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tiaw Sep 1st, 2005 08:37 PM

Chinese food on the plane?
I like Panda Express's (fast food) Orange Chicken at the airport and am planning on bringing it to eat on the plane as dinner instead of eating the airline food(I have a 5 pm flight). Will the smell be too strong for other passengers? Should I plan on something else? Suggestions?

angy400 Sep 1st, 2005 08:42 PM

I say if that is what you want to eat, then by all means eat it. There is always going to be someone that doesnt care for what you are eating, regardless of what it is so bring it on and enjoy!


nona1 Sep 2nd, 2005 01:42 AM

I don't know if they will let you take hot food on a plane?

Also, even though airline food tastes incredibly bland when you eat it, this is the effect of the altitude/air (I can't quite remember the science bit) and airline food is actually very highly flavoured to allow for this. If you ate it on the ground it would taste far too strong. So a normal meal would be even more tasteless. In theory anyway, according to a TV show I watched about why airline food is so awful.

celticdreams Sep 2nd, 2005 03:26 AM

Personally, I would plan on something else. I think the smell would be offensive (although not nearly as bad as when people bring McDonald's on board!). And, by the time you buy it, wait to board, get on board and settle in, it's going to be cold...

ira Sep 2nd, 2005 03:42 AM

Hi t,

It is really discourteous to bring highly aromatic foodstuffs on a plane.

How would you feel if the persons next to you decided on limburger and onion sandwiches with a side of kimchi?

Also, as cd pointed out, your orange chicken is going to be cold and gummy when you get to it.


Barbara_in_CT Sep 2nd, 2005 04:00 AM

When traveling, I often bring food but I try to stick to 'finger foods' such as crackers and cheese, veggies and dip, mini-sandwiches of smoked salmon, cream cheese etc.

As much as I like chinese food, the smell can be offensive when it isn't your meal.

Gretchen Sep 2nd, 2005 06:17 AM

Altitude affects the taste? Pressurized plane cabins? Eating in the mountains, like Vail and Aspen makes food taste different? Oh, my.

hdm Sep 2nd, 2005 06:31 AM

Gretchen, are you from DC?

And, tiaw, no, I wouldn't do it if I were you. Air travel is hard enough for some people with delicate stomachs without having to contend with such strong smells. Even those with stronger constitutions might find it objectionable. It's just one meal -- I'm sure you can buy something less intrusive. Or have the Orange Chicken as a late lunch at the airport and skip dinner.

cmt Sep 2nd, 2005 06:36 AM

I don't think the original question can be serious--not because of the smell issue, but because the food would be cold by the time passengers are settled into their seats.

As for the smell--I think food is supposed to smell, and people are different regarding the kinds of food smells they find offensive. For example, I can't stand the smell of institutional-style macaroni and cheese, and when I was in college, I used to avoid going to the dining hall when that's what was on for dinner. Most people loved it.

My favorite food to take on a plane is an orange. That's partly because I love the smell, and everything about it seems like the absolute opposite of the artificial environment of the plane.

suze Sep 2nd, 2005 07:03 AM

I think a sandwich would be a better choice and more courteous to your fellow passengers. I always travel with my own food these days, but the item you mention will be smelly, not to mention messy should it spill or leak.

suze Sep 2nd, 2005 07:05 AM

If you're set on Orange Chicken why not simply eat it at Panda Express before you get on the plane? Much simpler.

suzyq53 Sep 2nd, 2005 07:10 AM

I was wondering about food on the plane, also. Our flight leaves Dulles at 5pm. for Paris on Air France. Surely, they would provide a dinner, wouldn't they?

suze Sep 2nd, 2005 07:14 AM

Suzy, I would think so, but this is a question best asked of your airline.

BeachBoi Sep 2nd, 2005 07:41 AM

suzyq...Yes,AirFrance will serve a hot dinner and a breakfast of sorts...As to araomatic food....I had an experience at DFW that really changed my mind...It was the 6pm flight to LA.Me and my buddy had stopped at Subway to get some sandwiches and chips.The second we boarded the plane you could smell the food being loaded for First Class, a hot dinner.In the middle 3 setas across from us was Mom and the 2 preteens.Right smack in front of them were 2 travellers both holding styrofoam containers we figured they had gotten some dinner and were ready to chow could smell it all the way to Oklahoma! Egads I mean it was strong....With the smell of the hot food for F/C wafting thoroughout the cabin, the 2 women in front of them, kick in the power of suggestion, well the 2 kids all of a sudden were starving and very restless.As soon as we levelled off, I turned to Mom and told her we had some extra food.She said she just hadnt thought about food and they were planning to go out for dinner once they got to LA.Yes, there was food for purchase but what the heck.We had plenty and enjoyed the midair mini picnic.From then on I have always remembered that people around you will definitely take notice of what you bring on board.Be respectful.

MelJ Sep 2nd, 2005 07:50 AM

I agree with Carol that Tiaw might be pulling our leg (for one thing, he/she hasn't returned).

