Best Low Cost: Peach/Pegasus Airlines – Nik Loukas's inflightfeed blog reviews airline meals. Among those rated are low cost carriers. "I'm torn between Pegasus Airlines from Turkey and Peach [pictured here] in Japan. I've sampled some amazing in-flight sushi on both airlines. I've also tried an amazing Wagyu beef salad on Peach, and one of the best steaks I've ever eaten in-flight was on Pegasus [see next slide]," says Loukas.
Best Low Cost: Peach/Pegasus Airlines – Here, courtesy of Pegasus, is one of the best steaks Loukas has tried on a plane. The Inflightfeed founder says, "Who would have thought that low-cost airline meals could be so good? You pay for it, of course, but the quality was far better than some business-class meals I've eaten."
Best first class: Singapore Airlines – Singapore's national carrier serves the best first-class in-flight meal, according to Loukas. "Singapore Airlines Suites, a truly amazing in-flight meal experience that just keeps on giving. I really enjoyed my lobster thermidor and the caviar that was offered to me on a flight recently in Suites on a Singapore to Melbourne flight."
Singapore Airlines: Book the Cook service – Loukas says, "If you can, take advantage of some of the delicious 'Book the Cook' meals exclusively available for passengers in first class or Suites. It's like dining in your own private restaurant at 35,000 feet." First-class meals aside, Loukas says Singapore Airlines serves the tastiest economy meals too.
Best for innovation: Air Baltic – Air Baltic's create-your-own-meal-tray food ordering system wins when it comes to in-flight meal innovation. "Passengers can select everything they want to eat on their upcoming flight, right down to the salad and dessert. It's a fantastic meal concept that really lets you choose what you want to eat in-flight (at a cost of course)."
Best for kids: Lufthansa/Eva Air – It's a tie between Germany's Lufthansa and Taiwan's Eva Air. "Lufthansa places a great emphasis on kids' meals and has a celebrity chef who creates the meals specifically for children. Eva Air has those amazing Hello Kitty kids meals on select flights, something that will totally keep kids entertained at meal time (and yes I've tried the meals!)."
Best overall: Turkish Airlines – "Politics aside -- hands down Turkish Airlines. It really does have some of the best in-flight meals in the world," says Loukas. "Its caterer Do & Co is known to create some of the best in-flight dishes in the world."
Turkish Airlines: Delicious even on short flights – "[Turkish Airlines] meals are always on point, delicious and there's plenty of it, even on short flights."
Best in Asia: Singapore Airlines/Japan Airlines – "Doesn't matter where in the world you may fly with these airlines, their in-flight meal quality and standard is always great, something that a lot of airlines find hard to do. Japan Airlines has teamed up with some great brands over the years to create some amazing economy-class meal experiences for passengers, like Mos Burger and the very strange KFC meal in-flight."
Best in Europe: Aegean – Greece's carrier Aegean offers fliers a great mid-air introduction to its cuisine. "It's like a taste of Greece every time you step on board one of their flights. It's a great ambassador for Greek food and products in-flight," says Loukas.
Aegean Airlines: Regional tastes of Greece – Aegean Airlines recently launched a campaign called "Closer to Greece." Loukas says, "It highlights a different region of Greece through culinary experiences at different touch points of the customer experience such as lounges, on planes and in in-flight entertainment. And the food is always typical of traditional Greek recipes. Yum."
Best in America: JetBlue/Virgin America/Alaska Airlines – "For business class it's gotta be Jetblue in its Mint class, and in economy I'd have to say Virgin America closely tied with Alaska Airlines [pictured here]," Loukas says.
Best in America: JetBlue/Virgin America/Alaska Airlines – Loukas says he considers three airlines to be best in America because of their focus on locally produced food. New York-based Jetblue partners with local eatery Saxon + Parole to create the dishes for Mint. Virgin America (pictured) tries to focus on brands based in its home city. Alaska teams up with Tom Douglas, a well known restauranteur in Seattle, to create "some lovely economy class dishes" for sale in-flight.
Best upgrade: Air France – "On a recent flight from Paris to Singapore I truly enjoyed my pre-ordered upgrade meal. I paid 28 euros ($31) to upgrade my meal to a meal created by the chefs at the famed Lenotre in collaboration with Air France. A fine dining experience such as this is usually only reserved for those fortunate enough to travel in business class."
Best for wine: Qantas – "I think some of the best wines in the world come from [Australia] -- call me biased -- and Qantas has some of the best wine experts and mixologists from Rockpool deciding on what wines to serve you in-flight," says Loukas. Wines served in-flight are available for purchase on the airline's EpiQure website.
Other tips: How to get freebies – "Most cabin crew will go find you extra snacks or meals if you ask nicely. It's worth getting up and having a stretch and checking out the in-flight galleys as the crew sometimes set up drinks and snacks that you can help yourself to. Most traditional long-haul airlines will do this even in economy class."
Other tips: Expanding your options – In-flight meal choice can be unpredictable, especially in economy. "Sometimes there is no choice whilst other times you can have up to four dishes to choose from. If choice is an issue for you, pre-order a special meal with the airline a few days before your flight."