About Me

My photo
Indulging my interest in food and flavor, I love to write about cooking, gardening and life's bounty. My new book - "Discover Cooking with Lavender"- is now available

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Airplane Survival Strategy: Bring Food & Water

My husband, John, and I were thrilled to have a direct flight from Seattle to Lihue, Kauai, a mere six hours and ten minutes to arrive in a tropical paradise. Our food strategy included lunch at Seattle-Tacoma Airport (SeaTac) before boarding the Boeing 737 that would take us thousands of miles over the Pacific ocean. In case of a hunger attack, I had packed three Honey Crisp apples and a stash of almonds in my computer carry-on case. After arriving in Lihue, we had planned to eat dinner at a local restaurant. All along the way, we had to modify our plans.

We made it through security at SeaTac, our luggage was checked and we had an hour before boarding our plane, so we went to Anthony's Restaurant and Fish Bar. Looking over the menu, John said, "I intend to eat healthy food during this vacation." He ordered the Northwest Cobb Salad.

"I am debating between the Caesar salad or the Roasted Wild Salmon Salad. What do you recommend?" I asked our waitress.

Without hesitating, she answered, "The salmon salad because it's unique and the flavors are fantastic."

She was so right. The taste of the salmon was perfectly complemented by cranberry relish. Slivered hazelnuts added flavor and crunch.

We left Anthony's and headed for our gate. John noticed on the reader board that our flight now had a stop in Oakland. Our flight would not be direct after all. Due to 100 knot head winds over the Pacific Ocean, we needed to stop in Oakland to take on more fuel. This stop would add three hours to our flight time. Our plane would arrive in Lihue at 11:45 p.m.

We congratulated ourselves on having a healthy meal prior to boarding. After our stop in Oakland when we were airborne again, the cabin attendant announced two options for food service: Teriyaki Rice Bowl or a picnic collection of crackers, cheese and salami. I had decided on the rice bowl when the flight attendant announced, "The good news is you are on your way to Hawaii, the bad news is we are out of food. We have a few bags of nuts we will be bringing through the cabin. We are also offering complimentary Mai Tai's."

A man in my row was allergic to nuts. I reached into the overhead compartment and retrieved three apples from my computer bag. I offered one to my husband, one to my fellow passenger and I ate the third one. An apple has never tasted so good, still cold and crisp. The sweet fresh flavor provided a sharp contrast to the dull stale feeling in the airplane.

John and I ordered wine and nibbled on almonds. When we finally got to Kauai, we were ready for dinner. The rental car representative told us everything was closed with one exception. If we wanted to drive about six miles to Kapa'a, we could get something to eat at the 24 hour Safeway.

At the Safeway, we selected pre-made salads and sandwiches. We grabbed bottled water and two bottles of wine. When we got to the checkout counter, we were told it's illegal to sell wine after 11 p.m. in Hawaii. Happy to have food and water, we drove to our hotel, checked in and ate dinner at 1 a.m. about 12 hours after our lunch in Seattle.

What did we learn from this experience?  Be prepared and plan for the unexpected. During this time of heightened security, we must take responsibility for our own needs. Flight delays or re-routes mean passengers may need additional food and water. Next time, I will bring extra food and water on board.

What are your tips for bringing food for long flights? I'm compiling a list of ideas for packing healthy food for travel and will share it on my blog.

Wouldn't it be great if the airlines provided passengers with tips for making our travel more pleasant? I'd love to discover a snack pack that offers nutritious food choices and also passes TSA regulations.




No comments: