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Plane Food for a LOOONG Flight--Frozen pastrami?

We're flying to South Africa. The good news is that it is non stop, the bad news is that it is a 15 hour flight. The surprising news is that only two meals are served; lunch on takeoff and breakfast an hour before landing. This was pretty surprising to me, especially since it is such a long flight and we're going business class.

I want to take snacks on board. We have pastrami(from Katz's!) that is cooked and sliced that we vacuum sealed and froze. What do you think about taking it on board along with rye bread and mustard? Since it is frozen, I wouldn't need ice packs. Would it be "safe" to let it defrost at room temperature?

Thanks for input.

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  1. It seems as if from what you are saying the flight is over night? So about half of those 15 hours should be during sleeping hours?

    Regardless of that I'm sure you will have to check with customs if bringing food of this nature is allowable. Frozen foods are generally not considered "snacks" I'm also unsure if they would allow mustard on board.

    The frozen pastrami should be find to "thaw" at room temperature to answer that question directly. Although I'm not sure this is the wisest idea.

    39 Replies
    1. re: jrvedivici

      The flight leaves at 11 AM and lunch is served right after takeoff. It seems like a long stretch not to have something to eat in the evening, before we (try to) sleep.

      1. re: DaisyM

        Which airline? I assume you are not a regular international business class flyer (apologise if you are for the basic info):

        If you are in business they will serve a fairly large lunch/dinner after take off with a big selection of drinks and wine (and if it is SA Airlines it will be a good selection) - it's often a starter, selection of bread, main course, cheese, dessert and chocolates.

        After this they will dim the lights to allow sleep, then they wake you up for breakfast before landing - in SA most international flights come in early in the morning.

        I am pretty certain all airlines in business have a range of (free) snacks available, including sandwiches and maybe some simple hot food (e.g. pies, pot noodles, panini), plus nuts, fruit, biscuits, candy bars etc etc. You can ask the cabin crew for these, or they may have a help yourself larder. Often the "light snack" options will be in your menu as something to order if you are hungry.

        Breakfast will be a selection of foods, including juices, yoghurts, pastries, fruit, and a hot meal.

        Trust me flying business class means you don't go hungry or thirsty.....even with the US carriers I have tried.

        And if you want something just ask.

        1. re: PhilD

          We fly internationally at least once a year, but this is the first time to South Africa. I had read a couple of blogs regarding this flight (the only non stop flight from the US to Johannesburg) and read comments about 2 small meals and snacks of oreo cookies or something like a hot pocket. Both of those people were flying business class. I called the airline and that was confirmed. So, I just wanted to make sure we had enough food...especially if one of us isn't able to sleep well.

          1. re: DaisyM

            I'd advise bringing non-perishable protein-containing snacks that you can bring through customs if you don't eat them on the plane... commercially bagged trail mix, and stuff like that. The pastrami is okay, although you'll have to discard anything you don't eat because processed meats aren't allowed through customs, but I'd do crackers instead of sliced bread and mustard - trying to make sandwiches on a plane can get real messy!

            1. re: Kajikit

              I can't actually find anything that says that about any food products for South Africa. And I don't think making a sandwich harder than any of the other things one gets served. Butter, salad dressing,etc.

            2. re: DaisyM

              Ok - but it does seem really odd. I don't think I have ever come off a international business class flight hungry and SAA has reasonable reputation.

        2. re: jrvedivici

          Well, OP isn't going to bring the food into another country but rather eat it on board so customs isn't an issue. One isn't limited to "snacks" at all. I regularly take sandwiches on planes. Also, as long as it's under 3oz of mustard (and that's a helluva a lot of mustard!) it's not a problem.

          1. re: c oliver

            Sandwiches and snacks yes, a frozen block of pastrami? I'm not sure how they would react. lol

            Hey why not bring a lottery machine on board and open up an in flight bodega!

            1. re: jrvedivici

              No different than the two dozen bagels we brought back from NYC recently. Oh, yeah, and we carry on A BUNCH of those little miniature liquors :) Woo hoo!!!

              1. re: c oliver

                On our most recent family trip home from Aruba, mom was in a wheel chair due her declining health. Being in a wheel chair in an airport you get the VIP expedited treatment so we were always playing catch up with her. Once we got to the final security check/body, baggage scan etc. mom was waiting for us with her airport employee escort......as I approached mom had a 3/4 full .750ltr f Stoli Vodka she had in her room for bloody mary's etc. but didn't finish. They wouldn't let her past security with it so she had it out and said; "Oh I forgot to give this to you when we checked our bags"..........taking the bottle from her I looked around at the various posters and signs that said no more than 4 oz of liquid etc. and proceeded to chug the rest of the bottle there at security. By the time anyone could say anything it was all gone.

                I had also previously filled my flask with vodka before leaving the resort to hold me over during the flight, everyone said I was going to get caught. Attached is my photo evidence at sneaking my stash past security. I wish someone had gotten a picture of me chugging the stoli at the gate.

                1. re: jrvedivici

                  We do refill five or six each of the miniatures with Scotch for Bob and vodka for me. We're quite discrete in using and always buy one when its not free. Even on international flights these days, a lot/most of the US carriers are charging.

                  1. re: jrvedivici

                    I was once going through TSA with my wheel-chair bound mother. We did not know it at the time, but there was a TV video production crew at that TSA location. Six months after my mother died, my father saw her on 60 Minutes. Lesley Stahl did a segment on the TSA. She said, "they even search old ladies in wheel chairs". And all we got to eat was either cookies or pretzels.

                    (Did you really chug more than a 1/2 liter of vodka?)

                    1. re: John E.

                      John amazing you share your story......what I didn't mention in my original story is I lost my mom just over a month after we returned from that trip.

