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Airline Food a la Pandemic

Food service gets faster and simpler on international flights as airlines adopt a minimum touch protocol for flight service. Everything is in a protective plastic wrapper or box.

On a recent 13-hour flight from Istanbul to Los Angeles, this is what we received. Two meals were served, a dinner and a snack. Flight crew and passengers all wear masks and are given a little bottle of sanitizer an extra mask for the long flight.

No more running up and down aisles asking passengers what they would like to drink or eat by flight crew.

In-flight meals are pre-packaged with no choices for the cabin passengers. Flight crew push a cart down the aisles handing out boxes or bags. It is a fast delivery. For drinks small bottles of water are handed to everyone.

This does give the flight crew more time to enforce mask rules and perform regular restroom sanitation. Masks must be worn at all times except when eating. There is even a broadcast suggestion that passengers in the same row take turns unmasking to eat if they are not traveling together.

Here is dinner service on a 13-hour flight to Istanbul on Turkish Airlines. It looks like a beautiful box of chocolates, with a juice box, roll with cold cheese, tomato and chicken, a piece of brown cake and some unnamed yogurt-like pudding.

Snack service comes in a sealed paper bag. Lest you think the paper bag means a less fancy meal, guess again.

The bag snack contains the same items as the dinner box, minus the yogurt sauce.

Snack roll with cheese, tomato, juice box and a small piece of cake. Bottled water is handed out separately to all passengers. It’s not particularly filling or fancy, but on a 13-hour flight any sustenance is appreciated!

Service is pretty quick, a walk down the aisle passing out meal boxes.

This was the experience in October and November on Turkish Airlines.

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Sennaya is produced by David Owens. A place for thoughts, news and analysis from various points of view.
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