DietDetective.com ranked 12 airlines based on their onboard meal and snack choices.
MEN'S FITNESS Editors 1 / 12
Imagine—airplane food that doesn’t make you wish you’d crashed before the meal service (that is, when they even offer a meal service).
Yes, once again Virgin magnate Richard Branson proves he’s not a guy who quits while he’s ahead. Not only does his budget-fare Virgin America treat even lowly coach passengers to touchscreen entertainment, charging ports, and free live satellite TV, it also serves food so tasty and healthy it wins awards.
For the third time, Virgin has won dietdetective.com’s annual airline-food survey, with 41⁄2 stars out of 5. Singled out were Virgin’s breakfast (Udi’s granola), snack box (hummus, nuts, and tuna), and meals like grilled chicken with hummus and a nutrient-rich veggie wrap.
Check out the other airline food champs and, well, the bottom feeders. All airlines are ordered according to their rank, per DietDetective.com. They ranked the airlines based on the healthiness of the meals and snacks they serve economy-class passengers on domestic flights. Aside from the macros, an airline’s cooperation in providing nutritional information was also factored in. "Healthy standouts" were abridged from DietDetective.com's "Best Bets."
Healthy standouts: Pump Up meal box (Mary’s Gone Crackers-Original, olives, hummus and raisins), Eat Up Café options (which include Yogurt and Granola), the Kale & Quinoa Salad, the Spicy Soba & Korean-Style Chicken, and the Veggie Platter.
Healthy standouts: Opt for peanuts as your free snack; LUVO Grilled Chicken Wrap on westbound flights and the LUVO Roast Turkey & Havarti Wrap for eastbound flights are great lunch options; and the LUVO Quinoa Crunch Wrap Snack Box is a solid dinner choice.
Healthy standouts: For breakfast, choose the Greek yogurt parfait or egg sandwich (low in cals even with bacon); opt for the Celery & Carrots with Ranch Dip as a snack (but limit yourself to half the dip); and go for the Chicken Club Wrap at lunch/dinner.
United Airlines comes in fourth place with 3.25 stars.
Healthy standouts: Get the Tapas snack box (almonds, olives, hummus and bruschetta) but toss the cheese spread; choose the Fresh Start Breakfast Selection or oatmeal for breakfast; and your best bet at dinner is the wrap and salad combo.
Healthy standouts: Choose the Mediterranean Tapas for a snack box (olives, hummus, almonds, dried fruit, and dark chocolate); grab the Fruit and Cheese plate for breakfast (eat half the cheese and crackers); for dinner, try the Homestyle Chicken Dinner.