                      Yes, I did chug that much vodka straight, and might I add it was in her bag in 90 degrees heat for a good hour or two prior to chugging it. It was not a something I would recommend, mom got a kick out of her son doing something outrageous as I've spent most of my life doing.

                      In all honesty John, I've been a functioning alcoholic all my life so stunts like this aren't exactly new. I'm not proud or bragging just being brutally honest.

                      1. re: jrvedivici

                        Condolences about your mother. I just got off the phone with my snow bird father. He's having a martini and porterhouse steak right now (doing well at 82.)

                        1. re: John E.

                          I thought martinis were like potato chips --- you can't have just one.

                          1. re: c oliver

                            The custom in his retirement park in Arizona is to meet for 'social hour' at 4:30p (actually 90 minutes) with snacks. So it's a 2 drink minimum. Then they generally skip supper. I guess there wasn't a gathering tonight.

                          2. re: John E.

                            Thank you for the condolence.

                            Your father is everything I aspire to be! Do me and your father a favor, have a martini with him, indulge in his enjoyment.

                            If you were anywhere within my real world realm I would buy that drink for the two of you.

                            Enjoy, God Bless

                            1. re: jrvedivici

                              Condolences regarding your mother.

                          3. re: jrvedivici

                            I'm always amazed at the "advice" to limit alcohol consumption on airplanes. What the hell else are ya gonna do? Complain about food smells :) J/K. Our upcoming trip to Europe will involve multiple cocktails preflight, more once airborne and an Ambien. Oh, right, and the percocet for my newly diagnosed (likely) rheumatoid arthritis. No, I won't be operating any heavy equipment.

                            1. re: c oliver

                              I'm honestly surprised in today's climate that they allowed me to board the plane. Once we cleared security our flight was delayed about an hour, so we now had 2+ hours to "kill" in the terminal. My daughter is 18 (legal to drink in Aruba) my son 16 (not legal but looks it and was getting served and walking into casino's like he was the Aruban Wayne Newton) so I decided to have a going away party at the terminal bar for the two hours before boarding.

                              To say I was pretty well buzzed up would be an understatement.....

                            2. re: jrvedivici

                              Thanks for the explanation. I had just done the calculation and was thinking that if I chugged .56 liter of vodka at the gate they would have had to use a stretcher to get me on the plane, with a stop at the nearest emergency room.

                              1. re: Querencia

                                For full disclosure purposes I could also add I'm 6'4 and 310lbs which also allows me a slightly higher tolerance than most people.

                            3. re: John E.

                              OMG, John! As I was reading through this thread, the discussion of TSA screenings made me think of my grandmother and the 60 Minutes segment of YOUR mother. This happened to my grandmother also.

                              TSA singled her out. They made her get up out of her wheelchair, she had to be helped up by two agents and then patted down. She is old as shit now and at the time it happened, she was 92 or 93????

                              I think it was last year I was at my parent's apt. and saw the 60 Minutes repeat. I pointed at the screen and said, "Look, that happened to grandma!" LOL

                              Little would I know it was your poor mother on that segment!

                              1. re: mushroomaffairs

                                I was with her and they would not allow me to help her to standup. By that time in my mother's life she had dementia and was calling for me out loud and the TSA agents would not let me come to her. It still makes me tear up when thinking of that experience.

                                The good thing is we got reheated grilled cheese sandwiches on that flight.

                            4. re: jrvedivici

                              Why won't this reply below Jrvedvici of being in the airport with his mom in a wheelchair.To the point. Bravo, Standing ovation. Still clapping........Taking care of their mom.

                            5. re: c oliver

                              Our traditional bag of carry-on liquids includes 3.4 oz. bottles of vodka with the toothpaste, etc. Found some reusable bottles in the travel aisle at Target. Those, along with Laughing Cow "cheese", triscuits and a plastic knife make our cocktail hour if we have to fly coach. (Which with airlines being ever more stingy with mileage awards is often.)

                              1. re: gourmanda

                                I just refill the miniatures and make no attempt to hide them. Never have had a problem. There's no rule against carrying them on so security shouldn't and hasn't had a problem with it. WE'RE the stingy ones with our miles. Would never use them for business, much less first.

                                1. re: c oliver

                                  The only concern is the limit on liquids allowed via TSA rules. We don't hide them either, I can just take more in the 1quart bag in the larger size reusables.

                                  1. re: gourmanda

                                    I'm going to take a look at some of those.

                                    1. re: gourmanda

                                      I once got an unopened jar of peanut butter confiscated and another time my tube of toothpaste was apparently too large. Meanwhile, I once accidently carried onboard a folding knife with a 6" half-serrated blade. It got through TSA and I did not discover it until two days later.

                                      I miss the good old days where they actually served meals on domestic flights. These days we usually eat at the airport and then have some snacks on the plane.

                                      1. re: John E.

                                        They still serve meals. You just pay for them in economy :) Airlines have monstrous expenses and I think paying for meals is an easy way to save some.

                                        1. re: c oliver

                                          The only flight I usually take these days is a 3-1/2 hour flight from MSP to PHX and they offer pre-maid sandwiches and snacks. We can get better food at the airport.

                                          1. re: John E.

                                            Oh, I totally agree. When a Pringles "event" occurred on a flight recently, I did pay a stupid amount :) But, yeah, either bring from home or buy at the airport. And as a side note, I got a great rec on the SF board for a breakfast burrito that was top notch.

                                            1. re: c oliver

                                              The airport in the Twin Cities is one of those airports where they got local resaurants to open up outposts at the airport behind the TSA checkpoint. There are lots of choices for good food that isn't fast food or from chain restaurants. We actually go to the airport more than three hours before flights just to have a good meal before we get on the airplane.

