Spoiler: they don’t eat off the in-flight menu.

Meghan Overdeep
May 14, 2018
Maravic/Getty Images

When it comes to tips for flying the friendly skies, there’s nobody’s advice we value more than the men and women in the cockpit. 

The Points Guy spoke with six domestic and international pilots about their best food-related travel trips, and what they eat to stay satisfied for the long haul. Spoiler: they don’t eat off the in-flight menu.

“We get some interesting crew meals provided, so I often try to bring my own,” Alaskan Airlines pilot Susan Sherman said. “I’ll wrap sandwiches (rolls from Costco, lots of veggies, sometimes packed separately so as not to get soggy), cheese, sometimes turkey, in parchment paper, and they’ll keep for my four-day trips.”

As for travel tips for passengers, Sherman recommends carrying TSA-friendly snacks like nuts, protein bars, and sandwiches, along with a reusable water bottle (most airports now have bottle fill stations). “Stay hydrated and avoid the hangries, and your trip will be more pleasant,” she noted.

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Atlanta-based Delta pilot, Travis Blunt, told The Points Guy that he always keeps snacks in his bag to ensure he has them available when needed. “Usually, I pack almonds or cashews, and definitely powder protein shakes,” he said. “These snacks are lightweight, compact, and filling for a couple of hours.”

During my duty day, I typically eat a banana and a granola bar for breakfast.” Blunt continued. “Then, I prefer to eat a salad for lunch. If I’m in ATL in Concourse B, I always choose a salad from Willy’s Mexicana Grill.”

His advice for passengers was nearly identical to Sherman’s. “Whenever you fly, always drink lots of water,” he said.

You hear that? Don’t forget that water y’all!