Supplementing Airline Rations

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On long flights, sometimes it gets to be a long time between food, or you just get hungry.

  • Keep a couple of energy bars in your carry-on.
  • A bottle of water is also a good idea because cabin air is dry. Some insist this is imperative because dehydration will cause major flight fatigue and also weaken the immune system. One becomes more vulnerable to illness since the recirculated air is filled with hostile microbes from other passengers.
    • Do not drink water from the taps under any condition. Go back to the flight attendent area, and ask for an entire bottle of distilled water for yourself (no need to wait for refreshment time).
    • Infectious cabin air is a myth; it's just really dry. All commercial jets use HEPA filters to remove dust and microbes, and most manage to keep enough fresh air flowing to avoid stuffiness. Dehydration is the main immune crisis, followed by stale air (too much CO2). Drink water constantly, and avoid caffeine and alcohol. (Remember the Burning Man mantra: piss clear.)
      • "If the air smells bad or feels stuffy -- a sign of stale air -- complain to the flight attendant. On some planes pilots can control the mix of fresh and recycled air. (The pilots aren't affected by the stale air problem, because the cockpit has a separate ventillation system, as mandated by FAA regulations.)" -ibid. When we sense that the air is bad, there is a biologically valid reason: our evolutionary conditioning is alerting us to the possibly harmful contents of the air.
  • Don't take bananas - too squishable.
  • Nuts and Raisins are a good snack food to take, but it's a good idea to put the bag of nuts inside a resealable freezer bag or something.
    • Peanuts can cause death to your fellow passengers with severe peanut allergies (this is why airlines now pass out pretzels). Don't allow them to fall onto the floor, etc.
    • The last thing you want is peanut debris in the bottom of your backpack.
  • It is not advisable to take extra food onto flights with destinations in Australia. Quarantine restrictions mean that you will be required to dispose of fruit and other foodstuffs when you leave the plane, even if you are only crossing state borders within Australia (there are special sniffer beagles in most airports to catch people carrying unauthorised food!). Any decent carrier will let you have a snack out of normal meal times on a long-haul international flight. So unless you have particular medical needs, you really only need extra food on budget domestic carriers.
  • A shortcut to making a long train or plane trip extremely memorable is to bring enough food to share. I discovered this trick accidentally when I made the stupid American mistake of forgetting how many pounds were in a kilo. Our impromptu buffet proceeded to transcend language barriers for the rest of the night. I have sometimes deliberately done this since on transpacific flights. Of course, be sensitive to cultural barriers and offer hospitality without offense taken if refused. --Jeff Porten 03/26/05 01:27 AM EST
    • Though on the other hand, one of the most common travel safety rules is to never accept food from others on a train. Most people are just friendly nice folk trying to make new friends, but there are others who give out drugged food on trains, robbing people once they are knocked out. This caution of course does not apply on trains without compartments, where each carriage is open and visible, with a layout like a plane. So the US and Australia, for instance, are safer places to accept food, but don't do it in Europe or Asia. Crocodile Punter 01:51, 3 February 2007 (EST)
  • Bottled water can always be purchased at the departure gates (the other side of security), so I don't bother packing one. I buy a bottle before boarding the plane at each leg of my journey and finish each before the plane lands, that way I force myself to stay hydrated during the whole journey. --AP 12:05, 4 Apr 2005 (EDT)
    • Also, some security regimes won't allow you to take unsealed liquid containers (e.g. Starbucks cups, Nalgene bottles) through security.
  • On a recent trip to Canada and back, I got flagged for supplemental customs inspection because the bag of food I was containing for the trip included two oranges. I'd arrived early, so the extra inspection delay was only a minor inconvenience, but it's possibly a good idea to avoid fresh fruit, vegetables or other produce if customs inspection is a consideration. --Tammycravit
  • Some budget carriers won't let you take your own food on the plane. You'll have to resort to covert methods to eat on such airlines (short of buying their food). One technique is to get a window seat, and eat an energy bar while pretending to dig through your bag. --Benjaminong 23:57, 24 May 2006 (EDT)
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