The latest airline food study is out. It rated offerings on domestic carriers with a score of zero to five stars based on health, nutrient information, innovation, safety and more. Of course we again changed the focus to be on flights to Hawaii. The study was done by the Hunter College NYC Food Policy Center and DietDetective.com.
“This year Alaska and Air Canada share the top spot as the airlines with the ‘healthiest’ food choices in the sky, with Delta and JetBlue tied for second.” — Hunter College NYC Food Policy Center and DietDetective.com.
The Diet Detective “Shame On You Award” went to 1) the EPA for not providing penalty information on galley water violations when requested and 2) Hawaiian Airlines for not providing all requested nutritional information for the study.
Latest Airline Food Study | Ranking the airlines
Alaska Airlines. Rating 4.00. Average snack box 464 calories, meal 388. 1st place award for Hawaii goes to Alaska. The company ranked as having the healthiest airline food overall by far.
Notes. A variety of snacks and meal offerings including some healthier options. Full menu and nutritional information available online, and via their app. Alaska is allowing pre-ordering on their mobile app and website.
Delta Airlines. Rating 2.90. Average snack box 560 calories, average meal 495. 2nd place award for Hawaii.
Notes: Delta works with Luvo Foods’ Performance Kitchen line, which is committed to eating healthy. Those items, however, are no longer being offered as part of Delta’s complimentary meals.
American Airlines. Rating 2.70. Average snack box 471 calories, average meal 585.
Notes. The airline is partners with Zoe’s Kitchen, which has a healthy focus based on a Mediterranean diet. Some vegan choices too.
United Airlines. Rating 2.70. Average snack box 463, average meal 431.
Notes. Food is improving at United, with calorie and sodium counts heading down.
Hawaiian Airlines. Rating 1.90. Average snack box 515 calories, average meal 898.
Notes. Diet Detective found Hawaiian Airlines improved some, but also noted that they are the only carrier that does not provide them with complete nutritional info. Thus the nutrient information was estimated by registered dietitians.
Southwest Airlines. Rating 1.7. Average snack calories 106.
Notes. Diet Detective did not like the airline’s variety or nutrition and are hoping for healthier choices ahead. They also said that “For the first time in 20 years, the people we contacted were not nearly as helpful as they usually are in providing information for the study.”
Beat of Hawaii tips
Read our recent post on Is Airline Water Safe? | Focus on Hawaii Flights.
Do you realize how many calories are lurking in the meal’s salad dressing? It could be hundreds of calories and it is likely also made with cheap and unhealthy oils.
Always consider packing your own snacks and meals, whether made at home or locally sourced on trips. There’s a lot to be said about controlling the quality, quantity and timing of food and beverages when flying.
In case airline food just isn’t your thing either, remember we aren’t alone. Renowned chef Gordon Ramsay says he’ll never eat airline food, period.
What’s your take on airline food?