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Do Cockpit/cabin Crew Eat Airline Meals?  
User currently offlineMog From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (11 years 8 months 13 hours ago) and read 9931 times:

I know two cabin crew and one pilot, working with the bigger airlines in India including long-haul international, who will never eat airline food, choosing to bring their own on board whenever possible or surviving on dry rations.

They have a choice of passenger and crew meals, but simply desist. Reasons are personal, but not religious.

Is this a trend, is this done by others too?

Just keen to know, because I have started avoiding food on board, too, and that is 3-4 times a week. At the most, some fruit and water. I just got a bit wary about the whole thing, and maybe it is also 5F "frequent flyer falderal food fatigue?"

21 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineDoorsToManual From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (11 years 8 months 13 hours ago) and read 9903 times:

Most of the crew I work with (flightdeck included) choose to make do with the special crew food provided by the caterer - in some instances, some crew prefer to bring their own food, but in even in those cases it's only really small things i.e. cheese/crackers and a banana or something (in addition to whatever the caterer has loaded for us). I find our crew food perfectly acceptable.


User currently offlineUnited4ever From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 291 posts, RR: 2
Reply 2, posted (11 years 8 months 13 hours ago) and read 9828 times:

I was once waiting for the lav at the back of a transatlantic 767 when a hostess in the adjacent galley offered me half of her sandwich from an airport deli. As she put it 'it's a lot better than that muck we serve you'.

I have to add that she was just having a bit of fun - the meal was excellent on that particular flight.


User currently offlineDtwclipper From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (11 years 8 months 13 hours ago) and read 9702 times:

See the "crew meal" section on airlinemeals.net

User currently offlineB747-437B From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (11 years 8 months 11 hours ago) and read 9553 times:

I know two cabin crew and one pilot, working with the bigger airlines in India including long-haul international, who will never eat airline food, choosing to bring their own on board whenever possible or surviving on dry rations.

Thats actually pretty common among Air India crew nowadays. On many sectors, especially those with a late night arrival/layover to follow, the crew will bring their own food for inflight consumption and carry the provided crew meals to the hotel for later.

User currently offlineGoose From Canada, joined Aug 2003, 1840 posts, RR: 14
Reply 5, posted (11 years 8 months 11 hours ago) and read 9531 times:

With the huge amounts of waste some carriers are known for, in terms of airline food - for example, I know KI used to throw out entire boxes of their chicken-ceasar lunch wraps that went uneaten during 45-minute flights (which the ramp guys then rooted through the garbage and took for themselves....  Big grin ).... some airline crews do take home leftovers, if they haven't been sitting out too long.

I know of a couple of flight crews who have taken home the extra first-class meals (which would be thrown out anyway).... so their families have eaten New York Steaks, Cornish game hens, and so on.......  Smile

"Talk to me, Goose..."
User currently offlineCdgdtw From United States of America, joined May 2003, 200 posts, RR: 3
Reply 6, posted (11 years 8 months 11 hours ago) and read 9517 times:

Consider this: crew OR passenger meals provided by caterer...with few exceptions, airline food is mass produced and therefore loaded with preservatives. Even business class with fruit and vegatables that are "fresh"...how is it on a 13 hour flight to Osaka the apples and strawberries are still looking like fresh picked? They are washed in a solution that keeps them like that. The MSG and sodium content in airplane food is extremely high. That said, sometimes our trips are built in such a way that does not allow a spare minute in a 13 hour day to jump off and eat so we certainly rely on the crew provisions. Given a choice, though, I would always eat my own food from home.

User currently onlineL1011Lover From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 1003 posts, RR: 14
Reply 7, posted (11 years 8 months 10 hours ago) and read 9325 times:

I´m a Flight Attendant in the Lufthansa company group, and I eat our airline food whenever possible, whenever there is enough time or something left!
Here at LH the regular passenger meals are way better than crew meals, which you have to order and pay for (horrendous prices)!
Meals are not provided for the crew unless you order it, it´s not part of our contract, but I like it better that way, because this means more meal expenses on the paycheck!
Anyway I don´t know why so many people are complaining about airline food!
I like our food and think it´s very tasty and delicious!
But hey, the more passengers don´t eat, the more leftovers for me!!!  Wink/being sarcastic

Best regards,


User currently offlineCkfred From United States of America, joined Apr 2001, 5552 posts, RR: 2
Reply 8, posted (11 years 8 months 9 hours ago) and read 9251 times:

I know that at AA, the pilots get whatever the first class passengers are served on domestic routes. A friend of mine is a 757/767 pilot, and he usually takes the Bistro Bag.

