Skip to main content
Part of complete coverage on

Flying foodies soar as in-flight food ratings rocket

By Lauren Said-Moorhouse, for CNN
September 25, 2012 -- Updated 1608 GMT (0008 HKT)
A passenger was served a Philly Cheese Steak who described it as "a little messy, but quite good" and rated it seven out of 10. A passenger was served a Philly Cheese Steak who described it as "a little messy, but quite good" and rated it seven out of 10.
HIDE CAPTION
Delta Air Lines
Lufthansa
Thai Airways
Thai Airways
Air Dolomiti
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
>
>>
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Food-lovers have been posting snaps of their culinary choices in a new social media craze
  • Now the trend has reached the frequent flyers who are critiquing their in-flight meals
  • Airlinemeals.net has received 26,000 photos from travelers using over 600 flight operators

Business Traveller is a monthly show about making the most of doing business on the road.

(CNN) -- We've all seen it before -- you're in a restaurant and the person at the table next to you has their camera phone out and is happy-snapping their chosen dish before uploading it to one of the many social media sites out there.

Food lovers the world over are now taking their cuisine-capturing antics to the skies as airlines find more and more of their dishes are ending up online.

Airlinemeals.net is one such site that travelers are posting their pictures to and with over 26,000 photos and counting of more than 600 flight operators, the industry is taking notice.

Obsessed with food photography?

Read more: Why travel snacks matter

Ten years ago Marco 't Hart was in a long-distance relationship which saw him flying every six to eight weeks. On one such flight he took a picture of his food at the behest of his inquisitive parents.

Weeks later curiosity lead him to the internet to see if others were doing the same and he found around 20 images. After seeking the image owners permission, he thought it would be fun to put the pictures on a website and airlinemeals.net was born.

"[I was] amazed at first, as it was never set up to be as big as it is now. After that it became clear there was a demand for this site, so I kept developing it, trying to inform people as well as I can," 't Hart told CNN.

Watch Richard Quest photographing his food in New York

85 years of airline meals

There was once a time where the words "in-flight food" induced involuntary shudders from frequent flyers and nightmarish images of shapeless, gray meat drearily covered in dubious-looking sauce with a rock-hard bread roll and tasteless cake as side dishes. 't Hart says it is because of the unpopularity of certain foods that the site became so successful.

He says: "Ten years ago this was one of the first websites that gave people the opportunity to share and leave feedback at things from every day life. The site gave people a place to complain. Besides that people enjoy looking at some of the odd images."

Read more: Airlines use social media so you don't travel alone

The website's success has even caught the attention of airline catering companies who he says use the site in a different way to frequent flyers.

"Airlines and crew also use the site as a tool to educate their people and to read responses from travelers."

Along with the emergence of flying food critics, the increased popularity in airline review websites like Skytrax and Skyscanner have caused airlines to make a concerted crack at improving in-flight gastronomy.

Especially in the business and first-class cabins where travelers have seen flight operators bringing Michelin-starred chefs to reinvent their food for offer.

You can also follow AirlineMeals on Twitter.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
November 14, 2014 -- Updated 0633 GMT (1433 HKT)
Eurostar, the high-speed train company connecting London with Brussels and Paris, has just upped its game.
October 20, 2014 -- Updated 1407 GMT (2207 HKT)
Japan is set to make its mark in the skies with its first new commercial jet for over 50 years, the Mitsubishi Regional Jet, aka the MRJ.
October 4, 2014 -- Updated 0516 GMT (1316 HKT)
Think hotels are deliberately blocking your personal Wi-Fi networks so you'll buy theirs?
October 31, 2014 -- Updated 1749 GMT (0149 HKT)
How would you like to trim three hours off the current commercial jet flight time between Paris and Washington, D.C.?
October 3, 2014 -- Updated 1443 GMT (2243 HKT)
It's been a big week for makeovers in the world of aviation.
August 29, 2014 -- Updated 1525 GMT (2325 HKT)
Aviation isn't known as the most eco-friendly industry; running an airline produces an incredible amount of waste. But some are doing something about it.
August 19, 2014 -- Updated 1514 GMT (2314 HKT)
Airports aren't exactly stress-free zones, but drones, tracking and virtual reality could help make them better places.
August 12, 2014 -- Updated 0906 GMT (1706 HKT)
In many ways, airplanes are a retailer's dream come true. They serve a captive -- often bored -- audience with a disposable income.
July 30, 2014 -- Updated 1835 GMT (0235 HKT)
Takeoff on one of Airbus' new A350WXB test planes is a strangely quiet experience.
July 30, 2014 -- Updated 0034 GMT (0834 HKT)
What do you pack when you travel? Take a look inside other people's luggage.
July 17, 2014 -- Updated 0339 GMT (1139 HKT)
Few airline routes are as cutthroat as the one between London and New York.
July 15, 2014 -- Updated 1515 GMT (2315 HKT)
If it ain't broke, don't fix it, the old adage goes; Airbus unveils revamped A330 airliner.
July 8, 2014 -- Updated 0248 GMT (1048 HKT)
Show us how you travel with twitpics and instagram via #howipack
ADVERTISEMENT