                                              I remember as a young child when the stewardesses handed out half-sized pieces of Wrigley's chewing gum to all passengers to chew because the DC-3 cabin was not pressurized. I remember the candy machine at our little airport, but nothing about the food served on the airliner.

                                              My only airline food memory from my youth that I can recall is a flight from Anchorage to Seattle when I was seven years old. It was an evening flight and I remember they served potato salad at midnight. My mother made me and my oldest brother eat a bite of the potato salad while our middle brother was sleeping. We both still remember this almost 40 years later. (Both of us detest mayo.) My big brother brought this up for some reason while I was visiting him in the hospital. (He was/is recovering from kidney cancer surgery. The good news is they told him his chance of the cancer returning is 1%. I'll walk around with a 1% percent chance of cancer anytime.)

                                              1. re: John E.

                                                We'll keep our fingers crossed for your brother.

                                                After almost missing a flight from Rio a few years ago, we now ALWAYS, 100% of the time, clear security right away. So anything pre-security never clears our radar.

                                                1. re: c oliver

                                                  I haven't been on an international flight in a while. I do remember a flight on Air Moldova (the second smallest of the Soviet states) where we boarded the airplane via the tail, like a Boeing 727. The airplane was a Soviet made Yak 42. The cabin interior looked like a Greyhound bus. There was a shelf above for carry-on luggage.

                                                  It was also general admission seating. I went to my assigned seat and somebody was already there. I ended up at the front bulkhead window seat where my knees were against the bulkhead and my head was bent so it did not touch the interior of the cabin. 

                                                  Thankfully, it was only a two hour flight. The food service was excelllent. They served cold roast pork, dark bread, a cheese and fruit plate, crackers, cake, red wine, and coffee. It made up for the poor seating.

                                                2. re: John E.

                                                  Agreed on the good restaurants at MSP. The only time I make it to French Meadow is if we are flying. Parking is already taken care of! And we purposely make sure we need to pick of a sandwich there.

                            6. re: jrvedivici

                              I checked on frozen food for a domestic flight and had no problem taking a frozen cooked(low & slow)Pork roast for pulled pork to my Mom's.
                              TSA was prompt in their reply. And it was in my carry-on, no pulled pork for larcenous baggage handlers!!
                              Check with customs. Sure sounds good to me!! Yum. Hope it flies/flys?

                            7. Please consider the "aroma" factor. How about something like non-stinky cheese and crackers instead? Fruit (likely have to leave any that is uneaten on board)?

                              6 Replies
                              1. re: gourmanda

                                Do you think it will be a problem since the meat will be cold not warmed up as we would usually eat it?

                                1. re: DaisyM

                                  It will definitely smell. I've done this before and tried various means - and it always smells. Everything in the air will have a stronger aroma. I give this a definite thumbs DOWN.

                                  1. re: cresyd

                                    We did this with cold cures meats going from Seattle to Baltimore and it reeked! I was embarrassed but at that point we were already on the plane and it already smelled so we went ahead and ate.

                                    Just don't do it. There must be something substantial yet benign you can bring instead.

                                    1. re: melpy

                                      My specific flight in question was Brussels to Tel Aviv - I could not believe how much it smelled. Luckily it was a flight without too many religious passengers so I didn't have to deal with being mortified by the smell combined with being uncomfortable of offending a large number of religious people.

                                  2. re: DaisyM

                                    Yes, sorry DaisyM, but I do think the smell will be a problem. Granted you are further apart from each other in Biz but it's still going to be unpleasant for others.

                                  3. re: gourmanda

                                    I agree, first thing I thought was OMG that smell when I'm trying to sleep!

                                  4. based on the amount of salt in the meat it probably is safe.
                                    It's a pretty aggressive odor though in tight spaces

                                    1. First of all, I'd doublecheck that meal info. We've gotten three meals in economy on 'only' eleven hours from Munich to SF. But, yeah, your pastrami will be fine. Unless you want to have a flight attendant cut the package open, I'd open it and just rewrap in plastic wrap and then put that in a zipping bag. Sounds like a great meal and your fellow passengers will be jealous :)

                                      1. The surprising news is that only two meals are served; lunch on takeoff and breakfast an hour before landing.

                                        Although there will be only two cabin services, there will be unlimited snacks and beverages available from the service bays. I would suggest you bring dried fruit, assorted nuts and maybe some jerky instead.

                                        1. I flew to South Africa from DC recently and it was an overnight flight so 2 meals made sense. I will say that I would not have appreciated someone next to me eating pastrami. I just bring nuts and granola with me on long flights and I'm fine.

                                          1. Have you taken the flight before and know there are only two meals? My flight to beijing at 13 hours only lists two but there are always three; the pilot refers to one as a snack (in economy its always a cup of ramen soup and a sandwhich with meat in it... its quite filling).
                                            In business class I wouldnt worry about it ... if you want something extra they will give it to you.

                                            Fruit like oranges are the best snack to bring because they are juicy and airplanes are dry.

                                            Its extremely rude to bring something as smelly as pastrami on a flight.

                                            17 Replies
                                            1. re: kpaxonite

                                              I don't find it rude at all Airlines are frequently serving omelets for breakfast and MWd eggs are far more offense than any pastrami could be. IMO of course.

                                              1. re: c oliver

                                                When the airline does it to the whole plane it isnt rude, when a single passenger fills a cabin with the smell of food they are eating it is.

                                                And seriously video gamers etc ... in the middle of the night playing on your laptop at full volume when everyone is asleep in a dark cabin...wear headphones!!!

                                                1. re: kpaxonite

                                                  In your opinion :) I also find MWd chicken to be less than wonderful smell. Would far prefer luscious pastrami.

                                                  We're on multiple overnight international flights every year and have never had that problem with noise. IF it ever occurred the flight attendant would put a stop to it.

