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Will you be able to eat on the flight?

You know how it is: First you’re packing, remembering to clean out the fridge and take out the garbage, then hurrying to the airport, hoping the baggage drop and security lines aren’t as long as last time, and then when you finally do make it to your gate, you look around, realize you’re famished and that the only edible thing in sight is a chewy day-old bagel at the coffee cart or a candy bar sitting next to the display of bottled waters at the newsstand. And you start wondering whether you give up your seat at the gate to go off in search of sustenance, or if you’ll be able to buy (or in the best case scenario, just have) something to eat onboard.

This is, at least, how it seems to go for me.

Perhaps that is why this Business Week article about onboard food caught my eye. The article reviews the options you’ll find on six airlines. It covers food in different classes, what you pay for versus what’s free, and who makes the food. There’s also a bit of insight into how airlines are looking to improve the reputation of in-flight food. For instance, Delta has hired celeb-chef Todd English to help with its coach-class cold entrees, and one of the biggest concerns has been figuring out which dishes are going to hold up to refrigeration and storage. They’re betting on roast beef Cobb salad sandwich, grilled shrimp salad, and black olive spaghetti salad.

The article also makes me wonder what my ideal in-flight foods would be. Calorie-conscious it’s not, but having the choice of ice cream would certainly make me happy.

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