Airplane Lunches Past And Present

I spent my junior year of high school in Strasbourg, France as a Rotary Club exchange student. As you can imagine, I have a lot to say about it. Although high school happened a long time ago for me, I have a spooky-good memory, plus I tend to save evocative bits and pieces – souvenirs that sometimes come in handy when I want to fully describe a situation. Case in point: I tucked away a couple of TWA menus from my (coach) flight over to France. You’ve got to see them because they are definitely a blast from the past.

main menu Gotta love the soft drinks served with the Captain’s compliments.


Also love the wine list. Can you believe this was in coach? Wonder what was going on in first!

wine and champagne And of course the perfect finish to a fine meal – duty-free shopping.

twa 2

I had a lot of delicious food in France, but one of the meals I remember most was the meal I had on the flight over. (In case you are wondering, I chose the beef brisket). I was so excited to be going “abroad” for a year by myself. I felt incredibly sophisticated and chic, and very adult.

These days, my in-flight meals are usually not as glamorous or memorable. However, lately I’ve been making an effort to step up my game: I started packing bento boxes for myself and my family when we travel. It takes less time than you would think. If you pack a work lunch for yourself, or school lunches for your kids, you can pack a bento box for the plane.

All you need is a divided Tupperware container and some leftovers or lunch fixins’, and you’re good to go. If you want to get cute, you can find cool containers on etsy and ebay, or in Japanese dollar stores. I like the classic, simple ones:


Just open the fridge and get busy. If you need inspiration, try That chic is awesome! Check out this lunch she packed:

Screen shot 2013-05-07 at 10.33.27 PM

Another good idea is to wrap the entire thing in a tea towel, which doubles as a nice big napkin.

I know what some of you are saying: is she crazy? I thought she was just saying that she has too much on her plate (no pun intended)!  Why doesn’t she just buy a sandwich at the airport and call it a day? To which I answer: yes. However, good food is important to me, sandwiches at the airport taste yucky, and sometimes, when I unwrap my delicious lunch, I am reminded of the day that I set off on my first great adventure, all those years ago.

Bon appetit.


  1. That menu is amazing. Airplane food has gone the same way as school lunches since I was a kid and it’s lame.
    Can you pack a bento box for my next flight please?

  2. Great ideas here. Our fallback has been to purchase two Subway sandwiches, usually the night before!!!!

    You’ve given me food for thought.

  3. pinkisnice says:

    Wow. Not only could you smoke on the plane, but you could buy a whole carton right from your seat! I remember my mom would sit in the smoking “section” and my dad, sister, and I would sit in non-smoking a row in front of her. Seriously?! (For my plane trips these days, I always over-order take-out the night before and wrap my flight feast in a ziplock to hold the trash when I’m done.)

  4. Rebecca says:

    I love this!!
    1) I love looking at menus – hey, food is my hobby! What a treat to review an actual menu from the 1980s? (guessing based on the wine year and menu style)
    2) Love the wine selection, in particular I love Rodney Strong’s wines and how cool not to see his wine’s, but his name as winemaster (perhaps this was before his line?). Super cool. I’ll take a glass of cab plz.
    3) Bento boxes – what a good idea for travel! I love that you show a Tupperware “bento box” – interestingly enough, SOMEWHERE in my storage, I have an almost identical Tupperware like this. I cant remember if I used it as a sewing box (maybe that was my mom – she had one too, it was brown) or what. Anyway, maybe this will incent me to go find it! Most of the time, I’m packing an hour before I need to head out for my flight. I try to always keep extra bars in my travel backpack. If I can find that Tupperware and pack it with yummy leftovers, ohhhh that will be awesome on my next trip. Thanks for the idea!!

  5. Points Pixie says:

    Peter – Agree about the school lunches!

    Anne – Once you start making bentos, you can never go back!

    pinkisnice – Yikes about the smoking section!! Sounds like you already have a great system for plane lunches.

    Rebecca – Yes, the 80’s! That is cool about Rodney Strong. Haha, had to laugh about the Tupperware. My mom also had one in brown!! And yes – I love real Tupperware, it is the best. You know they replace it for free if it ever “chips, cracks, or peels.” 😉

  6. schmerj says:

    Sanka! Mmm… The only thing missing is Folger’s!

  7. Points Pixie says:

    schmerj – haha! The best part of waking up 😉

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