Which airline serves the best food in business?

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  • Anonymous

    Free Lance

    I recently read that airlines legally have to heat the food they serve up to 70C 12 hours before serving and then reheat it to kill any bacteria, which is one of the reasons food on planes is often so bad.

    I have had my fair share of soggy, tasteless muck but I have also had some pretty tasty stuff on long-haul flights in business class.

    I must say I am a bit of a foodie and although I wouldn’t choose an airline specifically for the food, I would be interested to know about other people’s experiences with mile-high dining. Which airlines would you say offer the best food in business?


    Airlines don’t legally have to even serve food in the first place, hence BA and the whole Gate Gourmet crisis. I have had some great food in Business Class – memorable meals with Bmi, Lufthansa, Korean Air and SWISS. I also liked ANA as any noodle meal served on an airline is a good idea – probably the freshest re-heated meal you can get. I can’t really say I have had a bad meal in Business Class. Of course economy class is another matter – most of the time the presentation is what lets it down. we all know airlines reheat the food but in Business Class at least you get it “served”. In economy it’s dumped on your tray still in its foil container. Doesn’t help it taste any better! Anyone comment on whether First Class food is much better than Business Class?


    I have eaten in business class of American, United, British Airways, Lufthansa, South African, Thai, Singapore, Scandinavian, KLM.

    For short haul I will give my vote to Singapore, but for long haul Scandinavian stands out.

    It is of course a matter of taste, but Scandinavian is also the only airline the main dish has always been warm when I have got it.


    Air New Zealand is good in business class


    Singapore Airlines, great satay.


    South African Airways Business class – the best food I ever get is there. I’ve no idea why as they stock up at Heathrow same as many. Perhaps it is in the preperation by the cabin crew ?


    The best food I have ever tasted in business class is undoubtedly at bmi, as someone who has completed over 150 long haul flights with them I should know.
    Perhaps I should come clean, I am one of the In flight chefs that cooks it!
    With an onboard chef different dietary needs can be met and even the fussiest of non -wheat, non-dairy, vegetarian, allergic to everything passengers can be assured of never disembarking hungry!


    Good that this discussion is started. No matter how much horror story I read about Airlines food, I personally enjoyed them most of the time. I have travelled First class on Singapore Airlines and British Airways, Business on SQ, BA, Lufthansa, Jal, United, Continental, Air India and Economy on at least another 15 different airlines. Except the US based airlines, I have enjoyed food and drinks of other airlines most of the time. For, First and Business, especially on SQ and BA, I often wondor, how they could serve such high quality fare. SQ even serve Cavier. Last 2 years, I have to travel long haul at least 15×2 times abd another 15×2 times short haul – means I stayed about 30 occasions in mostly 5 star hotels and sample many restaurant food. There is hardly any difference of those food from SQ or BA first class food. And wine and other drinks selection is definitely high class. Lastly, the service – except United (do you want to eat Johnny?) – without any hope of getting tips, the steward/stewardess do a better job than restaurant waiters.


    Airline food in general has moved on considerably in the last 15 years. I usually find food on BA of a good standard and have little to complain about in both Club World or Europe. Even the offerings on UK Domestic is fairly reasonable particularly LHR-MAN.

    I had the misfortune to travel to Cyprus with Thomson Fly in December 2006, but the meal was really good in both directions and certainly made up for the lack of leg room and uncomfortable seat.

    It does very much depend on the airline and your own tastes. I once was given a bridge roll with a slice of turkey and half an inch of lettuce and a small bag of carrotts on a Continental flight between Orlando and Newark!


    Airlines with in-flight chefs aboard tend to pay more attention to detail. And airlines with no First Class therefore having Business Class as their top tier product will make it ultimately their best product in the skies. That said, the old Lauda Air and ex-Ansett International had some very memorable meals aboard. Nowadays, my vote goes to Austrian (long haul), Qatar Airways, Malaysia Airlines, Singapore Airlines, and South African Airways.


    Just off my flight in Business on SQ, Amsterdam to Singapore.

    The food & service always impeccable on Singapore, But having flown Etihad AUH-SYD last year, their Pearl / Business food service is all to order, with a menu you can order anytime, scrumptious earthy choices, as well as finer rich foods.

    There is always a notable difference these days in the Airline Lounges alos…
    Here in SQ’s lounge, you can eat dinner (its eve here) with a great Asian hot dishes, & in Malysian in KUL, chefs cook dishes to order ( as they do in 1st here).
    With a good Airline lounge & food selection, which i would always say Asian Airlines exceed with, is a boost.
    Compared to European lounges, KLM would hev hearty good foods, whereas AF have nuts crisps & nescafe powdered coffee at CDG! Urgh!

    I think the lounge certainly adds to the food & dining experience, but Etihad, SQ, get my vote.


    Many airlines serve good food in Business and First. However its not so much the carrier that is important but your actual choice of dish.

    For example….generally BA First Class will have three or four choices for a main course, one of which will almost certainly be fillet of beef.

    No matter which airline you are travelling with it will be impossible for them to cook a fillet steak to your taste, it wiil have been cooked on the ground and then reheated in the air. So by the time it reaches you it will be a complete mess and waste of a good piece of beef.

    The same goes for delicate fish dishes, the likes of grilled dover sole for example that once overcooked are generally pretty dismal.

    However, there exist many dishes that often are very tasty as they dont rely on having to be cooked precisely. For example; curries, stews, pates etc.

    I remember having some lovely curries with Air India for example, tasty beef stew and lancashire hot pot with BA.

    Cold starters can generally be very pleasing, although they often come super chilled.


    Good point – anything in a sauce generally works well. I think the fish pie on BA club is really rather good.


    I’m a frequent BA Club flyer, so I guess I’m used to the food and I quite like it…. I agree that the fish pie is the best!
    But, surprisingly, among other airlines that I’ve also “tested”, Iberia gets my compliments. The food is usually very good, the desserts are the best (I kinda have a sweet teeth…) and there’s a wide variety of wines and liquors in intercontinental flights.

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