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Do Airline Pilots Eat Regular in-Flight Meals?

An airline pilot and co-pilot might share a cockpit, but they usually can't share a meal. Although it isn't specifically mandated by the Federal Aviation Administration, captains and their first officers are typically expected by airlines to eat different types of meals when they're flying. The main reason is to limit the likelihood of both of them getting sick from contaminated food. On China Eastern Airlines, for example, the captain will be served the same meal as the first-class passengers, while the first officer will get the business-class meal. They are also asked to avoid foods that have a higher chance of causing problems, such as raw fish. Guidelines and practices differ significantly among airlines, and many pilots choose to skip the airplane food altogether and bring their own meals from home.

Something's in the air:

  • An estimated 95 percent of the world's population has never flown on an airplane.

  • Some large airplanes have "secret" bedrooms where cabin crew can get some rest during long-haul flights.

  • Airplane food is often considered bland, but it might be because approximately one-third of your taste buds go numb due to the altitude and pressure.

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