Flying is one of the most magnificent technological feats of our time. Dating back all the way to 1903, the Wright brothers would perform the world's first successful flight. Today, just a bit over 100 years later, catching a long flight to anywhere in the world is just as common as taking a train or a bus. Entire industries were built around flight, from airplane manufacturers to franchised restaurants in airports across the globe.
And not to be cynical, but you'd think that with all of this innovation and advancement, we'd have better snack choices when flying. In 1919, the first-ever airline meal was served on a flight from London to Paris. To know that they had a piece of fruit and a sandwich, compared to today's usual fare, seems like we took a step back.
Sure, almost all airlines will give away a free pack of pretzels or crackers, although we'd hardly say that's as nice as fresh fruit and a delicious sandwich. For people with certain food allergies, airline snacks can cause a huge problem, especially if you didn't bring a snack of your own. And we're sure you've heard people joke about "plane peanuts" being a lackluster choice for snacks, especially for flights that were just short enough to not provide in-flight meals.
Plane peanuts, which were first popularized by Southwest Airlines in 1970, allowed airlines to dramatically reduce costs since prepackaged peanuts were cheap, shelf-stable, and were "a much more nutritious snack" than... well, not eating at all.
A Lack of Options
Today, peanuts aren't a popular choice for in-flight snacks. In fact, many airlines have outright stopped serving peanuts altogether. Some will allow passengers to board a flight early to wipe down their seats in order to better combat anaphylactic reactions, and others will refrain from serving nuts if a passenger informs the airline of a potential allergic reaction.
On the one hand, peanuts were pretty beneficial to those without nut allergies but who suffered from gluten intolerance since peanuts are naturally gluten-free. On the other, they posed a potentially deadly threat to those with peanut allergies. Now, it's most common to receive the aforementioned pretzels. While this is a good thing for those with allergies, it's not good for gluten intolerance.
Seemingly, something as simple as snacking can become a major pain when traveling. It's unfortunate that there aren't more inclusive options for travelers, especially those that catch multiple flights or who must catch a red-eye. Some airlines have the option to request a gluten-free meal, but flight changes, delays, and plain-old human error can make this option less than reliable. The shops and restaurants at airports aren't usually stocked with many options for gluten-free foods, either.
There's also the invisible airport tax, a universally acknowledged conundrum where almost everything at an airport costs more money. This is due in part because airport vendors pay a premium for retail space and pass those costs directly to customers in the form of $6 bottles of water and $20 hotdogs.
All that to say: If you don't want to fly for several hours while hungry, your best option is to bring your own snacks.
Planning Goes A Long Way
The lesson here is pretty simple, even if it's not always the most efficient choice. If you have food allergies or intolerances, you must rely on yourself to ensure that you've got enough snacks to cover your and your loved ones' flights. This may not be a huge issue on a three-hour flight from Virginia to Florida but could be devastating on a 20-hour flight from the US to Australia.When in doubt, grab a Lenny & Larry's Keto Cookie™, a low-carb, gluten-free, vegan delight to calm hunger pangs with filling plant-based protein and slow-burning fiber.