Healthy Eats at 35,000 Feet

Monday October 8, 2012 / Posted by Patricia C.

If the world were fair, food consumed while traveling would have no calories. If you’re anything like me when running to catch a flight (toting a carry-on in obvious violation of the size limit and compulsively responding to work email on my phone), you may ask: who has time to make healthy decisions and count calories when they are on the road? Just in time for the waistline minefield of pumpkin pie and stuffing this holiday season, we’re launching a new Travel Light in-flight menu to give flyers access to better and tastier options on-the-go. The menu offers healthier in-flight meal options complete with nutritional information listed on the Red™ screen – so you can know what you are committing to before tapping the order screen. And you can have your cake and eat it too – as the new menu offers a couple of pretty mouthwatering options curated by Gilt Taste in our San Francisco test kitchen this summer – like the roasted pear and arugula salad.

As the only airline headquartered in California, it’s only fitting that we use sustainable and fresh ingredients, including local fruits and vegetables, cage-free eggs, premium meats and artisan breads.  So, it’s no surprise that our focus on a fresh, diverse range of menu options helped us capture the “Best Domestic Airline for Food” award in Travel + Leisure 2009 World’s Best Awards.

The new Travel Light menu debuts this month and is available on-demand on the Red™ in-flight entertainment platform – which allows you to order direct from your seatback any time during a flight – which I have to admit is one of my favorite features onboard.    And in case those chocolate chip cookies do catch your fancy later during the flight, you can swipe your credit card once via our “open tab” feature to help keep your options open.

Our latest menu is available through the fall season. Meal and snack selections featured range between $3 and $9 for Main Cabin guests and are complimentary in Main Cabin Select. Choices vary by route, but Travel Light options include:

  • Roasted pear and arugula salad: Curated by Gilt Taste – crisp romaine and baby arugula salad tossed with diced brie cheese, red grapes, toasted almonds and topped with fig mustard-roasted pears and served with olive oil and balsamic vinaigrette.

  • Protein plate: Chipotle lentil hummus served with whole wheat pita, carrots, celery sticks, muenster, cheddar, sliced turkey breast, a halved cage-free hardboiled egg and red grapes.
  • Artisan cheese selection: A selection of artisan cheeses including creamy camembert, muenster, cheddar and smoked gouda – all served with red grapes, apricot, fig and Rosemary Lavosh crackers.

  • Holiday turkey sandwich: Curated by Gilt Taste – thick cut nine-grain bread with a fine herb spread, piled high with oven roasted turkey, spiced cranberry chutney, sage stuffing, crisp green leaf lettuce and creamy havarti cheese.  Served with chocolate nibs for dessert.

And here are a few snack options:

  • Barbeque Popchips:  These chips bring savory flavor and less than half the fat of fried snacks.
  • Emerald Mixed Nuts: Take your mid-flight break with the simple, savory snack that’ll really keep you going.
  • 479° Popcorn Fleur de Sel Caramel: A delicious mix of sweet and salty – organic popcorn in buttery caramel with a sprinkle of Fleur de Sel on top.

What are your favorite in-flight meal or snack options? Tell us in the comments below.