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Airline Food: How To Order a Special Meal When Traveling Internationally

Fitday Editor

You may not be satisfied with the airline food that you are served when you are traveling. Airline food is not freshly prepared and it is usually not as nutritious as food that is offered in restaurants or prepared at home. While standard meals that are served by international airlines can reduce hunger, they may not be able to meet every passenger's dietary requirements. If you have special dietary requirements, it is best that you order a special in-flight meal.

What is a Special In-Flight Meal?

You may have certain illnesses, health and weight-loss goals, or religious commitments that do not allow you to consume standard airline food. To meet the needs of their customers, most international airlines have a selection of special meals that are acceptable to people with dietary restrictions, which may include vegetarian, kosher, halal, diabetic, low fat, low sodium, carbohydrate-free, lactose-free, gluten-free and peanut-free meals. Different international airlines offer different selections of meals, and you can find out about the special meals that are offered by your airline by visiting its website.

How to Order a Special Meal

It is common practice for international air passengers to order special meals when they check in. Although airlines accept requests for special meals during check-in, they cannot guarantee that the meals will be available. They need more time to make preparations for special meals to be delivered to the right airplanes. The best thing to do is to call your airline and order your special meal a day or two before the date of your departure. Let the agent know your specific dietary requirements and he or she will make the necessary arrangements for you. When you are checking in at the airport you should ask the agent to check the computer to make sure that the airline has taken note of your request for a special meal. There should be a note on your boarding pass indicating that you have ordered a special meal. When you are in the airplane you should inform a flight attendant that you have requested a special meal and let him or her know your seat number if your seat reservation has been changed before the flight.

In the event that there is a change of carrier, you should call your airline to make sure that your request for a special meal will be carried over to the other airplane. You also need to call the airline if there is a change in flight schedule. Keeping track of your special meal request is more difficult if you are using more than one airline to reach your final destination. If a flight delay causes you to miss your connecting flight, the best you can do is order your special meal when you are checking in for the next connecting flight.

Nowadays, most domestic airlines do not offer in-flight meals, and they only serve snacks to passengers. If you are taking a long domestic flight, you may want to bring your own meals and snacks.

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