Most airlines offer special request meals for their long distance flights where food is included. In this post I will tell you the reasons why I always order vegan food when flying, and how to do it.
Why you should order vegan food at flights
- You get served first
The food is my favourite part when flying. Not because I LOVE the food (let’s face it, nobody really likes airline food). I just love opening the small packages and it’s always interesting to see what meal it will be this time. It could be terrible or surprisingly delicious, it’s like a lottery! One cool benefit is that you will be served first if you order vegan, even before the vegetarian orders! I am not going to lie, I kind of enjoy other people’s envious stares while they are waiting for their food.
- Food is of higher quality
The vegan options are often better quality since they are not mass-produced.
- Avoid constipation and bloating
Do you often feel bloated during or after flying? You’re not alone. When the air pressure increases, so does the air in your stomach. The irregular eating and sleeping patterns doesn’t help the digestion either. Meat and fish can take up to two days to digest, while vegetables and fruits move through your system in less than a day.
- Healthy dessert
If you are like me – trying to eat healthy but can’t resist any dessert put in front of you, then you have a forth reason to order vegan. The standard dessert is usually a cake full of processed sugar and preservatives. However, when you order vegan you most often just get some slices of fresh fruit.
How to order vegan food on flights
- Ask your airline representative or travel agent if they offer a vegan option, and how close to departure you have to order the meal. Some of them require you to do it at time of booking, while for some you can order up to 48 hours before your flight.
- Order your meal. There is a meal code consistency among airlines, set by International Air Transport Association (IATA). They stand for what type of meal it is. These are the most common vegan options:
Vegetarian Meal (VGML)
Also known as a vegan meal. Completely free of animal products. This is the one I like to order.
Raw Vegetable Meal (RVML)
A vegan meal consisting only of raw vegetables and salads.
Fruit Platter (FPML)
Seasonal fresh fruit.
- When you are on the plane, a flight attendant will come to confirm your order. When you get your food you will see the IATA meal code. Make sure it is the correct one.
- Eat slowly and mindfully to improve digestion and enjoy your meal fully.
- Bring some vegan snacks. The food provided may not be enough to make you full.
As with anything, diet and how we approach it is different for everyone. What may work for someone may not work for you.
A good idea is to try a vegan diet before you fly for at least a day.
The way your body responds can range from an elated feeling of health all the way to stomach cramps and prolonged hunger as your body adapts to new nutritional requirements.
Nonetheless, for those experienced vegans out there, an idea is to fast during flights. Although I don’t personally do it as it makes me feel unwell, there are many people who find fasting helps them feel less jet-lagged and bloated when they arrive.
Food for thought! Feel free to share this article if you found it helpful.
This was written by Julia Lundin, an ex-Google employee turned digital nomad with the mission to help people step into their purpose and awaken their power.