Carrying Food Onboard SAA


Apr 3rd, 2004, 05:00 AM
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Carrying Food Onboard SAA

Would anyone comment please if they carry food onboard the direct flight from ATL or NYC to J'Burg or Capetown, or any long haul flight.
I've checked the menus on and the food sounds fine, but 14 hours is a long boring time. I'm on the fence about carrying snacks and am looking for interesting ideas. Just how far does someone go to bring along their own food to eat? Thanks. Liz
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Apr 3rd, 2004, 05:12 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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We took snack foods JFK to Cairo - but we were traveling with 2 kids. Still, I would bring snacks versus meals - starving to death is certainly not an issue, even for 14 hours, but timing of meals (if you are sleeping), selection, quality may make you want something to munch on. Also, you can never account for delays, and while you can buy something at the airport, you can't if you are trapped on the plane during a delay.

We had flights Boston-JFK-Cairo, arriving at JFK in early evening. We were surprised how little decent there was to eat in the terminal we were in - but there was a lot of construction going on at the time, so maybe it has improved.

We had no great inspiration for snacks - granola bars, peanut butter and crackers - you might want to buy a big bottle of water at the airport to bring on the plane.
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Apr 3rd, 2004, 06:25 AM
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I have never heard of an airline prohibiting a passenger to bring his/her own food. So, basically, you can bring anything, everything you've wanted. I don't know what South Africa's policy is, but you cannot bring most food items (especially meat and fruits) back to the US, so if you load up on stuff on your way back, you better eat them all, or throw them away before getting to the US immigration/customs/agriculture areas.
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Apr 3rd, 2004, 07:14 AM
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I've always carried snacks (packets of cheese or peanut butter crackers, candy bars) on board, but I don't think I've ever eaten them, except maybe Life Savers or something like that. I always take my own water bottle, because I want to drink lots more than they bring around.
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Apr 3rd, 2004, 07:25 AM
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Thanks for your comments, I just kind of wanted to know the interesting things people do bring aboard to snack on out of boredom or whatever. Just ideas to help on a long flight. What scacks? Does anyone bring sandwiches? Liz
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Apr 3rd, 2004, 07:31 AM
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Always an interesting question...after some flight mishaps I've experienced and heard about from fellow travellers, I always try to carry some dense, healthy food for an emergency. An emergency being you are stuck on a runway for 4 hours, so there is no food or beverage service, and you are getting a massive headache because in the rush to leave you didn't eat all day! Since I don't want to carry much, and I want it to be healthy, I go for a small ziplock bags of walnuts and raisins. (Raisins combat low blood sugar super fast, and nuts are both filling and good protein.) Also an extra bottle of water. It's a pain to carry, but it's easier to keep by your seat for those times you wake up and need water. (And if you wait to get a flight attendant, you won't get quickly back to sleep again.) I just keep refilling the water bottle whenever there is a beverage service. You can't drink enough on those long flights....
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Apr 3rd, 2004, 08:16 AM
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Excellent Tashak, and just what I was hoping for. I hadn't thought of the delays on the runways and it happens more often now. Since we'll have a backpack with us those things will fit right in with a few water bottles too. It seems when I'm preparing for such a trip, my mind just goes blank. Thanks again.

King-Where are you? You used to always have the right tip and wonderful recommendations when you posted here last summer.
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Apr 3rd, 2004, 09:30 AM
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Liz, I always travel w/ a water bottle even here in the states and everyone should. Who knows when you'll have a cough or need a pill and there's no way a steward can get to you (during takeoff, etc.). I also have a couple of protein bars. On a long flight I might have almonds or trail mix. On SAA the food was good as any airplane food and plentiful but there are always mixups on any flight today. At times they run out of the "good choice" and you're stuck with one choice that you may not like. If I have the time I will bring a gourmet box lunch onboard for the first meal if I'm in coach.
As for not getting bored, I usually start with the games on the tv there and then go on to the movies and finally watch the reruns of Friends. I also bring a book and a magazine and my journal. Since it's an overnight flight, much of the time you're (hopefully) sleeping. Isn't yours an overnighter too? On the flight back I had some interesting seatmates - two young South Africans and a woman from Zambia, so we talked before the sleeping hours.
Other things to consider - bring your own earplugs that you've tested. Don't hesitate to complain to the stewards if you get rowdy, drunk guys standing near your seat joking loudly at 3 AM (had this on the return flight).
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Apr 3rd, 2004, 12:46 PM
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Very good points. I didn't know they had games on the TV. Good tip about the water on take off. Very good on protein bars, and of course they always run out of the entre I would prefer. I especially like the idea of the gourmet box lunch but we have two overnight flights. From NV we leave at midnight, then from ATL mid-morning till next morning in J-Burg. I've never taken ear plugs, good I shall this time. Flights aren't so crowded right now, so we're hoping for a row of 4 seats each. We get seats further back so we can nab the extras first.
You know, I think I know it all about something simple like this and here come you and Tashak and insert such logical things I didn't even think of. See, this really does pay off. Liz
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Apr 3rd, 2004, 02:28 PM
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My concern is usually to get on board and u in the air so I can go to sleep. But considering possible delays, I've gotten into the habit of cleaning out any perishibles from the refrig - so I make a sandwich, take whatever fruit might not last till return, even if there are some cookies - one big goodie bag.

More often than not, I haven't finished whatever I have by the time we're ready to land, so the fruit most definitely gets left on the plane, as does any meat product, but I keep the cheese and crackers and cookies. Yet I still have whatever I brought from NY when I'm ready to go home, so that stuff is all left behind.

It kind of leaves me wondering why I didn't just toss the perishables before leaving home and be done with it. But I always have a bottle of water for the flight.

My mom (87), however, laughs when she sees people with their bottles of water, wondering, what did we do before there was bottled water - nobody was passing out due to lack of hydration, or the heat, or whatever - and she's right. I only manage to finish about half the bottle and leave what remains on the plane.

Guess it's just best to take whatever is going to give you a little boost and will satisfy if you're delayed and, of course, that bottle of water.
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