-board Turkish Airlines, winner of the Business Class Catering Award, with complimentary vintage champagne, sparkling wine, or fresh orange juice and a hot towel greeting them. Menus are regularly renewed and rotated to keep things updated and the options varied. For a true restaurant experience, a Flying Chef serves a wide selection of mezze and hors d’oeuvres, soup, Turkish dishes like shish kebab (skewered sliced meat), imambayildi (stuffed eggplant cooked in olive oil), and manti (Turkish dumplings), international specialties, and even ice cream for dessert. The popular Turkish coffee can also be sampled in flight. Loyal passengers celebrating a special occasion can order a celebration cake to mark the event. Meals tailored to passenger’s special needs can also be pre-ordered.

Asiana Airlines

Asiana Airlines don’t want their Economy Class passengers to miss out on all the buzz that is quality food service during flights. So much so that their impeccable service earned them the Economy Class Catering Service Award. Some of the dishes they serve are traditional Korean favorites like Ssambap (lettuce wraps) and Bibimbap (mixed rice). Other Asian and Western cuisines are also available. For drinks, passengers can enjoy carefully selected wines, liquor, beer, teas, and juices.

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About Kathy del Castillo

Kathy is a free spirit who has an attention span equivalent to that of a squirrel. So it's only seemly that she has a penchant for adventures and spontaneity. And because she is expected to earn her keep, she works as an online freelancer doing (what else?) random stuff.


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