In-Flight Dining Guide

Inflight DiningMany airlines offer special meals to accommodate passengers of varying lifestyles and dietary preferences. American Airlines, Virgin Atlantic, British Airways, and Continental Airlines, to name a few, provide a number of alternative meal types on long-distance flights including Western vegetarian/vegan, vegetarian Jain (pure vegetarian/vegan meal adhering to the principles of the Jain belief system), and raw vegetable and/or fruit plates. These alternative meals must be confirmed in advance at the time of ticket purchase or at least 72 hours prior to check-in. These options might vary according to seasonal availability and changes in budget.

Choosing a Vegan In-Flight Meal

When booking your flight, keep an eye out for a “special dietary preferences” checkbox or button. This will take you to a new page or menu where the following options should be listed:

Vegan Vegetarian (VGML) – Also called Vegetarian Non-Dairy/Egg (Vegan) Meal or Pure Vegetarian and often cross-listed as “Western Vegetarian”, this meal is vegan (does not contain meat/poultry/fish, eggs, dairy, honey, or animal by-products of any kind). This meal is often a grain-based (rice or pasta) cooked with vegetables, and comes with a side of fresh fruit.

Vegetarian Jain (VJML) – Designed to suit the needs of Jain Vegetarians, this meal is vegan (does not contain meat/poultry/fish, eggs, dairy, or animal by-products of any kind). Served with Indian condiments and a side of fresh fruit, this dish will be vegetable-based but will not include mushrooms or root vegetables including ginger, garlic, onions, potatoes, carrots, beets, radishes or other root vegetables. *Note: On American Airlines, Jain meals are only offered on flights to and from Mumbai, India.

Vegetarian Oriental (VOML) – Vegetarian Meal (VGML) Asian-style dish that does not contain dairy or eggs. Not to be confused with “Asian Vegetarian Meal” (AVML) which does not contain eggs but can contain milk products on flights other than UNITED (On United Airlines, AVML meals are vegan).

Raw Vegetable Plate (RVML) – Chopped raw vegetables and/or salad

Fruit Platter (FPML) – Fruit salad or a few pieces of fresh fruit i.e. banana, apple, orange

Meals that Might NOT Be Vegan:

Vegetarian Lacto-Ovo Meal (VLML) – Does not contain any type of meat/fish/poultry. However, one or more ingredients could be dairy or egg based.

Asian Vegetarian (AVML) on any airline besides UNITED – Vegetable-based Indian or Chinese style dish. Does not contain meat/poultry/fish or eggs, but some ingredients might be milk products. *On United Airlines, AVML indicates a vegan meal (same as above but does NOT contain milk or honey)

Hindu / Indian (HNML) – Sometimes grouped together with vegetarian meal options because it does not contain beef, this dish is often lamb, poultry or fish based. It is typically spicy and may contain eggs or dairy ingredients. If the dish is listed as “Hindu Vegetarian” as it is on American Airlines for example, it does NOT contain any meat/poultry/fish but may contain eggs, milk, yogurt or other dairy products.

Kosher Vegetarian (KSMLV) – Prepared according to kosher specifications, this is a sealed, pre-packed meal that excludes the use of any meat, seafood and dairy products but may contain eggs.

Kosher (KSML) – Like above but not vegetarian (May contain meat or other animal products).

Muslim (MOML) – Does not contain pork or game meat, but may include other animal ingredients.

Low Cholesterol, Low Fat (LFML) – May contain egg whites, nonfat milk products, or other low-cholesterol animal by-products.

Low Calorie (LCML) – Usually vegetable-based but may contain nonfat milk products, egg whites, or animal by-products.

Low Lactose (LLML) – This meal is lactose free (excludes cheese, dairy products and their derivatives) but may contain meat/fish/poultry and/or egg products.

Diabetic (DBML) – Zero-sugar or low sugar, lower in calories and fat. However, this meal may contain eggs, nonfat milk or milk by-products.

Vegan Meal Availability According to Airline

While the 4-letter abbreviations are streamlined, meal types may be phrased or defined differently according to airline. It is best to read the descriptions (if applicable) on the airline’s website or contact customer service before choosing your in-flight meal.