                                                2. re: c oliver

                                                  No airline meal has ever had so strong an odor as cured meat will. I've bought duty free cured meat that I kept wrapped the entire flight - and it still stank up the overhead bin.

                                                  Smells will be way stronger and there's no way to crack a window. I can not advocate against this strongly enough.

                                                  1. re: cresyd

                                                    Well, let's remember that OP isn't asking IF s/he should bring it on but rather how.

                                                    1. re: c oliver

                                                      Actually the OP asked if it is safe and depending on how upset other passengers are, it might not be.

                                                      1. re: c oliver

                                                        One of the questions was if it would be safe - the other was "What do you think about taking it on board along with rye bread and mustard?" - and my thoughts are, it would be bad idea because the smell will be incredibly strong.

                                                  2. re: kpaxonite

                                                    Actually, oranges are kind of awful because they have a particularly strong odor that is often less pleasant to the person not eating them.

                                                    Grapes, blueberries, apples, etc. are all better choices, smell-wise.

                                                    1. re: Lizard

                                                      See? It's that whole "trash/treasure" thing. I'd rather smell pastrami than a banana :)

                                                      1. re: c oliver

                                                        No bananas please! I won't even let my family bring a banana in the car and when you are left with the peel...gag. I like the taste but the smell of someone else's food can truly be nauseating and bananas are particularly offensive.

                                                      2. re: Lizard

                                                        Fresh oranges are not usually allowed as carry on items. There are agricultural rules about fresh produce.

                                                        1. re: John E.

                                                          I'm not aware of that. Carrying ON is one thing. Carrying OFF, due to customs, is something else. Could you elaborate please?

                                                          1. re: c oliver

                                                            Its usually an issue of fruit fly transmission for oranges so in some countries you can't take fruit interstate (even in a car).

                                                            Most countries won't allow fresh fruit/vegetable matter in (nor diary/meat) products due to bio-scurity issues like foot and mouth disease.

                                                            And generally its not customs there are now quarantine officers in some countries who X-ray all baggage on entry to check for contraband food.

                                                            1. re: PhilD

                                                              We live in NorCal and have "bug stations" as we cross in from other states for agricultural checks. I've not seen such a thing on flights. But sounds like you have. I defer to you.

                                                              1. re: c oliver

                                                                It may not be obvious - the dogs sniffing your luggage whilst you wait in the arrivals hall are not just looking for drugs (as often assumed) they are often looking for illicit imported food.

                                                                I have seen food bins like the ones in California in Adelaide and the roads into South Australia as its a large agricultural area.

                                                                1. re: PhilD

                                                                  I'm VERY conservative about anything I want to take in or bring out. Best that way.

                                                          2. re: John E.

                                                            I've brought oranges, apples and bananas ON to international flights originating both in the US and Europe.

                                                            It's the getting OFF with them that's an issue. The beagle sitting patiently next to me while I waited at the baggage carousel was cute, though.

                                                      3. If you're in business class, they will feed you :-) Trust me. They will offer several snacks.

                                                        14 Replies
                                                        1. re: arashall

                                                          I had read reviews about this flight and did call up the airline and indeed it is just 2 meals. The "snacks" will be half sandwiches if requested. Other people who have taken the flight have noted that it was not a lot of food for such a long flight.

                                                          I'm hearing everyone regarding the pastrami! Believe me the ticket was very expensive whether you were flying biz or coach! I certainly don't want to ruin anyone's flight because of the aroma. So I won't bring the pastrami.

                                                          1. re: DaisyM

                                                            I wouldn't bring it- if you decide you don't want to eat it, that's good pastrami gone in the garbage. We recently took a 9.5 hour flight and didn't eat most of what we brought

                                                            1. re: DaisyM

                                                              I used to fly that route years ago when it was not non-stop, but had a refueling only stop on Il de Sal in the middle of the Atlantic. I often brought deli sandwiches with me to eat. I prepped and froze them in then saran wrap and placed into double ziploc bags.
                                                              I never found them odorous, as they were not being served heated and came onboard frozen in a small insulated zippered bag. Fellow passengers didn't complain, they seemed jealous.

                                                              And as for comments made about never experiencing these types of odors from airline foods. I can say from experience some of the smells, not aromas, from airline food in the subcontinent, Africa and South Anerica back in the 70s and 80s could turn any American stomach.

                                                              1. re: bagelman01

                                                                I just wonder how much CHs are paying attention in airports. Pizza is a VERY common thing that people carry on.

                                                                And does any one consider that people of different ethnic and dietary backgrounds could consider any number of things really unpleasant.

                                                                1. re: c oliver

                                                                  I can't remember which airport we were in (Pgh?) but there was a California pizza kitchen that was boxing whole pizzas for carryon. A lot of people were bringing them on the plane and I remember wishing I had, too.

                                                                  1. re: DaisyM

                                                                    And if I smell that pizza (or the pastrami sandwich), it's going to smell damn good to me :)

                                                              2. re: DaisyM

                                                                I'm very surprised that a 15 hour flight only serves 2 meals plus snacks. I regularly fly a 19 hour trip on a popular international carrier -- the 14 hour flights will serve 3 meals (usually dinner, breakfast and a "light meal"), plus they walk the aisles during sleep time with a basket of chips, muffins, stuffed buns, fresh fruit, etc for people who are awake and would like to munch on something. The 5 hour second leg serves 1 meal plus light snacks like chips and fruit are available upon request.

                                                                I wouldn't bring pastrami -- that's a smell that lingers. I'm one of those people that's really sensitive to smells, and it drives me crazy when people bring things like hard boiled eggs and pizza into closed quarters. I was on a flight a few months ago where the guy a couple seats away from me brought a bunch of hard boiled eggs and was munching on them during the flight. Our whole area smelled like farts and stink bombs. I kept getting up to walk around just to get away from the smell! Luckily, one of the attendants came by with some some of air freshener (not strong smelling though, more like an odor eliminator) which got rid of that egg smell.

