Travel SOS: Which airline has the best food?

Paul has had a gutful of terrible plane food and wants to know if there are any airlines that make it more palatable.

Which airline has the best food?

Paul has had a gutful of terrible plane food and wants to know if there are any airlines that make it more palatable.


Q. Paul
I know it can’t be easy to prepare meals for a plane-load of people on an international flight, but some of the food I have eaten when I have flown has been downright horrendous. I have had soggy burgers, powdered mash potatoes, and stale rolls, and that was just last year. Which airlines offer the best food choices?

flight attendant serving food

A. Food can be extremely subjective, but your horror experiences are unlikely to please anyone.

There are, however, awards that are handed out for airline catering and these are broken down into the various class categories, with no one airline dominating across all classes.

Singapore Airlines was one of the most consistent last year, finishing second in first class, premium economy and economy class catering and finishing sixth in business class catering.

Air France was rated best first class, All Nippon Airways was voted best business class, Austrian Airlines won best premium economy and EVA Air won best in economy.

Here is the full list for the 2019 awards as voted in the Skytrax World Airline Awards.

Best First Class Onboard Catering 2019:
1. Air France
2. Singapore Airlines
3. Etihad Airways
4. ANA All Nippon Airways
5. Oman Air
6. Lufthansa
7. Qatar Airways
8. Emirates
9. Qantas Airways
10. British Airways

Best Business Class Onboard Catering 2019:
1. ANA All Nippon Airways
2. Qatar Airways
3. Hainan Airlines
4. Austrian Airlines
5. Turkish Airlines
6. Singapore Airlines
7. Qantas Airways
8. Oman Air
9. Etihad Airways
10. Emirates

Best Premium Economy Class Airline Catering 2019:
1. Austrian Airlines
2. Singapore Airlines
3. Air New Zealand
4. Virgin Atlantic
5. Aeroflot
6. Air Canada
7. Qantas Airways
8. Azerbaijan Airlines
9. Air France
10. Lufthansa

Best Economy Class Airline Catering 2019:
1. EVA Air
2. Singapore Airlines
3. Japan Airlines
4. Thai Airways
5. Qatar Airways
6. ANA All Nippon Airways
7. Turkish Airlines
8. Qantas Airways
9. Lufthansa
10. Emirates

What are your best and worst airline eating experiences?

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    To make a comment, please register or login
    15th Feb 2020
    I'm amazed Qantas even made it into the top 10 in any class.
    15th Feb 2020
    Yes I am amazed about Qantas as well there service and food are terrible also you might get a decent dose of Coronavirus from some of there planes as they have been flying people out of China recently
    15th Feb 2020
    I had always believed that Singapore airlines had good food, and that had always been my experience previously. However, my experience travelling from Australia to Vietnam a couple of years ago was horrendous. I am vegetarian, and had ordered as such - was presented with slab of tofu, a handful of rice and a few peas. Bland and tasteless. Most disappointing.
    15th Feb 2020
    I would like to say I am amazed that Qantas made it in the top ten. Than I don't believe the chart either. I am a frequent traveler, I would suggest Air France and Lufthansa in First Class would be appropriate in he first spot. Lot of talk about Singapore Airlines just flow from JNB via SIN to SYD in J class. The food served was not other airlines would talk about, dry fish overcooked meat.
    Another airline what is got in catering is Jordanian Airlines in J class.
    15th Feb 2020
    I flew Cathay a few years ago. Got upgraded to Busines, and had the best inflight meal ever. A choice of fillet steak or crayfish. Wow! My wife chose one and me the other, and it was lovely.
    15th Mar 2020
    We flew to UK return with Cathay business last year, no complaints.
    Two years before with Austrian business, they actually came around with a staff member who had a European chief's style hat on to ask how we wanted our eg steaks cooked!
    15th Feb 2020
    I could not care less which airline has the 'best' in-flight catering, but I am vitally interested in which airline has the best 'in-flight' safety record. I have traveled on several airlines, including Wallaby Airlines, and as long as I walk away from the aircraft after landing I am satisfied irrespective whether I have a boxed meal or silver service.
    15th Feb 2020
    Maybe many won't remember but i always thought Ansett provided the best food, economy or business class but that was more than 20 years ago so things have changed a bit. Perhaps that is one of the reasons they went broke.
    Clearly Qantas is a superior airline these days, not necessarily because of the food quality (though how would a passenger know the source and safety of the food they are eating on a plane?) because it gets you to ground guaranteed in one piece and consistently scores in number 7 or 8 under the description of "best food " . Having read many restaurant assessments i do wonder who it is that is assessing the food "quality". How subjective can you get?
    15th Feb 2020
    I have never understood how Singapore Airlines always gets such high ratings. I have flown with them business class, premium economy and economy and I have consistently found their staff indifferent, service mediocre and food very ordinary. In fact the food in premium economy is the same as economy, if it isn't it must now be pretty awful in economy. The only benefit of double the economy fare premium economy with SA is a larger seat and more legroom.If you fly the four legs to Europe and return it's like flying three different airlines with SA service within and out of Singapore airport the worst.
    Easy Rider
    16th Feb 2020
    Should I mention "Grinders Coffee?"...Sorry I just did...wash my mouth
    out with turps.
    16th Feb 2020
    my worst meal was on an internal Chinese flight with Dragon Air, Beijing to Shanghai...the locals loved the meal by the way....they served up a 'burger' which sounded good but was a meat? pattie wrapped in foil (no bun) which when opened smelt so bad my nasal passage closed over and my eyelids lost a layer of skin.....this was followed by a snack pack of dried squid with the texture of cut toenails and no taste whatsoever as my saliva and teeth were not strong enough to extract any flavour. I dared not swallow the stuff in case it sliced open my throat on the way down.
    16th Mar 2020
    What about Thai Airways?
    Was it included in the survey?
    Has anyone travelled on this airline and what are your opinions?

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