Roundup Of Routes Where Kosher Meals Are Served By North American Airlines

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Kosher meals, or KSMLs in airline speak, can be a hit or miss, though the latter is more common. In this post I wrote about some of the best and worst that I’ve received.

Hermolis out of London is famous for their very good kosher meals, though this salmon meal (there are also steak and chicken options) that we had in United business class from Honolulu to Newark in February was outstanding:

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Kosher meals need to be ordered 24 or 48 hours in advance and you should never rely on an online request or a request from a codeshare airline, you should always call the airline that you’re flying with to confirm a kosher meal request. It’s also a good idea to remind flight attendants to warm up the meal in the double wrapping and to serve it double wrapped. I’ve been served meals where the food has been opened and it’s worthless in those cases.

On long-haul flights I often bring my own double-wrapped meal (Nicknamed BYOK, as in, Bring Your Own Kosher meal) and ask the flight attendant if they can heat it up. I’ve only been refused on Cathay Pacific and just showing a flight attendant a bad kosher meal is usually enough in case they are on the fence. Often times the airlines forget to load your kosher meal and that’s a good enough reason for them to warm your own meal up and for some compensation afterward.

Either way, it’s good to know when you can order a kosher meal. Almost all major foreign carriers offer kosher meals in all classes of service on longer flights, but that’s beyond the scope of this article.

As for North American carriers, Air Canada and Delta have the most generous KSML policies, while United is stingier and Ameircan takes last place. JetBlue has a simple policy and excellent kosher meals, but not many of their flights offer Mint class.

Air Canada:
-Available in all classes on international flights that depart or arrive outside of North/Central America.
-Available in first/business class on all routes.

American:
-Available in all classes on international flights across the Atlantic or Pacific.
-Available in all classes on international flights to/from Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, and the following Brazilian cities: Belo Horizonte, Brasilia, Recife, Rio de Janeiro, Salvador, and Sao Paulo.
-Available in first/business class on flights to/from JFK and Los Angeles.
-Available in first/business class on flights to/from JFK and San Francisco.
-Available in first/business class on flights to/from Miami and Los Angeles.

Delta:
-Available in all classes on international flights across the Atlantic or Pacific.
-Available in all classes on flights to/from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and Peru.
-Available in first/business class for domestic flights that are at least 900 miles long that depart between 5am-1:30pm and 4pm-8pm.
-Available in first/business class for domestic flights that are at least 1,400 miles long that depart between 5am-8pm.
-Available in first/business class on all flights to/from JFK and Los Angeles.
-Available in first/business class on all flights to/from JFK and San Francisco.
-A kosher snack can be reserved in coach on flights between JFK-Los Angeles, JFK-San Francisco, Boston-San Francisco, and Washington DC-Los Angeles.

JetBlue:
-Available in Mint class on all routes. Menu can be viewed here.

United:
-Available in all classes on international flights across the Atlantic or Pacific.
-Available in all classes on flights to/from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and Peru.
-Available in first/business class on flights to Hawaii
-Available in first/business class on flights from Honolulu or Maui.
-Available in first/business class on flights to/from Newark and Los Angeles.
-Available in first/business class on flights to/from Newark and San Francisco.

Alaska, Allegiant, Frontier, Hawaiian, Southwest, Spirit, Sun Country, Virgin America, and WestJet do not offer any kosher meals.

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31 Comments On "Roundup Of Routes Where Kosher Meals Are Served By North American Airlines"

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Reuben

Been on quite a few Jet Blue flights in Mint from LAX to NYC and have always asked for kosher food to no avail. These flights were between 18 and 24 months ago.

Joe

Does United have Kosher Meals in Business Class from Costa Rica to EWR ??

R

This is somewhat verbose….to help summarize — the only US airline that will provide you a kosher meal domestically on ALL flights (where a meal is servced) is Delta.

Jack out of the box

When someone is bumped/flight cancelled etc. often they’ll end up without a kosher meal. Is there an accepted norm for compensation from the airline in such a case?

Dan

@Reuben:
Have you called 48 hours in advance to reserve it?
Either way, it’s definitely available now and it’s the best KSML in the US48.

@Joe:
No.

@R:
The parenthesis are key, but yes, Air Canada and Delta have the most kosher availability.

American is the stingiest, with nothing available all the way to Hawaii.

@Jack out of the box:
Doesn’t hurt to ask.

