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Secrets to eating well in the sky

“When asked what kind of chicken they had, she (the flight attendant) replied ‘the dead kind.'” This outtake from the 2007 Zagat airline survey embodies what seems like the prevailing airline attitude—especially on domestic flights—toward food these days. Many carriers have curtailed or cut their food service and now hawk sandwiches or snack boxes—you might even get one if you have exact change and a seat near the front.

What’s a hungry flyer to do? One option is to fly on an airline with better food. In the most recent Zagat airline survey, Midwest, Virgin America, JetBlue, Continental, and Hawaiian earned top honors for their food in the domestic category.

Most people don’t choose an airline based on food, though. However, there are other ways to improve your odds of a decent meal. If food is included in your ticket, consider ordering a special meal. Anyone can order a vegetarian, low-sodium, Kosher, or other meal geared to those with dietary restrictions or preferences. You just need to do it in advance. Many hungry flyers swear by this technique, saying the quality tends to be better. offers a health-conscious look at the in-flight offerings from major U.S. carriers. And, if you can’t bear the thought of any more bad in-flight food, take matters into your own hands with these recipes for gourmet carry-on meals.

You can find more tips and join one of the lively discussions about in-flight food in the forums.

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