Frankly, I hate the Bistro Bag, but I could see that one could get stuffed eating 2 first class meals in the same day.

User currently offlineAzjubilee From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 4185 posts, RR: 26
Reply 9, posted (11 years 8 months 9 hours ago) and read 9241 times:

For those of us at airlines who refuse to allow us crew meals (14 hour days, 6 legs, no time to eat alot of the time) we usually bring our own. If you see crews with suitcase, flight case and lunchbox, it's usually a "regional" airline crew. Can't afford to eat out everyday of a 4 day and perdiem doens't come close to covering real costs. If we have a meal flight and first class isn't full, the left overs go to the crew. Those are exciting days, because the food is usually pretty good, saves you money and also allows for more "home lunch" to be consumed later in the trip. I did a lot of PHl-MEM flying in October and got fed quite well. I did, get bored of the same food each day. But one cannot and should not shy away from free food.

Pathetic... I know. But it's reality.


User currently offlineTradewindL1011 From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 179 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (11 years 8 months 7 hours ago) and read 9171 times:

Over Thanksgiving I flew FC on a US Airways A321 from CLT-LAX. The food was quite good (most likely because it was First class) and when I got up to use the lavatory I noticed the F/As were enjoying it quite a lot as well! As far as the other airlines and their food quality goes, I haven't flown long enough distances to get a meal in coach, but I guess you pay for what you get!


User currently offlineGDB From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 13448 posts, RR: 77
Reply 11, posted (11 years 8 months 7 hours ago) and read 9122 times:

BA Crew sandwiches are much nicer than the crap we had in our hangar vending machines, they often passed them to our guys on a departure.

I've eat more spare meals off a BA002 than I could ever count, typically the aircraft was de-catered over the terminals, often stuff got missed and when the aircraft reached the hangar, we 'de-catered' ourselves.
Choices, choices, on a late shift, a kosher fish dinner made in New York? I'll give it a try, so into the microwave in our crewroom it went.
As the BA002 left NY in the morning at local time, often a cooked breakfast meal found it's way into my stomach, they did pretty good ones on Concorde.
When we ran charters, if a 'round the bay' went at midday or early afternoon, it would be back by late afternoon so just in time for dinner, though pax on them tended to scoff the lot, and charters were always full.

Flight Crew usually wanted proper meals, even on a 3 hour test flight, while the few BA staff on board made do with a deli pack like you'd get on a short haul.
When OAC had it's second return to flight airtest last year, the caterers had cocked up and forgot the crew meals, the Capt was not amused, he wanted crew meals and blamed us for it! And he wondered why he had the nickname 'porky'.
Meals were delivered and the flight went, late, of course that would not happen on a commercial flight.

As no Cabin Crew were on test flights, an engineer ended up as 'galley slave' for the crew, that happened on the last one we ever did, OAE back in August.
After handing out deli-packs to the dozen or so in the cabin, the ground Engineer on the flight, Dave, went to work on the (to him) fwd galley oven. No oven-gloves so a fire glove was improvised, eventually the crew meals were heated ok, after a few attempts.
Dave is in his mid 50's, so as he passed the meals to the crew, the F/O couldn't resist saying "F*** me, the stewardesses are getter uglier every day!"

User currently offlineXJFA From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 61 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (11 years 8 months 6 hours ago) and read 8960 times:

We only serve cold meals in FC on our jet which is usually a meat plate, sub or some sort of "chicken" pasta that taste like bologna. Being a poor regional FA, Free food is free food and eat whatever is left over after FC has been served. We aren't supposed to order crew meals anymore, and usually get yelled at if atempted.

User currently offlinePiedmontGirl From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 1124 posts, RR: 12
Reply 13, posted (11 years 8 months 4 hours ago) and read 8754 times:

Do pilots and flight attendants eat airline food?