We like Panda Express at the airport in Newark, so we have dinner there before boarding.

I, personally, would not feel kindly toward a fellow passenger who brought an aromatic meal on board, the smell of which would probably linger for the 7 hour flight.

rex Sep 2nd, 2005 09:08 AM

One approach to reducing &quot;jet lag&quot; used to be known as the &quot;Forsyth plan&quot;, and there were various variations, (for what it's worth, its creator. Steven Forsyth has chosen to no longer give this or any other advice on jet lag control) - - and the main tenet, still practiced by a number of travelers, was to basically eat <i>nothing</i> on the plane - - in fact, really, to eat nothing all day on the day of travel (except perhaps some fruit, and keep up generous water intake) - - until you see the sun come up over Europe.

For what it's worth, I think that this &quot;method&quot; is helpful (but only if combined with a really concerted effort to sleep); I routinely ask the flight attendant to hold my &quot;supper&quot; until the time that they serve the (&quot;mini&quot;-) breakfast, typically, about the time you make landfall over Europe (and see the sunrise). I always ask politely, make it clear that I do not care what supper selection is left for me, and I do not expect it to be rewarmed for me (and yet, at least half the time they have rewarmed it anyway). I have never gotten any grief from any flight attendant about this request.

Airline supper meals are about the same quality whether served hot, rewarmed or not warm at all. Hardly <i>that</i> bad - - but of course, hardly that <i>good</i> either!

If you are erally such a fan of Panda Express Orange Chicken, perhaps it would make sense to buy it, bring it, and eat it once you have deplaned in Europe.

It won't be any worse at &quot;1 am&quot; (body time) - - though I actually strongly discourage thinking in terms of &quot;body time&quot; when you arrive - - than it would be 2 hours after your departure from the US.

Best wishes,


jules39 Sep 2nd, 2005 12:00 PM

I think the fact that you think it could be offensive should raise the flag to you that there is a good chance someone else will not like it. Eat early or take something less arromatic on board!

Patrick Sep 2nd, 2005 12:24 PM

Darn. I clicked on to this thread thinking I was going to find out about an airline that has switched to rolling dim sum carts in the aisles instead of plastic plates of blender lasagna.

SeaUrchin Sep 2nd, 2005 12:30 PM

Seated across the aisle from me on my last flight home from Europe, the couple had the best gyro and meatball sandwiches and beer. I wanted to grab it away from them, not because of the smell but because I wanted them myself.

I wouldn't be able to eat cold, yucky orange chicken on the plane, so I vote with the others, eat it before you board or get something that is cold to eat.

I try to eat at the airport before I board for the 13 hour flight! This way I am not crabby and waiting for the lousy lunch or dinner served on the plane.

suze Sep 2nd, 2005 12:43 PM

I participate in any meal the airline serves on a long haul flight. It's not about the food, it's about passing time. Not sure how long your flight is but I'm assuming it's from the U.S. to Europe (since we're talking Panda Express and this is on the Europe board)?

Sometimes I also eat at the airport before I get on the plane, since it is oftem several hours before food is served.

swalter518 Sep 2nd, 2005 12:45 PM

Speaking from experience, PLEASE don't bring the chicken (or whatever smelly food) on the plane. My first &quot;solo&quot; trip to Europe (without parents) was on Air France with a friend. They were serving fish as an inflight meal -- very fishy smelling fish. I got sick to my stomach (literally)and was nauseous for the rest of the flight. Smells can become highly overwhelming on a contained airplane.

tiaw Sep 2nd, 2005 12:48 PM

All, I was serious when I posted this. I really thought about bringing some tasty food on board. And since the only thing I can think of that's easy was Chinese food.....

I'd like to be courteous to other passengersv too. When I consulted my husband who is not going with me, I got a lot of heat from him and of course, from this board :)

I have decided against it and will bring something cold like a sandwich or salad instead. I think I'm leaning towards a salad and some fruits.

So if you guys smell some Chinese food, it's not me!!!

tiaw Sep 2nd, 2005 12:48 PM

All, I was serious when I posted this. I really thought about bringing some tasty food on board. And since the only thing I can think of that's easy was Chinese food.....

I'd like to be courteous to other passengersv too. When I consulted my husband who is not going with me, I got a lot of heat from him and of course, from this board :)

I have decided against it and will bring something cold like a sandwich or salad instead. I think I'm leaning towards a salad and some fruits.

So if you guys smell some Chinese food, it's not me!!!

Thanks so much!

Jocelyn_P Sep 2nd, 2005 12:53 PM

Funny how being on a plane changes your sense of taste...I am not typically a big fan of McDonald's salads with chicken, yet a few trips ago, in a rush I bought one for my flight. It tasted SOOOOO good on the plane! I still don't like them on the ground, but it's my standby (pun intended) in the air.

Travelnut Sep 2nd, 2005 12:53 PM

fyi, I'd rather smell Chinese food than perfume!