                                                                1. re: boogiebaby

                                                                  I guess all the pizza places in all the airports better shut down. Oh, yeah, and my favorite breakfast burrito place in SFO would be offlimits. While the attached link isn't limited to food that people carry on, it gives a good idea.


                                                                  I find more and more often that perfectly normal people get extremely unfriendly about anything regarding food and airplanes. Things we wouldn't think twice about on the ground seems fraught with potential angst at 35,000'.

                                                                  1. re: c oliver

                                                                    Food to eat during a layover (per the link you attached) and food you eat at 30,000 feet in the air are different. In a plane, strong smells have nowhere to go.

                                                                    People should have some courtesy when deciding what to bring on a plane -- a dozen hard boiled eggs should not be eaten on a plane because they are very odorous food. You bring a breakfast sandwich with ham, egg and cheese -- not a problem. But you bring a dozen eggs that smell like farts, yeah, I'll give you a dirty look every time our eyes meet. I think a lot of people have the entitlement thing happening ("I can eat whatever I want on a plane") but I bet if I brought some strong smelling shrimp curry or something doused in fish sauce and proceeded to eat it in flight, I'd be pissing some people off. It won't kill you (and by that, I mean general you, not you specifically) to skip the strong smelling foods for a few hours and eat something milder smelling, like some grilled chicken or a ham and cheese sandwich.

                                                                    1. re: boogiebaby

                                                                      No, I understand that those are 'sit down' places but plenty of people carry those things on also. We connected through Houston (IAH) a few years ago after an all night flight Because it was July 4 the barbeque place was open super early. While others were having Cheerios and bananas, we shared a pound of ribs and beer :) The only "looks" we got were envious ones! BTW, I don't think bananas always smell that great :)

                                                                      1. re: c oliver

                                                                        I hate bananas. The smell and the texture aren't appealing to me at all! (pun unintended) LOL

                                                                  2. re: boogiebaby

                                                                    I'm one of those people whose really sensitive to CERTAIN smells. What really gets to me is nail polish and rose based perfumes (and all over-applied cheap scents).

                                                                    I can be sitting in row one and a female in row 52 is bored on a 14 hour flight and decides to paint her nails. I get sick from the fumes. Too often on long flights passengers will takeout a purse spray to 'freshen up' since they've been traveling untold hours since last showering and putting on freshly laundered clothing. I'd rather smell pastrami or curry.

                                                                    And back in the day (70s and 80s) when I made by-weekly NY-Europe trips airlines sold duty free on board and ladies would love to try out that new bottle of Parisian Perfume bought from the purser. I OTOH would be cracking a bottle....................

                                                                    1. re: bagelman01

                                                                      They're still selling the perfume and its still getting worn :(

                                                                    2. re: boogiebaby

                                                                      I was surprised, too! But I called the airline to confirm. Only 2 meals and a snack of half sandwich if you request it. And that's in business class!

                                                                2. I can definitely sympathize with you not wanting to go hungry. For me, packing snacks is one of the best part of any trip (air, road etc.). Whether it be a 2 hour trip or a 20 hour trip – snacks are always involved!

                                                                  I usually default to something that’s not messy, non stinky and very easy to eat. Have a great flight!

                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                  1. re: pumpkinspice

                                                                    Thank you! I'm excited about the trip, but am always nervous about flying. 16 hour flight and then a tiny plane with 10 seats. UGH!

                                                                    1. re: pumpkinspice

                                                                      I find the dinners have way too much food. So the packets of cheese and cookies go into my bag for additional snacks.

                                                                    2. Pastrami is cured and smoked. It'll keep a few hours.

                                                                      I'd make a sandwich with the mustard between the meat(rather than on the bread) and bring it aboard wrapped up like the lunch it will be.

                                                                      TSA won't care. People do it all the time.

                                                                      SA customs won't care because it'll be inside you.

                                                                      1. I would def bring more than just a usual granola bar or whatever, but I also def would not bring pastrami.

                                                                        I seriously would bring something benign like a turkey and swiss sandwich, maybe some pretzels, some protein bars. Something that doesn't smell.

                                                                        1. It's ok to bring pastrami, etc, with you. You should plan to consume it completely in the air. (We had beef jerky taken from us in New Zealand, but had eaten most of it during the flight, so not a big deal).

                                                                          Can't bring mustard, it's a liquid, unless you've got it spread on the bread already.

                                                                          I have brought BBQ sandwiches from home, dressed with sauce, etc, with no problem. Carried them for a half day with no ill effect.

                                                                          13 Replies
                                                                          1. re: jeanmarieok

                                                                            Practical travel tip: When you are walking a hotel hall, keep a lookout for room service trays on the floors in the hall with unused ketchup and mustard jars and grab them. They are good to go on airplanes.
                                                                            Call me a cheapskate, but Aaron Spelling used to swipe all the hotel shampoo!

                                                                            1. re: Veggo

                                                                              Exactly what I was going to say. It's sealed, and has the oz printed on the label. So you'll be fine. Or squeeze paks from a sub shop. I was thinking of 'good' mustard with that pastrami, and never thought about regular mustard in that context.

                                                                              I fly a lot, and have had crazy experiences w/ TSA. One was a condiment cup full of bbq sauce they were going to take (because even though it was tiny, it didn't have a label, and they were going to take it), so I got out of line, unwrapped my sandwich, dumped sauce on it, wrapped it up, and got back in line.

                                                                              My travel snacks on long trips - apples, oranges, trail mix, laughing cow cheeses, peanut butter cheese crackers, and
                                                                              an italian sub, cut and wrapped into 4 pieces. That way I don't have to unwrap the whole sandwich for just a small part.

