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Vegan Air Travel Tips

Most airlines offer vegan meals for their long haul flights, while a handful also offer vegan meals on their shorter flights. Some airlines refer to this “special meal” as Strict Vegetarian, and use the meal code VGML. Sadly too often, the vegan meal that the airlines provide is bland and unimaginative, and has limited nutritional value. But their are some delightful exceptions – airlines whose catering services clearly get it, and they prepare delicious and nutritional vegan meals for us. With your help, and the help of our entire vegan community in reviewing the vegan-friendliness of airlines we have flown on, this page can truly reflect which airlines best deserve our community’s business.

A couple of airline considerations we vegans should keep in mind:

  • Call your airline to order your “special” vegan meal at lease 24-hours in advance.
    • Some airlines are not good about recording your vegan meal choice you select when you book your flights online.
  • When the flight attendant serves your vegan meal, be sure to verify that any condiments served along with it is also vegan.
    • Too often less knowledgable flight attendants will serve a non-vegan bread spread and / or non-vegan snacks along with your pre-ordered vegan meal.
  • Check ahead of time with your airline to make sure that a vegan meal is offered on your flights.
  • If a vegan meal is not offered, consider bringing your own meal with you.
    • You can carry most meals through security lines. And you can even bring sauces and salad dressing with you as most airport security allow you up to take containers with liquids up to 100 ml / 3.4 oz. Here’s the TSA Liquids Rules for U.S. airports.
  • It’s always a good idea to take fruits and / or vegan snacks with you on your flights, regardless of any vegan meal options your airline offers.
    • Some airlines are notorious for either losing you meal request or accidentally giving your meal to someone else by mistake.

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