Image: Emirates First Class Dining

Several years ago, when we board planes for a long haul flight, we were usually reminded by our parents to bring a sandwich to the flight to avoid starving. It was because airline food was known to be bland and unappetizing.

Fast forward to today, the world’s prestigious airlines have put in a lot of work to come up with in-flight menus that can rival any Michelin-starred restaurant.  

Many of my friends, family and clients have tried many airlines, and here below is a list of the favorite culinary feast while cruising at an altitude of 35,000 feet above sea level.


Emirates has long been a trailblazer when it comes to the best of the best. So it is a no-brainer that they land as one of our top choices. 

They offer choices that meet dietary requirements. The airline works with some of th world’s celebrated chefs to serve meals inspired by your destination. For example, when on a flight to or from Japan, expect sushi or a hot bowl of authentic ramen. 

First class passengers get the opportunity to savor their freshly-prepared 7-course meal served on Royal Doulton fine bone china.  

Turkish Airlines

It came as a pleasant surprise that Turkish Airlines made it to our list. 

The national carrier of Turkey serves the most delectable international cuisines prepared by their flying chefs. Their menus have won numerous awards, so passengers flying with TK will not be disappointed with the meals’ quality. 

Special meal requests are welcome at least 24 hours before the flight, and the kitchen ensures even special meals receive the chef’s touch.   

Passengers flying economy, business or first class on Turkish gave a 5-star rating to their in-flight meals, 


Qatar Airways’ inflight catering chefs made sure their meals will thrill your palate and excite your senses. Food quality and the freshness of ingredients are the main focus during preparation. It is no wonder the 2019 Skytrax Airline of the Year is consistently present in top airline cuisine rankings.

They put attention to not only first and business class meals. The chefs also give special attention to economy meals when it comes to taste and presentation. The trays, mugs, and boxes are 99% biodegradable, so we give it a two thumbs up for eco-friendliness.   

Singapore Airlines

With choices of Western, Asian, or ethnic dishes on the menu, Singapore Airlines is never one to disappoint when it comes to taste and service. 

And true to the country’s winning spirit, their chefs consider every variance when creating their menu – including cabin pressure. Yes, their studies show that cabin pressure affects our taste buds and sense of smell. To ensure that their food tastes good at 30,000 feet altitude, a panel of chefs do their food-tasting inside a pressurized cabin. It shows how seriously meticulous SQ is when it comes to serving award-winning dishes.

Even their special meals have a wide range of menus, so toddlers, vegetarians, and people on a diet need not fret about not having enough options. 

Thai Airways

Joining the list is Thai Airways. What do you expect from the national carrier whose cuisine has tastes and flavors in flashing colors? 

Their award-winning meals on Economy class get inspiration from the local flavors of Thailand. Expect a burst of spices and a colorful combination of ingredients served during meals. 

The airline sources all seasonal ingredients and fresh produce from local Thai farmers to support their livelihood. And we say three cheers to that! 


Nest time you fly with a full-service airline, let me know what you think of their meals.  If you have other airlines to add to our list, send me a comment below. I may do a Part Two, who knows? 

Willy Hobal /