                                                                              1. re: jeanmarieok

                                                                                I'll add that every container has an original label on it...even though the contents don't necessarily match the label )

                                                                                1. re: c oliver

                                                                                  You know, they sell those TSA approved containers, filling w shampoo, etc. I had those confiscated in an airport, too. There is just not a consistent enforcement.

                                                                                  My husband checked in at Richmond, flew to LA, had to go back through security in LA to get on Quantas to Auckland, (where they confiscated our beef jerky, luckily most had been consumed), then flew from Auckland to Brisbane. While on Fraser Island (most beautiful place in the world, IMO) we found a package of M80's or other such fireworks in his backpack, confiscated from our children the previous summer. So all those checkpoints, and no one found them. We disposed of them in Australia.

                                                                                  1. re: jeanmarieok

                                                                                    We flew out of JFK a few years ago, and my squeeze packet of peanut butter was confiscated. No one cared about the full water bottle in my carry on. (I forgot it was there)

                                                                                    1. re: cheesecake17

                                                                                      A few months after 9/11 I flew out of LaGuardia. They didn't have all the rules in place, but alcohol was definitely a problem. I had filled up a Perrier bottle with mostly vodka (really hate flying, especially the take off), and when I arrived quite late, they were suspicious and forced me to drink from it. After I took a nice long swig, I was OK to board. Just lucky, I guess.

                                                                                      1. re: coll

                                                                                        They weren't checking for booze but rather chemicals for a bomb. DCs holocaust museum does the same. I think it's a super idea.

                                                                                        1. re: c oliver

                                                                                          I once had my contact fluid tested by the TSA. On my last flight I had an energy drink (one of those small 5-hour things that I no longer consume) in my jacket pocket and they either missed it or didn't care and they let me through with it.

                                                                                        2. re: cheesecake17

                                                                                          When my kids were younger, I used to take a bottle of Children's Benedryl on our international flights. I had no problem with it on several flights (they are a bit more lenient when you are travelling with toddlers), but in Singapore, the security agent told me I couldn't board with the (sealed) bottle of Benedryl. I told her it was for my kids, I had travelled to Singapore with one, I had been in and out of that same airtport with it before on other trips, etc. Finally she got her supervisor. The supervisor looked at me, and my 2 kids, and said "Take a sip from it and show me so I know it's OK.". I ended up having to take a sip of Children's Benedryl, show it to her in my mouth and then swallow it and then show her my mouth was empty. She waved me on without any issues.

                                                                                          1. re: boogiebaby

                                                                                            That's pretty funny! But I guess they want to make sure of everything.

                                                                                            When we flew out of Los Cabos, no one told us that we couldn't bring food or drinks onto the plane. After we got thru security, we bought some snacks and drinks. At boarding they told us everything must go in the trash. I turned around and gave it to a bunch of the security guards- it was all sealed. (Apparently people would throw trash on the runway when walking from the gate to the plane. There was no jetway, just a row of cones leading to steps and the plane)

                                                                                            1. re: cheesecake17

                                                                                              Now that's really odd. Ever since 9/11, there's never been an issue about anything that we bought after clearing security. Was this a long time ago?

                                                                                              1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                7 years ago. It was the Cabos airport, so I guess they can make their own local rules.
                                                                                                I think it was more about people having loose items that they may toss onto the runway.

                                                                              2. I'm glad cooler heads have prevailed.

                                                                                Of COURSE you can bring meat, cheese, fruits, etc. on an international flight. Anyone who says otherwise can't possibly have much experience with international travel.

                                                                                As long as it's inside you before you get to the customs checkpoint, there's absolutely no problem.

                                                                                What I'm more concerned with is that you froze Katz's pastrami! When it thaws, you're going to see moisture in the bag, which is all the juiciness that should have stayed in the meat, had you not frozen it. (The large ice crystals that form in slow home freezers puncture the cell walls in meat, causing it to dry out.)

                                                                                Frankly, I'm far more offended by the cavalier way you're treating the pastrami than I ever would be by the smell!

                                                                                Mr Taster

                                                                                5 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: Mr Taster

                                                                                    Ha! You must be a fan of Katz's, too! What can I say...we went to NYC for the weekend and brought a cooler which we filled with goodies from Russ and Daughter's and waaay too much pastrami from Katz's. We'll steam the pastrami since it looks like it will not be joining us on our trip to South Africa.

                                                                                    1. re: DaisyM

                                                                                      Please tell me you didn't freeze the belly lox, too.......

                                                                                      Mr Taster

                                                                                      1. re: DaisyM

                                                                                        What do you mean by 'steaming' the pastrami please? I'D be taking that pastrami and having one helluva a great sandwich. Too bad you're not flying El Al :)

                                                                                        1. re: c oliver

                                                                                          I WISH we were flying EL AL! I've never felt as safe on a plane as flying on EL AL and the food is excellent.

                                                                                    2. There's very little I haven't brought on to an airplane or in Fenway Park. Pizza, Chinese, Mexican, burgers, Popeyes, gyros, whatever.

                                                                                      The only thing I regretted was the really tasty but smelly curry chicken wrap from Harrods food court on a flight from Heathrow to Boston.

                                                                                      If you want a home made sandwich freeze some turkey. Or pack crackers, nuts and fruit.

                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                      1. re: C. Hamster

                                                                                        I'm with you. On a recent flight from Reno to Newark via SF, I made this pan bagnat:


                                                                                        The only looks were from the flight attendants who were all but drooling.

                                                                                      2. With nut allergies now common please avoid bringing nuts as a snack on the flight
                                                                                        Due to the pungent pastrami (yes it smells when its cold too!) i would avoid in close quarters.