AeroMexico

Vegan Vegetarian (VGML)
Fruit Plate (FPML)
Source: AeroMexico – In Flight Dining

adria airlines (slovenia)

AVML (Asian Vegetarian)
FPML (Fruit Plate)
RVML (Raw Vegetarian)
VGML (Vegetarian Non-Dairy/Egg – Vegan)
Source: Adria Airlines – Food and Drinks

air china

RVML (Raw Vegetarian)
VGML (Vegetarian Vegan)
VJML (Jain Vegetarain)
FPML (Fruit Platter)
*Note: Their VOML (Vegetarian Oriental Meal) may contain eggs.
Source: Air China – Special Meals

Air France

VGML (Vegan)
Source: Air France: Special Meals

American airlines

VGML (Vegan Vegetarian)
Source: American Airlines – Sample Menus

British airways

VGML (Vegan Vegetarian)
VJML (Jain Vegetarian) *Not available on flights from Athens or from the Caribbean (except Bermuda and Providenciales), or on flights operated by OpenSkies
FPML (Fresh Fruit Platter)
Source: British Airways – Special Meals

Delta

VGML (Pure Vegetarian / Vegan aka Western Vegetarian)
Source: Delta – Special Meals

Hawaiian Airlines

Must call to reserve Vegan/Vegetarian meals
Source: Hawaiian Airlines In-Flight Meal Service

JAL (Japan)

VGML (Vegan Vegetarian)
RVML (Raw Food Vegetarian Meal)
JAL International Flights – Special Meals

KLM

VGML (Vegetarian Vegan)
Source: KLM Special Meals on Board

Gallery Source: AirlineMeals.net

Korean Air

VGML (Vegetarian Vegan)
VJML (Jain Vegetarian)
VOML (Vegetarian Oriental) *Vegan
FPML (Fruit Platter)
Source: Korean Air – Special Meals

Lufthansa

VGML (Western Vegetarian)
FPML (Fruit Plate)
VOML (Vegetarian Oriental)
Source: Lufthansa – Special Meals

Singapore Air

VOML (Oriental Vegetarian) *Vegan
KSMLV (Kosher Vegetarian) *Might contain eggs. Call for more information.
RVML (Raw Vegetarian)
VGML (Western Vegetarian/Vegan)
VJML (Vegetarian Jain)
Source: Singapore Air – Special Meals
Gallery: Source: SQ Talk (Singapore Air) Forum:

Thai Airways

VGML (Strict European Vegetarian)
RVML (Raw Vegetarian)
VJML (Jain Vegetarian / Strict Indian Vegetarian)
VOML (Vegetarian Oriental)
*On Thai Airways flights, the “Western Vegetarian” meal is NOT vegan (it is listed as VLML, not VGML as it is on most other airlines).
Source: Thai Airways: Special Meals on Board

United Airlines

VGML (Vegan / Strict Vegetarian)
AVML (Asian Vegetarian) *On other airlines AVML meals are not always vegan
VJML (Jain Vegetarian) *Only available on flights to and from Mumbai, India
Source: United Airlines – Special Meals

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4 thoughts on “In-Flight Dining Guide

  1. Well my family is flying from Chicago to Kona Hawaii and I was informed there is no vegan option. Seriously, what are we going back in time! I now need to try and bring food for 3 people that are flying 9-10 hours each way. This is insane.

    • What is your airline, Tamara? If it’s Hawaiian Airlines, you might be limited to ordering the vegetarian option and eating the fruit cup that comes with it and/or picking the cheese off the salad. On the other hand, you could get lucky. When I flew Luftansa (from CA to Spain) I couldn’t eat anything they provided us–and when a flight attendant started to wonder why I asked for tomato juice constantly (which I’d pretended was tomato soup) they realized I was vegan and provided me with apples, lettuce, and packets of almonds. They also gave me a complementary neck pillow. Extra fiber from the apples alleviated the jetlag. Moral of the story: it never hurts to ask.

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