How to cope with 15 hour flights as a vegan - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 07-03-2012, 03:13 AM
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Hi all :) How ya doing?

 

I thought that some of you might find this useful. I feel like I live on an airplane, sometimes, and these long-haul flights can be a ***** when you are a vegan!

 

I thought I'd offer some suggestions, and you all can add as you see fit?

 

1 - Check what meals the airline offers.

I travel Emirates most of the time due to their frequent flier program, and they do offer a vegan meal. It's called the strict vegetarian meal. I had a conversation with their catering department, asking why they don't call it a vegan meal. Apparently since the meal is prepared in the same kitchen as the meat/dairy meals, in case of an allergy attack or something, they are not allowed to call it a vegan meal. But the meal itself contains no meat, dairy, eggs or animal products, so is vegan.

 

2 - Eat well at the airport.

Especially important for flights 7 hours +. Most airports will have some kind of vegan food around - even the tiny Glasgow airport has a WHSmith where there are fruit salads. Eat a meal before boarding the flight, in case it turns out your inflight meal is not infact vegan/they've lost it or given it to someone else (yes, that has happened to me a few times!).

 

3 - Take any small snacks you can.

I'd get some small transparent bags, and fill them with nuts or even a vegan sandwich. To get them through security, make sure they are in transparent bags! Keep them in your bag - I made the mistake of trying to get a sandwich through security at London Heathrow, and as it turns out, sandwich spread is considered a liquid. I pulled out the baggie along with my make up baggie, and they confiscated the sandwich!

 

4 - Ask the Flight Staff

If all fails, your snacks are gone, your meal got 'lost', and there's still 10 hours of flight time to go, just ask a stewardess. I've noticed that it seems to go over better if I go to the galley myself, and just politely ask if there's anything they can put together for me. One of the times they ran out of my vegan meal on Emirates, I politely asked the steward, and he put together a nifty little plate of brown rice and raw peppers for me! Turns out he was a strict vegetarian!

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#2 Old 07-03-2012, 03:41 AM
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Those are good suggestions. 

 

I often think that people think they need to eat regularly or there will be some disastrous effect.  Unless someone actually suffers from a condition, that's just not the case.  I think it's usually more psychological than physical.  I regularly don't eat for 15 hours.  Some doctors even recommend it (intermittent fasting).  It's not a big deal.
 


"If you want to know where you would have stood on slavery before the civil war, don't look at where you stand on slavery today, look at where you stand on animal rights." - Paul Watson.

 

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#3 Old 07-03-2012, 03:44 AM
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I just find that fasting doesn't work on flights - you get dehydrated from the altitude, anyway. I did do that once, on a 11 hour flight, and ended up exhausted and starving. I'd rather be fat and eat regularly :)

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#4 Old 07-03-2012, 05:27 AM
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Great suggestions, Bohom. smiley.gif I wish I regularly flew to cool faraway places... smiley.gif I definitely think eating before you get on the plane is great advice, and bring a big bottle of water (purchased for big bucks after security screening). I get so dehydrated in planes!

And not to be completely paranoid, but the air filtration systems in planes are horrible, so do your immune system builders before flying. (I take vitamin C and echinacea.) Bon voyage everyone. smiley.gif
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#5 Old 07-03-2012, 06:33 AM
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Unfortunately, I don't often fly for pleasure. *work, volunteering, awkward family meets that can't count as pleasure*. But yes, good idea with the immune system boost!

 

I find that my skin gets very dry too, so I'll add a good quality facial wipe to the list.

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#6 Old 07-03-2012, 07:32 AM
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I have brought fruit & nut bars, fresh fruit (melon & pineapple in containers, grapes, bananas in peel), and nuts on flights without a problem.  Also salads.  You can usually get a nice salad from Au Bon Pain (U.S.):  they have grapes, apples, sundried tomatoes, cucumbers, fresh tomatoes, etc. as toppings.

