For the last four years, expert traveler Nik Loukas has hopped on hundreds of flights just to sample their culinary offering. He started collecting menus and soon built these into his website, where he now catalogs his own flights and helps train airline staff to serve, sell and generally make the inflight food experience better. Since the blog was founded in 2012, he's taken over 400 flights, tallying up to more than 400,000 miles - or 17 times around the world.
Now, around 50 per cent of the flights that Loukas takes is centred around food and he would also travel with a specific airline just to try their meals. He said: 'My partner is always complaining that I'm always going somewhere.' There's constant innovations in the airline food world that Loukas wants to explore.
Along the way, he's eaten everything from steak and lobster to satay and sushi - and he can certainly tell you which airlines have the best, and the worst, food. Some of these meals are offered in economy while others are served only in business or first class, and meals may differ from flight to flight. In any case, though, the picks prove that everything we know about airplane food can be completely ― and deliciously ― wrong. Take a look:
SAS - unappealing pizza.
Air India - Loukas was disappointed to find that the second meal was a meagre croissant.
United Airlines - A mystery filling of mixed vegetables, creamy sauce and what must have been chicken in another life, the whole thing was tasteless and looked really bad.
Thai Airways - Pork with noodles, a salmon salad and plenty of fresh vegetables.
Asiana Airlines - Korean Rise Porridge with beef and vegetables, served with assorted side dishes.
Hong Kong Express - Dim Sum set.
Peach Aviation - Japanese pancake, comes with barbecue sauce, bonito fish flakes, seaweed and Mayonnaise.
Lan chile - Iberico Ham salad served with Las Doscientas Chilean Balsamic dressing, a warm bread roll and for dessert a very tasty fruit cheesecake.
Pegasus Airlines - Steak with grilled vegetables, potato bake and Turkish salad.
EVA Air - Creative, colorful, entertaining and large potioned. 'The pasta and meatball option was tastier than the pancake option'.
5. Turkish Airlines - Chicken salad, cheese sandwich and chocolate mousse on Turkish Airlines (Economy class). “Best economy class food in the world I would say!”
4. FlyNiki - The best chicken schnitzel and Italian antipasti platter.
3. Japan Airlines - Braised Meat & Potatoes, Nikujaga with Green Soybean Rice.
2. Aegean Airlines - Chicken salad, Grilled fillet of chicken, Greek pastries with an Illy coffee.
1. Singapore Airlines - Nicoise salad with marinated seared prawns, hot fried pork with Chinese vegetables and Haagen Daz dessert.