Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Science Explains Why Airline Food Tastes So Bad

Bad airline food is nothing new. It's one of the favorite complaints among passengers, along with cramped seats and full-body cavity searches from the TSA.

But maybe the airlines aren't totally at fault. And maybe the food service companies they buy their food from isn't at totally at fault either.

Science finally has an explanation. No, they didn't figure out what that mystery meat is. This is actually quite interesting and something I'd never even considered.

According to this article on Fox News' website, the altitude plays a major factor in how your food tastes at 35,000 feet.

“Your ability to taste food and wine decreases thirty-percent at altitude,” says Talling-Smith. Howard Hillman’s The New Kitchen Science (Mariner Books) confirms that flying decreases not just taste bud sensitivity but sense of smell.
 “Cabin pressure,” writes Hillman, “decreases the volatility of the odorant molecules,” meaning there’s not a whole lot of aromas at altitude. (Ever notice that it gets stinky when you start de-planing?) Further, the cabin’s ultra-dry atmosphere “dehydrates the entire body” and also “impairs the passenger’s olfactory sensory mechanism,” i.e. ability to smell.

The article goes on to explain that drinking diuretics like coffee and alcohol can amplify the problem even further.

If you were to taste the food on the ground, it might not be all that bad.

At least one airline, British Airways, is trying to "pump up" the flavor of their onboard meals with more herbs and spices to try and make the food a little better when served to passengers.

So the next time you fly and are choking down a piece of rubbery chicken, don't blame the airline. Blame the altitude.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Frontier Airlines Upgrades Their Inflight Entertainment Offerings

Frontier Airlines will be upgrading their inflight amenities, according to a press release published yesterday on their website.

Most of the changes involve offering more programming to their inflight entertainment line-up. Of course, there's a cost to passengers. The airline will be charging from $3.99 to $7.99, determined by the length of your flight.

The press release outlines their changes:

“We constantly hear from our customers how much they appreciate the option of our DIRECTV® service onboard our Airbus fleet and we are happy to provide an even better product at a better price,” said Dan Krause, Frontier’s vice president of marketing and customer experience. “The bundled pricing for both 24 channels of DIRECTV and movie service provides a greater value to our customers and we believe the variable pricing based on length of travel will allow even more customers to enjoy this service on their next Frontier flight.”


The new bundled product will be included in all Classic and Classic Plus tickets, as well as for Frontier’s EarlyReturns® Ascent and Summit members. Customers purchasing Classic and Classic Plus fares – which are only available at – and flying on Airbus aircraft will now get access to movies as well the 24 channels of DIRECTV, further increasing the value of these fares, which also include two checked bags, lower fees, and access to better seating.
I'm usually not one to take advantage of the inflight entertainment when I fly. Most of the time I either work, read or sleep. The biggest exception is when I listen to the "in the cockpit" channel on the headphones. But with Frontier's lineup of DIRECTV entertainment, it'd be hard to pass up, especially on flights longer than 3 hours.

Photo Credit: redlegsfan21 via Creative Commons