Avoiding The Dangers of the In-Flight Meal

Have you heard about the recent case of Othon Cortes? His family is suing American Airlines and Sky Chefs, alleging that Cortes became ill and died because of an improperly prepared in-flight meal. While the Cortes family alleges that the chicken meal served on his flight from Barcelona to New York was tainted with bacteria, that isn't the only potential danger posed by airline food.

In addition to food safety concerns, there are also questions over the ingredients found in in-flight meals, and whether any cross-contamination can occur. If you suffer from a food allergy or intolerance, how do you know that your meal is safe to eat, even if you have requested a menu item advertised as allergen-free? Here are a few tips offered by Smarter Travel to ensure that you can eat a healthy, safe snack while in the air:

  • Download GateGuru or B4 You Board, two smartphone apps that can help you find food near your gate so that you can catch a meal before boarding your plane.
  • If food on the plane is important to you, book a trip on Air Canada or Virgin America. These airlines were recently ranked as those with the healthiest in-flight meals.
  • Pre-pack your own snack to eat on the flight. You can't bring more than three ounces of liquid, of course, but you'll have complete control over the ingredients, and you'll spend much less than ordering from an airport restaurant. Check the TSA 'Traveling with Food' page to learn more about the foods that are allowed or prohibited in your carry-on luggage.

Does the recent lawsuit make you reconsider whether airplane food is safe? If so, what is your strategy?

photo by Pat Guiney

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