Can cabin crew eat leftover food in business class?


Of course, that’s a variable – as cabin crew you won’t get food in business class or even a crew meal, on low cost airlines. In the case of older carriers, which have different levels of onboard service and provide crew meals, things work a little differently.

Crew meal

Let’s take a look at the standard crew meal first. It’s much the same as the economy class passenger meal, although there are three or four choices, including a vegetarian option. The flight crew must eat different meals, because in the rare case of food poisoning, you need a healthy pilot to fly the plane.


On long-haul flights, additional meals or snacks will be charged. These meals are not always consumed by the crew, because sometimes when a passenger has not received a special meal request or asks for a last minute, the cabin crew can usually prepare something from the meals of the cabin crew. ‘crew.

Crew salaries are based on hours worked, other personnel costs are fairly fixed expenses. Photo: Tui

After sales service

Aircrew only take their meals after meal service, bar service, tea and coffee service and clearing service have been completed. Usually the lead crew member or purser checks what meals are left after service in each cabin and offers them to the flight crew first, then everything else is sent to each kitchen. Business class service is more individualized service on real plates with cutlery, so it’s more enjoyable than eating from an aluminum container, so it’s appreciated when the crew gets the chance. Meals are also of higher quality, with all dishes served separately. Of course, the crew will not receive a five-course meal in business class each, but they could receive a starter or a cheese plate, for example.

First class?

In first class it is a little more complicated because meals are served on demand when the passenger wants them, so there should always be enough meals for everyone, but if there is something left and the passengers have eaten, the crew may have the opportunity to eat dessert or snacks in the first class cabin.

A business class meal is a huge bonus for cabin crew. Photo:Switzerland

Alternative offers

Especially on major airlines cabin crew usually eat the crew meal and everything else is a bonus – it certainly doesn’t happen all the time. Some cabin crew bring their own meals to avoid the unhealthy crew meal option, or sometimes they just get bored with the same food.

Crew meals (and economy class passenger meals) aren’t the healthiest because they contain more salt and fat, so they taste better at altitude. They are actually specially designed by chefs to taste great while flying and taste completely different when eaten on the ground. Business class and first class meals have much better quality produce and are less “manufactured” and therefore will taste much nicer.

The cabin crew tend to be quite creative and think on their feet, so sometimes the leftover sandwiches can become ‘hot toast’ with Worcestershire sauce and Tabasco from the bar cart, which they might just have need in the middle of the night on a long haul flight, or they can grab some salads and add some first class macadamia nuts and a small bottle of balsamic vinegar from a business class tray and enjoy a more luxurious meal and healthier than the crew meal.

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