Health & Fitness

Is This The Worst In-Flight Meal Ever? Chinese Airline’s ‘Monstrous’ Breakfast

  • Feb 24, 2024
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Is This The Worst In-Flight Meal Ever? Chinese Airline’s ‘Monstrous’ Breakfast

We’ve long been on the lookout for some of the travel industry’s bests and worsts. Take this business class layout with “coffin seats” or this first-class meal choice as prime examples. This week, however, we’ve uncovered a new contender for the worst in-flight meal of all time…

There’s no denying that airline cuisine often leaves a lot to be desired, but one content creator’s last flight might take the biscuit for the worst in-flight meal ever. Nicola Easterby, a 29-year-old from London, shared her encounter with a “monstrous” macaroni and cheese topped, weirdly, with shrimp and “slimy” mushrooms. Even stranger than the combo itself was that the airline served this meal… for breakfast.

Easterby, who was travelling with her husband James from the UK to Australia for a surprise visit, documented every step of the culinary misadventures on their 28-hour journey from Italy to Brisbane. The couple had sensibly opted for the budget-friendly £500 (approx. A$960) ticket, only to be rewarded with a string of equally unappetizing meals.

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The first meal, a tuna fish pie which apparently emitted a less than pleasant aroma, accompanied by vegetable couscous and a pear and ricotta crumble, set a low bar from the off. Easterby rated it a meagre two out of 10, lamenting the “sad” couscous salad and calling out the crumble pudding as the meal’s only redeeming feature and “just a lot better than everything else.”

Sadly, the situation worsened dramatically when, after an eight-hour respite, they were served noodles and a pasta salad for breakfast:

“I thought the salad component of the meal couldn’t get worse than that couscous salad, but I was proved wrong…”

Nicola Easterby
@polkadotpassport I finally know why China Eastern flights are so cheap ☠️ #chinaeasternairlines #chinaeastern #airlinefood #airlinefoodreview #planefood ♬ La vie en rose (Cover Edith Piaf) – 田东昱

The final straw, however, came with the wildcard breakfast of shrimp-topped mac and cheese with slimy mushrooms. Unable to stomach more than a single, reluctant bite, Easterby described it as a “monstrosity.” In China Eastern’s defence, her husband, possessing an admirable appetite, managed to eat the entire meal.

Despite the surprisingly spacious economy seats, the food left a sour taste in Easterby’s mouth that no amount of legroom could override. She advised any future passengers of China Eastern to “pack your own snacks” and shared her relief at finally enjoying a nice meal with her family after landing, revealing a particular penchant for her father’s roast leg of lamb.

China Eastern Airlines did not respond to requests for comment on the matter.


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