Netlevy

Hermolis by far beats any garbage served from any Brooklyn caterers
They really have the best meals

levi

Correct me if I am wrong, but I believe you have to call United to confirm a kosher meal on their EWR-LAX route as it cannot be done online.

Dan

@Netlevy:
They are much better than the NYC caterers, though I have had a few better meals than Hermolis.

@levi:
You should always call the airline to order a KSML.

Not so hungry

I flew a couple of months back ewr-sfo on United in Business (award travel) and requested KSML by phone. I tried twice and was told both times they do not offer KSML domestically.
(I made it clear that I was booked in business and that it was ewr-sfo)

(Got rotten service in other ways as well.)

Sillypainter

I had the Jetblue mint class meal from LAX-JFK and it was nothing exciting. They make it look cool on this PDF sheet, but it’s the same as the AA F meal x JFK.

Dan

@Not so hungry:
3rd time would have been the charm. Airlines are full of lazy phone reps.

@Sillypainter:
3 hot entrees is at least more options for something taste good than 1…

Jacob

Just flew United J from hnl-iad (ua144 departing June 8)
Instead of a biz class ksml I was served a double portion of economy meal (regal) should I just let this go or file a customer care complaint?

Dan

@Jacob:
That’s too bad, but it’s not worthy of a complaint in my opinion.

It is worth just letting them know that you prefer getting kosher meals from Oahu Kosher, as has been offered on United in the past, over the Regal meals though.

Anonymous

what am i supposed to do to jfk-lhr on ba

Kosher Food at BA Lounge T5?

Flying to London (LHR) on British Airways Club World and have a longer layover. I will flying in and out of Terminal 5. Anyone have the contact information to request kosher meals in one or more of the lounges. I was told that you need to make advance reservations to get “real” food at the lounge. I can’t seem to locate this online. Thank you.

Delta JFK to LHR 1st Class

I flew from JFK to FLL in Delta First Class at dinner time. The food was really very good.

On the return flight FLL to JFK it was breakfast and not quite as good, the bread was stale and the food was bland.

David Mermelstein

Bring your own food. I travel a lot United overseas in business class and they serve Regal. These meals are not fit for a dog to eat. I order the kosher meals hoping that they don’t make it on board. If you complain to the United desk, they usually give you up to a $350 voucher.

Anonymous

@levi: I don’t think United lets you select any meals on line regardless of route. Every time I’ve had a flight, couldn’t find a place to make the selection online.

on DL & AA I’ve done it online without any issue

reb yid

Could you say a word about which hechsherim are involved?

Joanne Helperin

I can understand why one has to pay for their meal in economy, but for the life of me I don’t understand why one can’t get a kosher meal — at any price — in economy.

Dovid

Any idea if any airline has cholov yisroel dairy available?

ah

Believe it or not, Delta has been offering meals including kosher to any class of service between JFK-SJU for a while now.

yeh

any ideas of the quality food on Turkish Airlines Economy class?

Israel

How is the quality of the Kosher food from EWR to TLV on United? Thansk!

Motti

Spirit offers snacks and drinks for sale. Their Pringles has an OU and a “Israeli Rabbanut” approval (written in Hebrew). Other packaged items also have some hechsher.

Points lover

@jack out of the box

I flew united ewr-lax Buisness they didn’t provide a kosher meal I complained and got 15k united milage plus points:) best part of flying not like anyone needs these meals

Points lover

@jack out of the box

I flew united Ewr-Lax Buisness they didn’t have have kosher meals I complained and got 15k miles:)

Tom Brady

@Kosher Food at BA Lounge T5?:
They definitely have Kosher food available in the BA lounges, and I am not aware of any need to request them in advance, as I’m 2 for 2 in getting Kosher food when just showing up and asking. In the J lounge they only offer bagel sandwiches and soup, while in the F Lounge they offer real meals (salmon, chicken stir fry, spaghetti and meatballs etc.).

I also happen to be 2 for 2 in getting F meals, when I only had J lounge access though. So if you want a real meal, it doesn’t hurt to ask nicely and have a good excuse why you would like a real meal in the lounge, and they might make an exception for you.

Anonymous

@David Mermelstein: I was more bemused by getting served 2 economy meal trays as the “biz class” meal regardless of caterer

shaya

does american serve kosher meals on first class from newark to phoenix?

a

American now serves on all Domestic routes in F (or J) where meals are served

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