Chicken or beef?
While the usual options on airlines are beef or chicken, there should be a stable option for vegetarian/vegan as a third option. The number of people following a vegan diet is higher than ever, and this is only going to continue to increase as more awareness is raised in the public eye.
Airlines need to adapt and incorporate more delicious vegan meals and snacks, or risk alienating a growing number of their customers.
Not to mention the animal welfare, environmental and human health benefits from eating plant-based foods, so it’s something that everyone – not just vegans – should be enabled to do.
We have compiled the best Airlines for Vegan food:
Not only are Emirates a well-established airline but they are also offering a very impressive vegan meal option on their flights. With delicious options, such as vegan lasagne with spinach and vegetables and a forest berry compote for dessert, or Middle Eastern mezze like baba ganoush, hummus and falafel you are sure in for a delicious flight.
- They also offer:
- Tofu Jalfrezi served with steamed wild rice and tandoori broccolini
- Shiitake ravioli served with coriander pesto and edamame
- Ancho three-bean chilli served with corn cakes, chimichurri, and tofu aioli
- Shiitake fried rice served with sautéed asparagus, oyster mushrooms, and Marmite sauce
- Misir Wat served with sautéed spinach and spiced potatoes and carrots
As of last year, Emirates served more than 20,000 vegan meals during Veganuary. Over the entire year, the airline served 345,000 in-flight vegan meals, including vegan cheese and chocolate.
It is world renowned that Etihad Airways has some of the best vegan food options, with choices such as Indian curry with saffron rice and green beans with almonds, fatoush salad, fruit and green tea. There are also vegan snacks on the inflight menu which you could pay extra for.
Other options also include: Green Beans with Chick Peas, Saffron Rice, Indian Veggie Stew, and Roasted Potato Wedges and Tomatoes. Delicious!
3. British Airways
I must admit this is one of my favourite airlines and it offers a surprisingly appetising mix of flavours, such as rice with eggplant, peaches and tomatoes, a side of minty potato salad, or falafel wraps with a fresh fruit dessert, all accompanied by your choice of wine. Another option is also curry potato, falafel ball, cous cous, fruit and vegan margarine. Which is a fairly solid vegan in-flight meal.
4. Air France
While Air France may not necessarily offer a vegan option – they do have vegetarian which equates to around the same thing. Their term ‘vegetarian’ means no dairy or eggs. Typical meals will include a combination of flavoured rice, black lentils and potatoes or a vegan omelette with tomato sauce and a dark chocolate torte for dessert.
5. Qatar Airlines
This is a great airline, in terms of not only food, but customer service, too. They will call your vegan meal a Vegetarian Oriental Meal (VOML), and that may include something like a mixed quinoa salad and a Moroccan tagine with mango cake for dessert, or maybe eggplant meatballs with spaghetti and a side of broccoli with crushed garlic. Everything will be rich in flavour and fresh.
The protein usually consists of chick peas or lentils with veg and rice, lots of flavour is added with Nepalese/Indian/Middle East spices. You can also expect the flight attendants to be very respectful and aware that you will require a vegan meal which will be brought straight to you without having to tell them you are vegan during the flight.
6. Turkish Airlines
Turkish Airlines have a great choice of in-flight vegan meals from you to pick from. With culinary delights, such as roasted cauliflower, red peppers and tomatoes which are accompanied by fresh herbs and spinach noodles with olive oil, bread and a vegan pastry for dessert.
Or if you fancy something a bit different you can always try the veggie kebab with some dolma – a.k.a. vine leaves stuffed with rice and spices.
Things to consider when booking your vegan meals
Airlines will have a disclaimer on their website that says special options are available on most flights – the only way to know if a vegan meal is offered on your flight is to call customer service in advance.
All airlines will ask you to make your meal choice at least 24 hours before your flight and to avoid confusion. They will also advise you of their definition of a ‘vegan’ meal.
You will usually get your meal first which is definitely a perk – especially on a busy flight or if you are particularly hungry.
All meals will come with some kind of beverage and a bread roll.
Remember, that food will always taste different on a plane, this is usually due to the lack of humidity, the cabin pressure and the altitude.
You can also bring vegetarian or vegan snacks onto the plane to eat during the journey. Most meals can be taken through security lines, and you can also bring sauces and salad dressings as long as they meet TSA liquid guidelines. When travelling to and from Australia, there are restrictions to what you can bring into the country, so make sure to check this information to stay out of trouble.
Be sure to check out my website for more information and travel advice as well as my Twitter @TakeLeapTravel and Instagram @taketheleaptravel.
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