Gone are the days when you had to remember to stock vegan snacks in your carry-on for every trip. Now, more and more airlines are responding to the call to offer plant-based options, including in seat menus and for full meals served on longer flights. If the latter is the case, you can request a vegan meal by calling the airline before your trip or by recording your dietary preferences in your online frequent flyer information. The bonus: Many airlines will serve these “special meals” first, which could be essential if you are hoping to check in Zzzs on an overnight flight. We’re sharing examples of six airplane meals you might find in flight (note that these meals are subject to change). While you should always pack a few snacks in an emergency, remember that if you are on a flight that always serves Lotus Biscoffs, they are also accidentally vegan.
The meal: Misir wat
You don’t need to be First Class or Business Class to get the vegan treatment on Emirates Airlines. Even those in economy class can choose a vegan meal, but you must book the meal at least 24 hours before your flight. While the misir wat (a spicy Ethiopian-style red lentil stew with sautéed spinach and spicy potatoes and carrots) is one of the meals, the exact meals vary by flight, season and destination. If not, you might see others like Tofu Jalfrezi, shiitake ravioli, or three bean ancho pepper.
The meal: Stuffed delicata squash
Singapore Airlines still offers a vegan meal, but you’ll need to pre-order it when booking your flight. Last year, the airline partnered with Canyon Ranch to provide vegan meals like Stuffed Delicata Squash, but it plans to announce a new wellness partner in the coming months.
The meal: Grilled cauliflower with chili
About 23% of American Airlines customers choose to pre-order a vegan meal, according to information obtained in 2020. Grilled chili cauliflower is just one example, but you can also find grilled vegetables served with it. an aperitif of grilled eggplant caponata. A vegan salad, a multigrain roll and a chocolate brownie can also accompany the starter.
Swiss international airlines
The meal: Green vegetable curry with basmati rice
When an airline partners with Hiltl, the world’s oldest vegetarian restaurant, you know you’re in good hands. While there is a hot vegetarian meal on long flights, you can also pre-order an a la carte option from Hiltl when booking your flight. The meal, which does not mention any animal products in the ingredient list, includes a mesclun salad with Hiltl dressing, a green vegetable curry with basmati rice and a mango mousse with fresh mango compote.
The meal: Lentil and artichoke stew
Vegan meals, such as a lentil and artichoke stew, spin on Delta Air Lines as part of its special meal program. Note that on their website, the airline lists “vegetarian (vegan) meal” as one of the three vegetarian meal options, which you must specify when ordering. The description confirms that it does not contain meat, seafood, eggs or dairy products.
The meal: Varies
A vegan meal option is part of Qantas’ special in-flight menus, which vary by location and season. But expect to see any combination of rice, fruits, vegetables, grains, soybeans, legumes, nuts, or nut products. The good news is that the company is also revising its special meal program to better meet the needs of its vegan customers.
Karen asp is the author of Anti-aging tips and award-winning journalist, as well as a certified fitness professional in plant-based nutrition, world record-holder athlete (in Nordic walking), vegan mentor with PETA, fur mom and volunteer at an animal shelter and animal sanctuary breeding.
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