Passengers can plan ahead and pre-order their inflight meals on a variety of airlines. The benefits are that some meals are available exclusively in advance, you often receive your meal first during the service and are likely to get your top choice. There’s also a sustainability angle, with pre-ordering reducing food waste. Many airlines also allow customers to pre-order food if they have special dietary requirements. Here we round up some of the airlines that allow you to buy before you fly.
Passengers can pre-order hot meals on flights lasting more than 1 hour and 30 minutes, and cold meals on shorter flights.
How and when? Online from five days up to one hour before departure via My Booking.
Passengers can pre-order from the airline’s Bistro menu for flights of three hours or longer to the south and US or within Canada in economy class (Club Class passengers can make their meal selection at the time of booking or at the same time as their seat selection). Drinks and snacks can only be ordered during the inflight service. Customers benefit from discounted prices when pre-ordering.
How and when? At the time of booking or via the Manage my Booking page up to 72 hours before departure.
The US carrier allows those travelling in first and business class on the majority of flights with scheduled meal service to reserve an entrée. AA says that meals may not be available at times due to a limit on numbers.
How and when? Meals can be reserved by calling the customer service team or by logging in using your name and reservation number up to 30 days and at least 24 hours before departure.
British Airways’ Speedbird Café is available for pre-purchase on Euro Traveller (short-haul economy). It includes a range by award-winning chef Tom Kerridge. The menu includes soft brie and apple chutney ploughmans sandwich, steak and ale pie, and vegan spiced cauliflower and chickpea wrap.
How and when? Visit the Speedbird Café page at highlifeshop.com and add an item to your basket. You will need to provide your flight number and departure date. Items can be ordered a minimum of 12 hours before departure.
Customers can pre-order sandwiches or light and hot meals with wine, coffee and tea when booking flights if the flight is operated and marketed by Finnair. It states, however, that there is a limited number of meals available per flight and that if the purchase is not successful, it means the quota may be full. The menu prices and availability can be checked when booking the flight.
How and when? Via the Manage Booking page, through the app or online check-in. For flights in Northern Finland and most two- to four-hour European flights, you can order light meals and sandwiches. These must be ordered at least seven hours before departure on flights departing from Helsinki and 24 hours before departure for all other flights. For flights in the Middle East or four-hour southern European flights, you can pre-order a hot meal with a drink. These must be ordered at least 16 hours before departure on flights departing from Helsinki and 36 hours before departure for all other flights.
Customers can pre-purchase items ranging from three-course meals to sandwiches and salads. This service is not available on domestic flights.
How and when? Through the My Journey page at least 24 hours before the flight.
Meals can be pre-ordered on flights longer than 2 hours and 25 minutes, while sandwiches can be pre-ordered on all flights.
How and when? Customers can add meals up to 48 hours before their flight, and sandwiches up to 6 days before departure.
LOT Polish Airlines
Customers can order meals and light snacks on selected domestic and short-haul flights. The menu varies depending on the route and date of travel.
How and when? Via the Manage My Booking page, or via the LOT Contact Centre, sales offices or sales agents. This must be done at least 24 or 36 hours before departure, depending on the flight.
Economy, Business Suite and business class passengers can select a range of meals as part of the ‘chef on call’ service on select flights from Kuala Lumpur in advance of their flight.
How and when? Online via the Manage Booking page from 30 days up to 24 hours before departure.
Travellers can pre-order a hot meal with a sweet dessert on most international flights that exceed 2 hours and 15 minutes. Drinks can only be purchased on-board.
How and when? Online using your booking reference and last name up to 36 hours before departure. Drinks can only be purchased onboard.
Customers can select an inflight meal from the Menu Select before boarding on selected international flights in all cabins.
How and when? Via the Manage Booking page between 7 days and 12 hours prior to departure.
The low-cost carrier allows passengers to order meals and snacks and benefit from an offer which promises €25 worth of credit for €20. There is also a range of meal deals for families, individuals, kids and vegan passengers.
How and when? Via the Ryanair app up to one hour before departure.
SAS Go travellers can pre-order a meal on most European flights longer than 80 minutes. On morning flights breakfast can be pre-ordered when travelling on European, Nordic and domestic flights longer than 60 minutes. When travelling between Scandinavia and the US, customers can also pre-order a three-course Premium set menu.
How and when? Online via My Bookings up to 18 hours prior to departure.
Travellers flying in Suites, First, Business or premium economy can pre-select their main course for all meal services. SIA says that due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the pre-ordering of meals may not be available on certain flights.
How and when? Online via the Manage Booking page with a booking reference up to seven days before departure.
Economy passengers on short- and medium-haul flights to or from Zurich or Geneva and of more than 50 minutes’ duration can pre-order items from the Swiss Saveurs menu. Customers do not pay for the orders until
they are served to them inflight. Business class customers on long-haul services can also pre-select their inflight
How and when? Economy passengers should visit swiss.com/saveurs-preorder and enter their name and booking code to pre-order the service up to 36 hours before departure. Business class passengers can place
their orders at swiss.com/preselect between 4 weeks and 36 hours before scheduled departure.
Passengers in the airline’s business and first class cabins can pre-order meals for flights departing Bangkok depending on the route and aircraft. Royal First Class passengers can pre-order dishes on A380 and selected B747 aircraft, while Royal Silk passengers can pre-order on selected flights depending on aircraft type and duration of flight.
How and when? Online at least 24 hours before departure time from Bangkok.
Customers in the premium cabin on eligible flights can pre-order meals on eligible flights departing its hubs in Chicago O’Hare, Denver, Los Angeles and Washington Dulles. The airline is adding the service to further routes in the future.
How and when? Customers will receive an email five days before their flight with a link to the selection page, allowing them to see the menu and pre-order a meal. Customers can also visit united.com/preordermeals and enter their last name and flight confirmation number to see the options. Meals can be ordered five days before departure and up to 24 hours before the flight.