What’s the Deal With Airplane Food?

justin perich airplaneIt’s an old joke that nobody likes the food on airplanes, but at least one website is taking the time to separate the wheat from the chaff.

Every year, DietDetective.com issues a survey ranking the food on various airlines, which takes into account the healthiness and calorie levels of all meals, snacks, and snack boxes, as well as cost, comments, variety, menu innovation, improvement of the previous year, cooperation in providing nutritional information. Each airline receives a final score between 1 and 5, so we can see which are the winners and which are the losers.

Yesterday, the website released the 2013 survey. While there were no perfect scores, Virgin America and Air Canada topped the list, each taking away a solid 4.5.  Virgin America was praised for it’s low-calorie snack boxes and meals (averaging at 361) as well as its healthy and wide ranging Travel Light meals. Air Canada meals and snacks have even less calories on average (291) but not as much variety, and its numbers were thrown off by its relatively unhealthy bagel option.

Here are the final tallies. How does your airline of choice rank?

  1. Virgin America & Air Canada (4.5)
  2. Alaska Airlines (4)
  3. JetBlue Airways (3.5)
  4. United Airlines (3.25)
  5. American Airlines & US Airways (3)
  6. Delta Air Lines & Frontier Airlines (2.75)
  7. Southwest Airlines (2)
  8. Allegiant Air (1.5)

Taking all eleven airlines into account, the average calories number per item of food is 360–good news considering that figure was at 388 last year. But no matter what airline you’re taking, you don’t have to rely on them for your meals! Bring your own snacks that you know you you find delicious and satisfying. Carrots and hummus, grapes, seaweed snacks or kale chips! When you take control of where you get your calories, the possibilities are endless! Because whether you’re on land or up in the air, your body will thank you for eating healthily.