Depending on the airline you take, flying oscillates between tolerable and hellish, but no one harbors any illusions about in-flight food. That’s because it’s almost universally awful, and if you’re taking a long, international flight, you’re going to have to eat it, even if it makes you gag.
But what makes airline food so terrible across the board? The BBC asked several airline experts what exactly makes the experience of eating at sky-high altitudes so damn mediocre.
It might not be all that surprising to hear that food isn’t actually cooked on large, commercial airliners, due to limitations with space and other essential resources, like, um, kitchens. But the tough, sinewy meat that’s served to you on an airplane was reheated, and most likely zapped by a microwave to maximize speed when serving a crowded flight.
As John Hansman, the director of the International Center for Air Transportation at the Massachusetts Technology explains: "It’s actually very hard to cook at those altitudes...they generally are just doing reheating.”