From airport restaurants to in-flight food, eating during traveling is often a puzzle, trying to figure out options that are both affordable and nutritious. When you throw dietary restrictions into the mix, it makes it even more difficult. Currently, over 9.7 million American identify as vegan, and even more people are looking to reduce their meat and dairy consumption. Now, several airlines including Delta and Alaska Airlines are introducing healthier plant-based options.

Preparing for a vegan vacation used to require weeks of meal planning, restaurant searching, and stockpiling snacks for the plane. Now, the airlines have realized that vegan tourism is on the rise, and is even growing to be a significant percentage of the overall travel industry. A report surveyed 5,700 people globally, finding that 76 percent of respondents say that ethical and environmental sourcing of food influences their choices.

One app, Vegvisits, was launched to alleviate the stress of plant-based travel. The platform helps vegan tourists find plant-based experiences, restaurants, and snacks in new cities. Customers can use this app in over 80 countries with plans for expansion. But the app only helps once you reach your destination. For vegan travelers, the airport and airlines represent the final hurdle for a stress-free vacation.

Now, vegan travelers can choose from an array of offerings on domestic or international flights. These seven airlines will prepare a specialty vegan dish when you request it, allowing plant-based passengers to travel a bit lighter.

7 Airlines With Vegan and Plant-Based Food Options

Alaska Airlines

Alaska Airlines is making sure that all its passengers can eat sustainable, healthy meals this summer. The airline partnered with beloved West Coast chain Evergreen to debut the “Soy Meets World” vegan salad. The fully vegan salad contains roasted broccoli, fresh cucumber, scallions, pickled carrots, roasted cashews, fried onions, fried tofu, and brown rice on a bed of mixed greens. The vegan salad is served with a Tamari Chili Lime dressing. The vegan option is available on all flights longer than 1,100 miles.

Passengers can also order from a selection of vegan snacks with the Mediterranean Picnic Tapas option. This snack pack contains hummus, olives, corn crackers, almonds, an apple and fig bar, and a piece of dark chocolate.

American Airlines

American Airlines claims that nearly 20 percent of its entrees for its International Premium cabin are vegan. The airline offers a selection of options that include grilled eggplant, grilled cauliflower with chili, a Mediterranean ratatouille with farro, and much more. The airline also claimed in a statement that 23 percent of its customers pre-ordered vegan meals in 2020. The airline intends to continue expanding its plant-based offerings across its domestic and international flights.

Delta Airlines

Delta Air Lines offers a specialty vegan menu item that is available to passengers on all flights that serve meals. The vegan meals can include a lentil and artichoke ragout or a Harissa Roasted Veggie Wrap. The major airline also provides extensive vegan options to its international flight passengers and certain first-class cabins.

This March, Delta also partnered with Impossible Foods and Black Sheep Foods to test five new plant-based dishes including meatless meatballs, Impossible burgers, and more. These options remain regionally limited, but these new menu items are “one part of Delta’s broader mission to promote a wellness-focused travel journey.”

Emirates Airlines

Vegan meals are not reserved for business or first class passengers on Emirates Airlines. Make sure to book your meal 24 hours in advance, because this airline offers a delectable selection of vegan food. The tasty vegan options include foods such as misir wat (an Ethiopian red lentil stew), Tofu Jalfrezi, or Ancho Three-bean Chili. High-demand routes also provide several plant-based options on the main menu.

Singapore Airlines

Passengers do not need to worry at all about the food when flying with Singapore Airlines. Traditionally prepared in “Western” style, the major airline crafts vegan options that include the major food groups. Some plant-based options include salad, chili with rice, or even spaghetti marinara. Occasionally, the airline also offers a fried tofu dish with vegetables. On certain flights, passengers can choose from a variety of plant-based options when they note their dietary preferences 24 hours in advance.

Swiss International Airlines

Swiss International partnered with the world's oldest vegetarian restaurant, Hiltl, to provide its passengers with plant-based meals. Most long flights feature a vegetarian hot meal without preordering, but flyers can order an a la carte option from Hiltl while booking their flights. The meal features a mesclun salad, vegetable green curry, and a mango mousse.

United Airlines

United Airlines provides a special vegetarian meal for all flights where meal service is provided, however, when it comes to being fully vegan, the airline has limited options. To keep up with its competitors, the major airline service announced this June that it partnered with Impossible Foods. United introduced new plant-based food items at select airport lounges and flights. United unveiled the Impossible Meatball Bowl to all first-class customers on domestic flights flying over 800 miles within the continental U.S. The bowl features three vegan meatballs with broccolini, couscous, and herb-infused tomato sauce.

To find delicious plant-based food anywhere in the world, visit The Beet's Find Vegan Near Me articles. 

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