Vegetarian meals on board
Most airlines offer a wide range of special meals for their passengers with special dietary habits.
Generally this option is free of charge and available both in economy and business class. The service should be requested in advance, preferably when making the booking, or at least 24-72 hours before the flight. The requirements are different, so check with your airline for their rules.
Image from Turkish airlines website
Vegetarian special meal codes
There is a worldwide four-letter abbreviation system used by the airlines to designate special on-board meals. Totally 7 different types of special meals are suitable for vegetarians.
Description of vegetarian special meal codes
Special meal codes corresponding to major vegetarian diets
In fact special meal provided by some air companies may contain unwanted ingredients, so be careful. For example, VGML may contain non-vegan products, and some companies consider VJML as VGML. For details check the description of vegetarian meal on the official website of your aircraft to be sure that you will get what you want.
The largest international airlines overview
The information has been collected from the airline companies. It’s provided for your reference only. All information is subject to change.
In order to avoid any surprises check the booking requirements in advance. It is more secure to request special meal when making the booking. If you buy a ticket via travel agency, inform your travel agent about your diet type. It would not be a bad idea to call the airline directly to confirm your special meal reservation.
At check in make sure that your boarding pass has a special meal mark on it. For example, that’s how Thai Airline boarding pass with a special meal record looks like.
How to bring your own food on board
In case you were not able to place a special meal request for some reason, there is no problem to take your own food on board provided that it is wrapped or packed in a plastic container. Keep in mind that only drinks bought after passing security are allowed.
If you had an interesting experience of special meal request, please share with us in the comments below.
Interesting fact to finish up with: on board food seems tasteless because some taste sensors do not work high up.
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