Blog Archives

Just try to resist making little plane noises. We dare you.

[image of salt and pepper cellar in the form of a clear plastic propeller aircraft] "The salt and pepper shaker is a little plane!" -Robert A on Virgin America on Routehappy.
Aren’t those Virgin America salt shakers awesome? (Did you know Virgin Atlantic‘s have ‘pinched from Virgin Atlantic’ on the bottom to give light-fingered passengers a laugh? See what else Routehappy’s CEO Robert A got up to on his flight!

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Posted in Airline, Flyer tips, Food, Virgin America

Airplane food can make you happy: Singapore Airlines and Gotham Bar & Grill

We’re always on the lookout for things that make you happier inflight. And one of the ways to happiness, we know, is through your stomach!

That’s why inflight food is one of the Happiness Factors we’re thinking about adding to Routehappy. We already track aircraft type, seat type, seat layout, entertainment, power, Wi-Fi, duration and connections, plus a flyer rating from real travelers just like you.

Read more about Routehappy’s signature Happiness Factors!

As part of our research, the folks at Singapore Airlines suggested that we come watch new dishes for their onboard menus being developed by the team at Gotham Bar & Grill, a New York institution.

Chefs at Gotham Bar & Grill work with Singapore Airlines to create innovative inflight food.

Three of the Gotham chefs were cooking and plating up potential options for the three chefs on the Singapore Airlines side.

The trick for food in the air is to aim for umami. That’s the rich, savory taste that you’d find in soy sauce, parmesan cheese, soup stock, and so on.

That’s because taste buds don’t work the same at 8,000 feet of altitude (that’s the equivalent to what you’d find inside most planes these days) as they do at sea level.

Singapore Airlines' chefs take great pride in figuring out how to translate food from kitchen to plane.

But, as British chef Heston Blumenthal explains in his work helping British Airways with their food, adding umami makes food taste much better in the air.

The food we tasted with Singapore Airlines was very umami-rich — a stuffed veal with marsala wine reduction and roasted (nearly caramelized) vegetables, for example.

Singapore Airlines' veal with marsala wine looks delicious.

Or a skin-on chicken breast with onions and a crispy polenta cake. Yum.

The key to keeping chicken tasty in flight: the skin.

And let’s not even talk about the desserts. If the pineapple cremeux with Thai green curry ice cream (yes, really — it was insanely great!) doesn’t make it on board then there’s no justice in the world.

Yes, Thai green curry ice cream. Sounds insane, tastes insanely good.

Yep, this is very much food for the front of the plane. But the principles of adding umami are the same for those of us who travel down the back too.

And as we tasted and chatted with the Singapore Airlines chefs, one of the most interesting things we observed was how much thought they were already giving to assembling each dish on board.

Singapore Airlines' chefs are careful to ensure that the dishes can be replicated on a plane.

A professional chef is just fine with eight to ten steps from pan to plate. But when your chef is a flight attendant, with just convection ovens, steam ovens and a microwave to make your restaurant-quality dinner — and serving dozens of other people in the cabin too — it’s clear why the team at Singapore Airlines are so keen to make the food elegant, delicious and simple.

The phone camera: tool of choice for today's modern airline chef.

Our favorite part of the process? Chef Chan taking pictures with her Galaxy Note tablet-phone. No, she’s not Instagramming this — it’s so that she can teach her crew how to replicate each step of the process.

We’ll be bringing you more on inflight food and other Happiness Factors we’re developing for Routehappy. Keep in touch with us here on the Routehappy blog, join the conversation on Twitter, or follow our Facebook page. We’d love to hear what makes food on a plane great (or gross!) for you.

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Posted in Food, New York, Routehappy favorites, Singapore, Singapore Airlines

Seriously, look at that gourmet business class food.

"I remain consistently impressed by the Lufthansa dining options." -Seth M, in business class, EWR-FRA, on Routehappy
Want more of Seth M’s reviews and gorgeous photography? Or feel like learning more about Lufthansa? Routehappy has you covered.

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Posted in Flyer tips, Food, Frankfurt, Lufthansa, New York, Postcards

No, you can’t get a borscht-accino.

"You can tell you're in Russia when you see coffee and borscht advertised together." -Vicki M at Moscow Domodedovo Airport on Routehappy
Borscht-accino or not, our star reviewer Vicki M has some great insights on flying Aeroflot (really!). See what other reviewers say on Routehappy, or download the Routehappy Reviewer iPhone/iPad app and review while you fly.

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Posted in Airports, Flyer tips, Food, Moscow, Postcards

Wow, Virgin America, that looks delicious!

[First class airline meal on Virgin America] "Delicious stuffed squash, warm raisin & olive roll, very good white wine, almond cake for dessert." -Robert A, Virgin America First Class, on Routehappy
Yum! Find out more about what you can expect on Virgin America, or read more reviews (and see more real-world pics) from Robert A.

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Posted in Flyer tips, Food, Genius tips, Postcards, Virgin America

Kudos, Delta, that meal looks really good!

[Delta first class food on a tray] "Nice to have a meal on a short flight. I was thrilled not to have the same old snack basket." -Vicki M, in Delta domestic first class, on Routehappy
See what else people are eating on Delta flights, or read more expert reviews from Vicki M.

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Posted in Airline, Delta, Flyer tips, Food, Genius tips, Postcards

Putting the “ooh la la” into “inflight food”.

[image of Air France economy food tray] "Meal was very pleasant for Economy Class. They also offer champagne for free if you want it." -Jason L, on Air France from Paris, on Routehappy.
Bon appétit, Jason! Don’t forget that there’s a lot more Air France reviews to gnaw on when you’re done.

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Posted in Air France, Flyer tips, Food, Paris, Postcards

Good, solid, Irish fare on board Aer Lingus.

EI: Aer Lingus Irish airline: "Bar service (pay for alcoholic drinks), lunch (beef or chicken), coffee and tea, a scone for tea time before landing, and more tea and coffee. The food is good, nothing outstanding, and you can pre-order fancier meals and the normal special diet meals when you book online." -Taylor M, Dublin to Boston Logan, Aer Lingus Economy, on Routehappy. Fly better.
Heading across the Atlantic? Aer Lingus can be a real hidden gem. Read more about it in expert reviews (with great photos) from Taylor M!

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Posted in Flyer tips, Food, Routehappy favorites

Hot chocolate, in an awesome airline mug!

[Fun cartoon airline mug] "Try the Hot Chocolate! Very nice." -Jason L, Virgin Atlantic Upper Class, on Routehappy
Love those mugs, Virgin Atlantic! Hey, flyers — take our Routehappy Reviewer iPhone app with you to share the fun stuff you see the next time you take to the air, and check out more of Jason L‘s great reviews in the meantime.

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Posted in Flyer tips, Food, Genius tips, London, Virgin Atlantic
Routehappy helps you fly better.
Now everyone can find shorter flights with roomier seats, on nicer planes, with better entertainment, plugs, Wi-Fi and more — from better airports.

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 • Read the Routehappy launch press release

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