Eating Vegan at 30,000 Feet
The holidays can be a stressful time for everyone, especially when you add traveling to the mix. The last thing that you want to be thinking about is where your next meal is going to come from. While flying, you may not be able to control who’s snoring in the next seat, but you can guarantee that there will be a vegan meal in front of you. Here are some tips for enjoying a cruelty- and stress-free flight!
If you’re jetting across international waters, all the major airlines offer vegan meals upon request. If you didn’t submit this request when you purchased your ticket, be sure to call the airlines at least 72 hours before your flight, and then confirm your meal again while checking in at the airport.
Since no airline offers complimentary meals for domestic travel, you can either purchase a snack on board or bring your own. Major airlines—including American, Continental, United, Delta, Jet Blue, and US Airways—all sell mixed nuts and chips for $3 to $5.
For a longer flight when a quick snack won’t suffice, your best bet is to bring food from home or purchase some at the airport. You can bring food from home?! Yup, you read that right. The security agent might give you a pat down, but he or she will also give you a free pass on homemade food. Since knives, forks, and soups will be thrown away at the security checkpoint, whip up a delicious vegan sandwich. A hero sandwich, an avocado Reuben, and a crunchy vegetable wrap are all excellent options because they are quick to make and easy to eat and won’t send wafts of curry or garlic down the cabin.
If you’ve got no time to make a sandwich before you’re sandwiched into a plane, you can always dine at the airport. The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine surveyed the nation’s busiest airports and assessed their vegan options. The top five performers were Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport, San Francisco International Airport, Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport, and Newark Liberty International Airport.
Even your local airport is sure to have vegan options—just check its restaurant directory. Order veggie sushi at a Japanese restaurant or a vegan pasta primavera at an Italian spot, or head to the airport Starbucks and pick up an all-vegan bento box.
With a little planning, you can fly during the holidays with a full stomach and a clean conscience.