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I'm currently planning a flight between munich (MUC) and Kathmandu (KTM) for trekking in Nepal. This is a 11.5h+ flight which costs at least 700 EUR (well, technically two flights - there and back). For this reason I don't look only at the price, but I'm interested what else I should consider.

One thing is food. What can I expect? Is food / water always included in such long flights? What about quantity / quality?

I'm especially interested in those 4 airlines:

  • Lufthansa
  • Air India
  • Flydubai
  • Emirates

Besides a central authority (similar to Michelin stars for restaurants), I could imagine web services that average user ratings (similar to Tripadviser does for restaurants).

  • You can take your own food on the plane, which would be better than anything served by the airline, unless you're in business class. – JonathanReez Dec 26 '18 at 0:56
  • People vary but it is very rare that I am hungry on a flight. Never thirsty as you can usually request water at any time. Quality varies. It's not going to be amazing in economy class but it should be edible. Emirates are good. I would expect tgst Lufthansa is as well. Air India are poor, I would not use them unless the savings was very large. I know nothing about Flydubai. – badjohn Dec 26 '18 at 8:55
  • Skytrax claims to monitor this, LH gets 4.5 stars out of 5 for its economy meal quality. AI gets 3.5 stars. You can take a look at the rest on their site. Not everyone would agree with their ratings. – Calchas Dec 26 '18 at 23:29
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A list of what can you expect below. Specific comments on Lufthansa and Emirates only, I haven't flown the others this year.

  1. Food and water/soft-drinks is served for free. Typically twice on a long flight: dinner and snack/breakfast. (For a regular economy ticket). Most will also serve alcohol for free, some may charge extra.
  2. I found the quality to be hit or miss even with the airlines on the same route. Lufthansa and Emirates are one of the better airlines, but I certainly had bad food on LH as well.
  3. On some airlines you can grab a snack from the Galley during the flight. Again, it's hit or miss and depends on the airline and the mood of the staff.
  4. There are no non-stops between MUC and KTM (I think), so if food is really a big concern, chances are you can have a nice sit down dinner/lunch at the the layover airport. This will be quite likely better than any airplane food.
  5. Chances are you will spent most of your time watching movies so the in-flight-entertainment system is important. Emirates "ICE" system is quite nice and has a large selection of movies and TV shows (games, air maps, etc). Lufthansa does adjust this by routes and typically has a much smaller selection.
  6. A big part of your experience is seat selection. Window is good for sleeping and having extra elbow room. Isle is good for getting to the bathroom and getting stuff from the overheads. However you also need to get up for the other passengers in your row and you will get bumped occasionally by staff and passengers walking by. Middle seats are terrible. Avoid if any possible
  7. Seat reservation on Lufthansa has become frightfully expensive. For Europe to East Asia they recently charged $70 US per leg (i.e. $140 US round trip). That's a LOT of money, so comparing prices is helpful. You can always chance it: seat selection is free at check in, so if you go online 23 hour before departure you may be able to get something good without paying extra.
  8. If you want to check luggage, make sure you understand whether you need to pay extra and how much. LH does sell "Light economy" which typically does not include a bag
  9. You also need to make sure you understand carry on restrictions, as they are all over the place. LH and Emirates restrict the weight of a carry on, and LH does enforce this often by weighing carry on bags. Other airlines have a size restriction or both.
  • Regarding ICE - you can always watch stuff on your phone, laptop or tablet instead :) Unlimited choice of content, as long as you stock up in advance. – JonathanReez Dec 26 '18 at 17:53
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AirlineMeals.net might fit the bill: it's a giant repository of photos of airline food, so you see exactly what was served and can form your own opinions: http://www.airlinemeals.net

For example, if you search for "Lufthansa dxb", it shows you meals for their flights to/from Dubai.

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