Kosher Meals Are Only Safe On Flights To Tel Aviv Or Are Airlines Using COVID-19 As An Excuse For Frugality?

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Airlines have been using COVID-19 as an excuse to cut in-flight catering costs.

  • Delta has suspended alcohol, meal service, kosher meals, and other services on all domestic flights in all classes of service.
  • American isn’t offering any meal service or kosher meals on flights under 2,200 miles in any cabin.
  • JetBlue has suspended alcohol and other services.
  • Southwest is only serving water for their drink service.
  • Alaska is not serving any alcohol in coach and isn’t serving hard alcohol in any cabin.

And then there’s United.

Their media relations team wrote to me that, “For the safety of our customers and crew, we have made changes to our inflight food and beverage service. This includes pausing special meal requests on flights other than offering Kosher meals on our flight between Newark and Tel Aviv.”

They didn’t have a response when I asked why the kosher meals are only safe on the Newark-Tel Aviv route…

I’m baffled as to why removing kosher meals from all flights in all cabins systemwide helps safety. Kosher meals are sealed and should be the safest meal around. United said the changes are in place indefinitely.

But I suppose that sounds better than saying kosher meals are removed due to budget cuts.

You can write to United to give feedback on these changes on their site here. After all, that’s exactly what they advised me to tell my readers at KWFE NYC.

Other airlines have also cut back on kosher meals. Reports have other airlines like KLM are not taking kosher meal requests as well.

El Al owned Borenstein caterers received a CARES Act bailout of $2,758,079, but even El Al has cut back on their offerings, with just one boxed meal on a flight from JFK to Tel Aviv.

Other airlines are cutting back on alcohol as well.

Do you think that these are safety measures or just cost cutting measures with a convenient scapegoat? What has your experience been with meals on flights during the COVID-19 era?

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43 Comments On "Kosher Meals Are Only Safe On Flights To Tel Aviv Or Are Airlines Using COVID-19 As An Excuse For Frugality?"

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Is JFK-LAX over 2,200 miles ?

Frequent flyer

Yes 2470


It says “We’re also unable to offer special meals except for Kosher meals on flights to and from Tel Aviv”
Definitely were serving them this week from TLV


I dont understand the cutting alcohol. I understand if you say drinking causes germs and spiddle in the air. But if youre offering drinks of one kind whats the difference? Just as you give someone a bottle of water, give them a can of soda or beer or a bottle.


I called United to book a kosher meal on a trans Atlantic flight, the rep lied to me and said that for “safety” reasons they aren’t serving any meals or beverages so I couldn’t order a kosher meal. However on the flight they were serving regular meals to all the other passengers as well as drinks service.

There were around 18-20 Orthodox Jews (as far as I could tell) on a flight with just 60 passengers.

Not sure why it’s ok for a third of the passengers on a 8 hour flight to not have meals served

please clarify what happened

you wrote no meals were served why is that discrimination against a third of the passengers, all of the passengers according to what you have written suffered?


He says they did get meals


seems like its all meals not just specifically kosher. so no big deal. they have to save money somehow so they can give millions to their upper position people


Any cuts for international flights? Jfk to tlv w delta


Who eats that crap anyway??
Whoever is making this “meals” should look me in the eyes and say this is food


If you fly from certain overseas airports, there are actually some decent airplane meals, e.g. hermolis


I eat it.


Bon appetit


The “upgraded” breakfast on flight 91 on Wednesday in PremiumPlus was a tiny sandwich and a small bottle of water.


Unfortunately there are many unscrupulous people that are doing the same thing. I know someone who works for a well known klall organization, the work wasn’t any less during this lockdown, if anything they were working harder (there was the usual budget issues, but nothing different due to the lockdown) and they got an email from the director titled “virus” to reduce what they were being paid. Just taking advantage of the situation.