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#7 Old 07-03-2012, 09:57 AM
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i never rely on the airline to provide me with anything other than hot and cold water. i will order the vegan meal when it's available but i stopped trusting them to be actually vegan when i got one with a butter container. actually i stopped relying on being provided with enough water ever since i was on a flight where they rationed water. i just attach my reusable water bottle to my carry-on bag.
i bring my own food and not just a snack but a fully prepared meal of sorts (a bag of food generally doesn't count as a carry-on item). if it's a long enough flight i'll bring 2 meals. i never eat before getting on the plane regardless of how hungry i am because it'll pass the time faster to eat on the plane.
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#8 Old 07-03-2012, 04:16 PM
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More often than not, I got packages of margarine containing dairy with my "strict vegetarian meal".

 

It was so much better back in the days, when you could take a water bottle full of vodka !

 

I wear velcro strap shoes, to easily loosen them after sitting down and can easily tighten them with one hand, when it's time to leave the plane. All clothing should be loose. 

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#9 Old 07-04-2012, 03:13 PM
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At least once a year, I spend about thirteen hours flying from the southern United States to Canada. Eating usually isn't any problem at all. I try to keep snacks in my carry on bags, like granola bars, nuts, or dried fruit. Sometimes I'll bake the night before and bring a small bag of cookies to munch on. I've never done it (because I don't eat very much while traveling), but I would think it would be easy enough to make a wrap or sandwich to bring with you as well.  When I do get hungry, I generally wait until I have a stop at another airport and then look for something. Most of the bigger airports have a fairly decent selection when it comes to restaurants. It's not usually too hard to find a salad, wrap, or a place to get a vegan sandwich.

 

My own personal preference in addition to food, is to always bring a change of clothes, a toothbrush and a small travel size toothpaste in my carry on. You never know when you'll have a problem...like getting delayed somewhere or even just spilling your coffee on yourself. It pays to be able to clean yourself up and feel presentable again.


"[-]But caging them, killing them, eating them was unthinkable. We were creatures of the same world."
-Animorphs, #18

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#10 Old 07-04-2012, 03:52 PM
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love this.

thanks!!!

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#11 Old 07-06-2012, 01:24 PM
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Great tips, everyone! I've never done such a long flight before - the longest I've done was 10-12 hours from Amsterdam to Havana.

 

Instead of buying food at the airport, I recommend bringing your own food to eat. It's much cheaper and probably much healthier. :) Of course, you'll have to eat it before the security check, but if you arrive in good time, there should be time to eat a meal before going through security. If you're afraid you'll get hungry again, try to bring food or snacks with you. I've brought a whole lunch bag with me on board without problems. The worst thing that can happen is that they throw it out ;)

Oh, and I've watched enough episodes of Border Security to know that you really shouldn't try to bring food into Australia :P

 

Another tip is to try to get some sleep on the plane. Time will pass faster, and you won't get hungry as easily. Bring a neck pillow, an mp3-player (or earplugs) and a sleep mask. Ask the cabin crew for a blanket. :)

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#12 Old 07-07-2012, 05:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnneMaria View Post

 

 

Another tip is to try to get some sleep on the plane. Time will pass faster, and you won't get hungry as e

The "Does God Love me test". Can I sleep on a plane  ? Yes ? then God loves you.

 

I once bought a bunch of valerian root, and then stuffed it into enough vegetarian empty capsules to fill an empty vitamin D bottle. Then downed the whole bottle just before getting on a plane. People in the terminal watching me do it, probably thought I was getting ready for a hijack suicide mission. Didn't do ****. I CAN'T sleep in a plane. There's just part of me that thinks I might have to suddenly make a parachute out of the hides of the other passengers

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#13 Old 07-10-2012, 08:45 PM
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I just pre order the vegetarian meal which always comes as a vegan meal (qantas), did this on my 14 hour flight Aus to USA 2 weeks ago.

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#14 Old 07-19-2012, 12:52 AM
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Yeah, Vefo, if you order the Strict Veg Meal on Emirates it also comes out vegan.

 

Hmm, another one!

 

DON'T get drunk the night before a long flight - travelling with a hangover is one of the most horrible experiences ever! (unfortunately, yes I do speak from experience).

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#15 Old 07-23-2012, 01:43 PM
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I'm traveling for the first time this coming up weekend since i made my switch. Its not a long flight but i was still a bit worried about it. I do plan on bringing a thing or two. I really hate that i have to buy a bottle of water once i get though secerutity. I always keep water with me and it urkes me to throw it out. I think this trip this week is a good test run for when we go on our honeymoon next year. I just hope theres not any troubles. 