                                                                                        A grain based dish will travel well like a quinoa salad, or even a pasta salad with vinegrette dressing. Vegetarian sushi travels well, as will hummus and pita (individual cups of hummus are under 3oz)

                                                                                        4 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: Ttrockwood

                                                                                          i can't stand the smell of peanut butter, and in close quarters it always makes me feel nauseous. well, of course, the nut hater that I am gave birth to a child with a severe peanut allergy. go figure.

                                                                                          1. re: trolley

                                                                                            I love that people are weighing in on the things that smell nasty to them. I'd take pastrami over peanut butter any day.

                                                                                          2. re: Ttrockwood

                                                                                            I like the idea of vegetarian sush!

                                                                                            1. re: DaisyM

                                                                                              I bring cucumber avocado rolls all the time when flying. Tastes good at room temp, doesn't require anything to open the package, easy to eat.

                                                                                          3. You're going to be sedentary for 15 hours - either on your ass or horizontal.

                                                                                            You're going to be fed twice during those 15 hours plus a variety of snacks on request.

                                                                                            You will not be calorie deprived. Carbo-load a week before if you must, but I promise you you will not suffer from starvation.

                                                                                            That said, even if you just had to get a calorie boost during your flight, don't resort to frozen, defrosted Katz's pastrami eaten at 36,000 feet where flavors are muted and the dry air does nasty tricks with your tastebuds.

                                                                                            Save the pastrami for your "welcome home" meal. Bring a PB&J sandwich and a banana and call it a flight.

                                                                                            34 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                                              Except for the banana :) I agree with you. I've never understood why people on the ground can go far longer without food than they can on an airplane. Boredom? Something to bitch about? Whatever.

                                                                                                1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                                                  Definitely chips! Bob recently carried on a good-sized bag of kettle chips :)

                                                                                                  1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                                                    Cheetos. Always legal, won't affect the weight and balance of the airplane.

                                                                                                    1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                                                      bananas are like hard boiled eggs. they smell disgusting when you're not the eater. I hope you're suggesting potato chips and not banana chips. the latter is a complete waste of calories and sugar.

                                                                                                    2. re: c oliver

                                                                                                      i haven't flown in a while. my go to used to be a bar og good dark chocolate, a package of carr's whole wheat crackers and some sliced almonds. but, i've recently read that some airlines are banning any nut products because some passangers have such severe nut allergies, further limiting options and eliminating peanut butter and sliced almonds.

                                                                                                      so.. i guess if it comes down to a choice of potential health hazard versus an unplesant oder, the banana (and hard boiled eggs) should prevail.

                                                                                                      1. re: wonderwoman

                                                                                                        as a parent of a child with a nut allergy, and have studied this issue more than ever, it's the nuts/dust that sends people into anaphylactic shock. the dust from the shells and nuts that get recirculated in the airplane air then bam. i'd rather eat a cracker and call it a day versus having to deal with an emergency landing. however, when people say they react to peanut butter in the air i find this to be very debatable. so does our allergist who is on the board at national jewish health, one of the best allergy/immunology hospitals in the country. nut butters are oily so you may get it all over the place, but bc we're mostly sitting and contained in our seats, i'd choose a pb&j over peanuts in shells or pistachios. besides, i always hated the process of getting those nuts out of the shell.

                                                                                                        and no, i'll tell you from experience that airlines have not banned nuts or don't plan to in the near future.

                                                                                                        1. re: trolley

                                                                                                          As a person who actually has a nut allergy I would say that the peanut dust on airlines is a bit of an urban myth. Airlines are still serving nuts/peanuts and passengers are not dropping like flies. And given the reported prevalence of lethal nut allergies you would expect to see at least a couple a week....!

                                                                                                          There are lots of allergy scare stores that create levels of paranoia that really don't reflect the true risks - it's almost as if there is an allergy industry. I don't underestimate the seriousness of an severe allergic reaction (I have a had a few) but we do need some perspective.

                                                                                                          1. re: PhilD

                                                                                                            I can't remember the last time I saw peanuts on an airplane. And they shouldn't be IMO. The little bags I get are little pretzels,Asian snacks, etc.

                                                                                                            1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                              2 days ago. Southwest.

                                                                                                              Bags and bags of peanuts.

                                                                                                              1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                                                                Southwest is very generous with the peanuts, all you can eat basically.

                                                                                                                  1. re: happybaker

                                                                                                                    When I reacted with happy surprise at their offering, they handed me at least 10 little bags immediately. They are the best!

                                                                                                                    1. re: happybaker

                                                                                                                      Chowhound does not work on Southwest WiFi.

                                                                                                                      But the free live TV is pretty cool. Especially with peanuts!

                                                                                                                  2. re: ipsedixit

                                                                                                                    Unfortunately (cause I love SWA) I haven't flown them in quite a few years.

                                                                                                                  3. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                    My last flight was little bowls of warmed nuts including peanuts. Why ban them - is there any real evidence of allergy issues?

                                                                                                                    1. re: PhilD

                                                                                                                      I'm no expert by any means but it would seem like someone with a bowl of nuts on their tray sitting beside someone with a severe allergy could be quite a problem.

                                                                                                                      1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                        I've had little bowls of warm nuts on flights sitting next to a person who told they flight attendant she would pass because her allergy to nuts. She survived a cross country flight. Go figure.

                                                                                                                        1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                                                                          Again, I know nothing other than anecdotal things I read. As others have said for years here, there are allergies and then there are allergies.

                                                                                                                        2. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                          So the media would have you believe - there is a ton of mis-information. After all we live in the time of the "worried well".