SuzieC Sep 2nd, 2005 12:54 PM

I'm glad Tiaw... I was would be my luck you and the Orange Chicken on one side...and some gent who was marinated in some horrid musky cologne on the other. Pheweee!

Have fun!

nukesafe Sep 2nd, 2005 01:30 PM

Travelnut and SusieC, you really hit a hot button with your rants about perfume/cologne. I'm one of those guys that finds strong perfume smells very uncomfortable. Not exactly allergic, but a trip into a Hallmark greeting card store is an agonizing one for me. I grab the first card I see and still emerge with streaming eyes.

On elevators or airplanes I, and a lot of other guys I know, are in a great deal of discomfort from people who have just dumped on their mornings ration of foo-foo juice.

It seems that I am just getting comfortable on a plane and ready to settle down for a nap after the meal, when the person next to me will get up, go to the restroom, and return having liberally refreshed their scent.

Agony! I would really prefer a slight ration of B.O. rather than the chemical attack.


g33kgrl Sep 2nd, 2005 01:46 PM

I'm with you on that, Nukesafe! I have bad allergies and used to have asthma, and being around someone who reeks of perfume makes me feel like I'm going to have an asthma attack--I just can't breathe. Ugghh!

suze Sep 2nd, 2005 02:27 PM

Count me in as another who would campaign to have perfume outlawed on planes. I'll take smelly food or (as already mentioned above) a slightly less than freshly showered person over someone drowned in cologne or perfume any day!

MelissaHI Sep 2nd, 2005 11:45 PM

I would rather have orange chicken or perfume next to me, over a drunk large guy with sweaty body odor and unwashed hair! (Yes, I was trapped like that once. Bad karma, man.)

But aside from that, I don't think orange chicken would be that strong a smell. That's JMHO.

Scarlett Sep 3rd, 2005 12:16 AM

Anything with garlic in/on it , is sickening to smell on an airplane. (to me) as well as fish.
Lately, every time we fly, they serve some sort of bland/not smelly chicken dish ( I don't eat them anyway) so at least they don't smell bad.
We usually eat at the airport before the flight, if we need a meal before flying. I sort of don't like to eat before or during flying, a long time fear of being airsick keeps me drinking but not eating :)

caroline_edinburgh Sep 5th, 2005 07:06 AM

nukesafe, intrigued by &quot;a trip into a Hallmark greeting card store is an agonizing one for me&quot;. Do you get scented cards in the US (where I assume you hail from) ?

Jocelyn_P Sep 5th, 2005 07:09 AM


Hallmark stores have lots of scented candles which &quot;perfume&quot; the air.

Interesting how people have different tolerances for certain scents. I cannot think of a more offensive &quot;aroma&quot; than body odor. Splash on the perfume, baby.

wondering Sep 5th, 2005 08:34 AM

Watch the sandwich choice too! I had to laugh out loud at this topic as my fiend and i brought deli sandwiches from NYC on a jet blue flight once and unknowingly, really permeated the plane with the smell of onions! It was embarrassing....

caroline_edinburgh Sep 5th, 2005 08:48 AM

Thanks Jocelyn !

celticdreams Sep 5th, 2005 09:21 AM

Patrick - what a heavenly thought!! A dim sum trolley !!!!!!! Perhaps after that goes by a few times, they could bring a dessert cart through.

LoveItaly Sep 5th, 2005 10:00 AM

Hi wondering, was just reading this thread and it made me think of the fellow across the isle from me on my last flight. He too had sandwiches with a real strong onion in them. It was terrible. Especially 30 minutes later when he unwrapped and started eating the second one, LOL. Being aware of food aromas on a plane is a very good idea.

USNR Sep 5th, 2005 02:25 PM

A bit off-topic, but I started to feel a drip-drip-drip on the top of my head once as out plane started its takeoff from Athens.

As the plane's ascent steepened, the drip became a stream, then a gush. Seems a very disagreeble guy in the seat behind me had stowed a bottle of ouzo (a Greek licorice liquer) in the bin above my seat. Did he apologize for his lack of common sense? No way. In fact, he was so drunk he accused me (yes, accused me) of &quot;stealing&quot; his booze. The flight attendant came to my rescue and provided a towel. She also lectured this surly gorilla.

But I did smell kinda interesting all the way to New York.

LoveItaly Sep 5th, 2005 02:51 PM

LOL USNR, I hope you grabbed the bottle and took a sip or two!!
I had a drunk woman who was wandering around the plane spill a glass of red wine all over the front of my dress one time when I was flying to Italy. I know the feeling of total embarresement. And I was stuck in Amsterdam for hours thanks to an air controllers stike in Italy. That sure made the wonderful situation go from bad to worse, LOL. Only time I hadn't worn black on the plane of course! Take care.

Patrick Sep 5th, 2005 02:59 PM

Ouzo, USNR, yeeccch. I suppose if you had gone out in the rain with that stuff on your head, you'd have turned completely milky white!

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