What\'s good for the goose, is good for the Gander

Name the organization


DansDeals. And it was Dan getting back at JJ for taking his lego when they were young. Had nothing to do with COVID. :-p


How about the schools charging tuition while taking ppp and having just 45 minutes a day of school?! As Dan says- it’s all about the bottom line baby…


Delta suspended Kosher meals on Caribbean flights too. JFK-AUA has no kosher meal avail


Just flew tlv jfk El Al business class. Served 2 lil cold cold cut sandwiches pre wrapped. Total crap and copout


Spirit is nice enough to continue selling everything


I suspect that ALL special meals are exluded, not just kosher. Cost cutting, fewer workers available, one less category of thing to have to load onto planes, maybe the outside caterers do not have sanitation in place that tbe airlines want. It’s not about excluding kosher keeping Jews, so while it’s inconvenuent for many of us, please put it in perspective.
The fact that United is offering kosher meals to TLV? I consider it a nice, maybe smart gesture to its customers.


2 words: Scott Kirby


I understand United not offering kosher as cost savings and operational issues during Covid, the text is the airline industry standard when cutting services ( we gutted our FF to better serve you) and IMO if they would just say the truth ppl would be more accepting of them


I have had some excellent kosher meals-on an air france flight from LAX-CDG from Emunah catering, on Lufthansa out of Frankfurt, on EL AL in the past and I can remember one domestic flight where my kosher meal was definitely better than my husband’s treif one. If they are serving treif to other passengers then it is a financial issue and/or discrmination.


BA also stopped serving all special meals due to Covid-19. Just an excuse to save money.


No alcohol or coffee on UA91 last week. Purser gave me a $300 as an apology


The Kosher meals were garage in first place, just like prison food, I would rather know for sure that they don’t provide food and bring my own food,
P.S. don’t wake me up when you go around offering magazines and other crap. just like you don’t bring me Kosher meals.


United told me the same. Half our fight to London was Kosher clients but no kosher meals for us.

Texas Totty

Is Scott Kerby related to George Kirby (of Nancy Pelosi fame)?


An Excuse For Frugality?


And the default stock reply wasn’t late in coming:
Hi – – – – ,

Thank you for reaching out to us about Kosher special meals on International flights/routes besides flights to Tel Aviv that are still being offered.

To try and further limit potential exposure to coronavirus (COVID-19) on board, we’re temporarily adjusting our inflight service as of March 29 and will be moving to primarily pre-packaged foods and sealed beverages. Preorder meals and food for purchase will not be available. We’re also unable to offer special meals except for Kosher meals on flights to and from Tel Aviv (to/from Newark, Washington Dulles, and San Francisco).

We value your feedback. We’re sorry our products didn’t or aren’t meeting your needs, and your comments are very helpful to us in understanding how to improve your travel experience.

We thank you for your continued loyalty, as a valued Premier 1K customer. We look forward to working toward the suggestions you’ve mentioned, and to welcoming you aboard your next flight. Take care and keep safe!


Customer Care
Case ID:

Clearly didn’t READ my argument, because their response only corroborates my point. Kosher meals are pre-packaged, sealed and carry a low contamination risk.


My letter to united. A bit harsh and a bit too informal but I am ANGRY, (and I hardly travel but its the principal of the matter)

“We’re also unable to offer special meals except for Kosher meals on flights to and from Tel Aviv.”

United is disgusting to take advantage of the Covid-19 pandemic to try to save a few bucks by not offering kosher meals. Not only careless, but dumb too. This has ZERO to do with safety as all the kosher meals are also individually wrapped. Nasty move by United, especially after your whole insincere “We are here for you during the pandemic”, garbage.


Is American offering kosher meals on flights over 2,200 miles?

mendel london

LHR – EWR on United no kosher meal
LHR – JFK on Virgin had kosher meal
MIA – LHR on BA no kosher meal
JFK – LHR on BA no kosher meal


its totally unfair and deserves a class action suit against UA for not serving kosher meals in business cls when paying upwards of 3K on any route but specifically to TLV and only offer it on ewr_tlv route funny thing if flying partner LH to tlv connecting in FRA you’ll get kosher
btw fyi DL does offer kosher from ATL as well as JFK to TLV