Life isn't about forgetting or tuning out. It's about learning to live with and accept your worst mistakes. They are what make us all, even the gods, human. ~ Acheron

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#16 Old 07-23-2012, 02:08 PM
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Originally Posted by everblue1037 View Post

I'm traveling for the first time this coming up weekend since i made my switch. Its not a long flight but i was still a bit worried about it. I do plan on bringing a thing or two. I really hate that i have to buy a bottle of water once i get though secerutity. I always keep water with me and it urkes me to throw it out. I think this trip this week is a good test run for when we go on our honeymoon next year. I just hope theres not any troubles. 
you don't have to buy water. either bring a reusable bottle or an empty plastic bottle and fill it up at a water fountain or ask the flight attendant to fill it up for you
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#17 Old 07-26-2012, 10:58 AM
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I have a thing about water tasting like metal from the pipes or minerals in the water. Its from the horrible tasteing water where i live. Its weird i know but its just one of those things. The good thing is that a big bottle of water will last me all day.


Life isn't about forgetting or tuning out. It's about learning to live with and accept your worst mistakes. They are what make us all, even the gods, human. ~ Acheron

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#18 Old 07-27-2012, 04:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bohom View Post

 

 

DON'T get drunk the night before a long flight -

Exactly. Get drunk while waiting to board the plane. Sometimes when you board, the Captain is standing there greeting everyone. Then you can say to him " HIYA Captain, I'm drunk, just like you. Where's my co-pilot badge ? "

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#19 Old 09-26-2012, 11:56 PM
 
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You can carry some of the eat ups for yourself. Rest there will be a single meal in the whole plane which must be free from animal products.

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#20 Old 09-27-2012, 05:42 PM
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Last time I went on a flight I ordered vegan food one way and vegetarian food the other. I actually thought the food provided on the flight for both vegan and vegetarian was quite good. And there were plenty of snacks in between meals too which were also quite tasty and filling. I've never had any trouble with flying as a vegetarian or vegan before.

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#21 Old 12-04-2012, 08:54 AM
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I travel quite a bit and always ask for the vegan/vegetarian meal, which is usually perfect, and whoever I'm travelling with is super jealous that I got "real food" and they got "unidentifiable meat product", which is great!

 

But one time our flight got cancelled and we had to be put on another flight, which all happened after we got to the airport. We were told at the check in desk.  Now you think a sophisticated booking system would take all of the customer details, particularly special requests, and move them over to the new booking/flight. Alas it did not, and I was left with the choice of chicken or fish.  Luckily there was an awesome flight attendant on board, and when I told him I ordered a vegan meal, he checked the passenger manifest and saw there were no veg meals on board at all.  So what he did was put together a meal for me out of the flight attendants extra side dishes, the snacks they had on board, and side items from the regular meals.  It was so lovely to see them be concerned about me, and then when he told the other flight attendants, they kept checking to see if I was hungry :P haha

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#22 Old 12-04-2012, 02:25 PM
 
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Wow, i never thought about travelling as a Vegan, but now i know what to do,

 

Pack a lot of snacks and food! cool3.gif

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#23 Old 12-20-2012, 08:09 PM
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I travel a lot and I've flown on many airlines and I've been given a vegan meal on every single one. Virgin, Qantas, Air China, Thai Airways, Cathay Pacific, Malaysian Air, even smaller domestic Chinese airlines, even a small interstate Mongolian flight. If you are a vegan on most airlines then you simply have to order a vegetarian meal, because their vegetarian meals are vegan by standard. If you want a vegetarian meal (with milk/egg/cheese/butter) then it's listed as an Ovo-lacto vegetarian meal. I've never had any remotely non vegan elements in my meal, I get separate non dairy spreads, soy milk with my tea/coffee and sometimes even different bread rolls if they're not 100% vegan.

 

Just make sure you pre order your meal and you'll be fine, they are very accommodating and you won't have any problems. 

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#24 Old 12-20-2012, 08:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by QiTian View Post

...
I've never had any remotely non vegan elements in my meal, I get separate non dairy spreads, soy milk with my tea/coffee and sometimes even different bread rolls if they're not 100% vegan.
...
i've had butter included with my "vegan" meal.
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