When you’re trying to get the most out of a flight, you might consider selecting a special meal for the journey, even if your diet doesn’t require it.
Whether you go for seafood, vegetarian, or kosher, requesting something other than the standard meal may seem like a good way to mix things up — or get something to eat that isn’t mass-produced.
According to Nik Loukas, who has worked in the flight industry for over a decade and runs a successful travel website, these special meals normally have “a little more love and care” paid to them, as they’re made individually.
Still, he would never order one.
Speaking to Business Insider UK, Loukas said that people looking to get a free upgrade on their flight should never even think about requesting a special meal.
“If there’s a special meal request in your booking, the airline won’t even look at you (for an upgrade),” he said.
“Because you’ve got a dietary requirement, and they might not be able to cater for you if they upgrade you,” he explained.
Formerly a cabin crew at Australia’s flag carrier airline, Qantas, Loukas now operates InflightFeed, a blog dedicated to reviewing plane food, so he’s well placed to know the ins and outs of how food works in the air.
He’s even crowdfunded over €10,000 to film a documentary that ‘will lift the lid on airline meals.’
Loukas added that he wouldn’t request a special meal because he knows how much effort goes into creating them.
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