You bet they do. Sometimes it's all that available and free food is free food.

User currently offlineVinovalentino From Canada, joined Nov 2001, 103 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (11 years 8 months 4 hours ago) and read 8735 times:

I once remember reading that on long haul flights the PILOT and FIRST OFFICER would have entirely different meals... This way if there was a problem like food poisoning they would not both be incapacitated...Is this folklore or truth?

User currently onlineL1011Lover From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 1003 posts, RR: 14
Reply 15, posted (11 years 8 months 1 hour ago) and read 8656 times:

On Lufthansa/Condor there actually is that rule about different meals for Cpt. and F/O, but sometimes it´s just not possible to implement this!
Anyway, if there are 5 meals left, and there are 5 F/A´s, the cockpit crew most likely won´t get anything! LOL!
Most of our pilots order their own meals! And if they´re too tight-fisted, it´s their problem not mine!!!
This sounds mean and rude, I know! But settle down, I´m just talking about a minority among our pilots!

User currently offlineFA4UA From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 812 posts, RR: 19
Reply 16, posted (11 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 8535 times:

At United in both the Flight Officers and the Flight Attendants contracts we must be provisioned with Business Class meals or better on flights longer then 4 or 5 hours and if there's not more then an hour between multiple flights (not enough time to run and get something from an airport vendor).

I've never had a bad meal on UA (as a passenger or employee working the flight). Domestic FA's and FO's also can order special meals. One frequent choice is the salad meals. They'll have Caesar salads with grilled chicken or a large chef salad with turkey and ham. It's pretty cool, although the international based FA's often complain they don't have the same options.

Sometimes if the FA's like the FO's we'll even go so far as to warm the captains buns  Big grin before throwing their tray in the cockpit. It's kinda like feeding the prisoners... poor guys/gals


The debate continues... Starwood or Hyatt... which is better
User currently offlineCx flyboy From Hong Kong, joined Dec 1999, 6715 posts, RR: 55
Reply 17, posted (11 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 8462 times:

Usually, we are provided sandwich trays and a crew meal, which includes lunch, dinner, breakfast etc... depending on flight timing. If there are any passenger meals left over from the service we are also entitled to eat those, as they will often be much better than our own meals. It is very rare for us to bring our own food, as Cathay catering is normally excellent. Sometimes we will avoid the food loaded on from certain ports, so on a two-sector flight we might ask the crew to save the meals from the first sector rather than risk eating dodgy food loaded during the second sector.

On long haul flights there seems to be nothing to do but eat, so we end up eating the entire trip it seems! That's why there are so many fat Captains!

User currently offlineGordonsmall From UK - Scotland, joined Jun 2001, 2236 posts, RR: 20
Reply 18, posted (11 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 8398 times:

That's why there are so many fat Captains!

Not to mention all those fat-assed CX F/O's that have to be crow-barred out of the right hand seat after every sector eh?  Smile/happy/getting dizzy


Statistically, people who have had the most birthdays tend to live the longest.
User currently offlineFlyguyclt From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 537 posts, RR: 8
Reply 19, posted (11 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 8392 times:


You have never, ever, really, had a bad crew meal?

Sorry could not resist  Smile

Florida Express, Braniff II and ......
User currently offlineJacques60 From France, joined Jul 2003, 120 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (11 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 8270 times:

Vinovalentino : yes indeed, it is still the rule at AF : on any/all flights, not just longhaul, the food for Capt comes from a different caterer than the one for the F/O ! It's not only a different menu !
Reason is what you said. My personal belief is that if by a very weird idea the management intended to charge for crew food...or worse would stop supplying it.....the immediate endless strike would be the answer !! Food is a too serious matter in France !

User currently offlineFlpuck6 From United States of America, joined Jun 1999, 2123 posts, RR: 27
Reply 21, posted (11 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 8233 times:

Do Cockpit/cabin crew eat airlines meals?

Do they ever on our airline! LOL :P ... the first thing they look for is their sandwiches + crew cake (usually a cheesecake out of our station).

Our crew meals are apparently not too bad ... not surprising since our crews have high expectations.  Smile

Bonjour Chef!
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