Best 'Snack Food' on Airlines

Times are tough on the tarmac. Seats size and spacing have shrunk. Fees have grown. Flight attendants are more likely to publicly shame you for overloading the overhead compartment than volunteer to fix you a martini just the way you like it. But not all airlines have given up the ghost on board. Little things, like top-shelf local gins in the complimentary drinks cart, or handmade shortbread just because, remind us how fulfilling air travel can be. Here are some carriers providing satisfying snacks on a plane.
British Airways
Like a Colin Firth film, the vibe on British Airways is always irrefutably English. All cabins nosh on complimentary fruit and nut mix from the UK grocer Waitrose while sipping Twinings tea. Club Kitchen cuisine, available in Business and First Class, serves handmade shortbread from an artisan bakery in Devon, as well as pastries from Beckleberry’s, Cadbury chocolates and a selection of regionally inspired scoops from London’s, The Ice Cream Union.
JetBlue Airways
Perennially popular domestic carrier JetBlue is serious about snacking. No matter the length of the flight, JetBlue attendants complement the drinks cart with a basket of always appealing snacks, like lightly salted cashews, animal crackers and rather sharp Terra Blue chips.
Singapore Airlines
The gold standard of snacking in the sky is on board Singapore Airlines. In addition to the sort of ludicrously well-stocked drinks cart the airline has an array of complimentary “Light Bites” available at any point between meals. Forget overpriced snack boxes with disorienting, toothpaste-shaped hummus packets; think Singaporean fish porridge, vegetarian noodle soups and earthy edam cheese atop cumin-spiced bread.
Air France
Believe in breakfast. Air France flies through nearly six million pastries each year in order to provide all cabins with a complimentary hot morning mini-meal, like flaky croissants or pain au chocolate. Sure, breakfast on board is not exactly an early morning stroll to Poilane. But spreading warm orange marmalade on a buttery French pastry beats weak coffee and an $8 pre-packaged muffin any day of the week.
Etihad Airways
Snack with a sense of purpose on Etihad. The airline recently spearheaded an organic farming initiative in its native United Arab Emirates, adopting 200 free-range hens and a colony of honey-producing bees to provide sustainable ingredients for Diamond First Class dining. Next up will be a line of signature pickles made from organic, locally grown paprika, chili, onion and dates.
Turkish Airlines
Complimentary Champagne and aperitifs in economy? Free soup service, ice cream and platters of hot and cold mezze for all cabins? On Turkish Airlines, expect the unexpected. And don’t deplane without trying the airline’s rich Turkish coffee, which may just be the best cup you will drink at 30,000 feet.
Hawaiian Airlines
From its hub in Honolulu, Hawaiian Airlines serves over 20 domestic and international destinations. The breadth of service and multicultural makeup of Hawaii itself is reflected in complimentary onboard snacks like dried mango strips, macadamia nut clusters, pork wushi and savory pandesal, a handheld salted bread snack that is the Philippines’ answer to ham-and-cheese-on-rye.