                                                                                                                    2. re: PhilD


                                                                                                                      My son has never reacted and he's been on many flights. I think the older people have these nut allergies ( like an ex-coworker) but they're pretty straight up. you ingest, you react. period. however, what's scary are these little kids who can't even be around the nut dust. I never thought it was possible and thought people were just making stuff up. the school my son was going to attend had to ban all nut product bc of a little girl who would react just to peanuts being opened in the same room. I also think many of these kiddos have asthma as well so it's a double whammy unlike my child.

                                                                                                                      1. re: trolley

                                                                                                                        Yet more kids in the US die from school sports related injuries than allergies. So where is the move to ban school sports?

                                                                                                                        1. re: PhilD

                                                                                                                          sports are optional. education isn't. and some people don't have the resources to home school. PhilD, i don't want to get into a debate over kids with allergies and their right to live and get a public education. it's OT and that's for a different forum anyway. besides, people who say things like, it's survival of the fittest, should we ban everything?, should we ban walking? I survived and no one made exceptions for me, or i never saw this growing up and other non sense like that usually are stretching the truth on the internet and don't really have allergies. i besides, the food allergies to nuts that these little kids have are truly scary. out doctor has been practicing for several decades and has never seen it this bad until recently. thanks.

                                                                                                                      2. re: PhilD

                                                                                                                        There are enough other snack options (such as pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds etc) that i would rather the airlines ban all nut products as a precaution than risk someone- like my friend's super allergic 18month old- (or you!) having a reaction.....

                                                                                                                        1. re: Ttrockwood

                                                                                                                          I agree with you. Doesn't seem difficult. But who knows if there's "peanut lobby" :)

                                                                                                                          1. re: Ttrockwood

                                                                                                                            Honestly, I think if you have such a sensitivity to peanuts and will be flying commercial, it should be incumbent upon the individual to notify the airline in advance AND bring along either antihistamines or an epinephrine autoinjector.

                                                                                                                            It's sort of unreasonable to except a large commercial airliner to ban all nuts.

                                                                                                                            1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                                                                              Well, I AM making the assumption that people are carrying the things you suggest. Would a non-nut snack cost more or less? I won't die without nuts but maybe others would die with them. I don't have a real hard and fast bias here.

                                                                                                                              1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                Banning nuts by airlines would be, at best, a Sisyphean solution.

                                                                                                                                You can't stop every passenger from bringing nuts on board. TSA is busy enough as it is stealing from your carry-ons and smuggling drugs for criminals.

                                                                                                                                (Plus, people like nuts -- generally -- more than other munchies and they help sell alcohol in coach. So there's that too)

                                                                                                                                1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                                                                                  True that. I'd guess the airlines would have decreased liability if THEY don't serve them. And you're right, salty snacks will sell more drinks. But those snacks don't have to have nuts. Again, I don't care much about this argument.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                                                                                    if they stopped giving it out and then it would reduce the risk and also eliminate liability. you can't stop people from bringing nuts on board nor can you stop them from bringing frozen pastrami and hard boiled eggs either. and like c oliver, i don't care for this argument.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: trolley

                                                                                                                                      If the risk was that real, the liability would be high, and they would stop serving nuts, easy. They still serve nuts despite years of stories about deadly peanut dust causing all sorts of problems. I wonder why that is?

                                                                                                                                      Remember, you can have anaphylactic reactions to all sorts of food, frogs and insect stings, its not just peanuts. Yet, we don't talk of banning all sort of other causal agents. I get eating nuts is dangerous, but I am skeptical about the occurrence of peanut dust reactions, and given that airlines still serve nuts (wit some reintroducing them after hasty withdrawals a few years ago) I suspect they their advisers are equally sceptical.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: PhilD

                                                                                                                                        i guess you didn't read the link i gave you.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: trolley

                                                                                                                                          I did - and I tend to discount these types of sites - lots of anecdotes designed to promote a particular POV or campaign group. The actual (scientific/statistical) evidence is usually different.

                                                                                                                                          See another link: http://www.webpronews.com/peanut-alle...

                                                                                                                                2. re: ipsedixit

                                                                                                                                  antihistamines mask the symptoms of anaphylaxis. we do epipen only and only had to once. our allergist is one of the best in this country. I would not have moved my big butt over to frikin denver and leave my beloved san gabriel valley for a mediocre doctor. as mentioned, my child has always been ok. and i think people with kids with severe allergies do inform the airlines. i have now gone 3 years without nut consumption and i'm ok. i haven't died without it. i'm sure others can live without it for the 30min-20 hrs they may be on a flight. besides, don't people eat other foods?

                                                                                                                                  heck, there's always a stinky banana ;)

                                                                                                                    3. The last time I flew was 20 yrs ago, during an airline strike. I traveled with a friend. Since we weren't sure if there would be delays, and what refreshments would be available, I packed some. I froze juice boxes of apple juice to keep things cool, and packed crackers, almonds, pre-sliced cheddar, apples, dark chocolate, and prunes. I was careful to choose things that were not smelly or noisy to eat (had a paring knife to cut up the apple, in pre-terrorism times). I used one of those make-up cases that used to come in sets of hard-sided luggage. I don't know if six-pack size coolers were even made at that time, but I didn't have one, and the make-up case latched securely.

                                                                                                                      1. Count me as one of those people that think it rude to bring odorous food on flights. No banana, pizza, ketchupy things, hot dogs, tuna, etc. I also don't appreciate smelling after shave and heavy perfume on a flight....and if you have gas.... Go to the restroom... :D
                                                                                                                        Do all that stinky stuff when you get where you are going. Passengers have no choice but to sit there and breathe. Give them a break, plenty of non odorous food to snack on. I bring plain cheese, crackers, granola type bar, nuts, turkey sandwich, apple slices, etc. non offensive..maybe crunchy loud, but not stinky. Have fun!

                                                                                                                        1. Since it's business class, I would imagine they would offer snacks between the meals.