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Inspired by this question: two of the IATA Meal Codes, next to the usual vegetarian, bland, Kosher etc meals, are CAKE Birthday Cake and CLML Celebration Cake Meal.

On which airlines can or could I actually eat cake? The Wiki page above credits CAKE to Scandinavian Airlines, but as a former SAS frequent flyer, I've never heard of much less seen this supposed perk.

For avoidance of doubt, this is specifically about being able to preorder a "cake meal", having a slice included as a part of your regular meal doesn't cut it.

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    It seems SAS did it once upon a time but discontinued it quite some time ago Aug 17 at 4:51
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    Virgin America certainly did it (source ) but the very airline is gone. Virgin Atlantic too source, source not sure what's going on now.
    – chx
    Aug 17 at 6:34
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    Check the last sentence, I also know that they provide birthday cakes but it's not advertised: saudia.com/before-flying/special-assistance/special-meals Aug 17 at 7:02
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    I've flown 100s+ of times and never seen a birthday cake. I might also not have noticed if it happens somewhere out of of my sight without drawing a lot of attention to it
    – Hilmar
    Aug 17 at 12:34
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    @Hilmar: so did I, all over the world. I did not even know that this was an option.
    – WoJ
    Aug 18 at 16:24
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Several airlines offer birthday cakes, or at least did before the pandemic (many catering options and special meals were discontinued during COVID).

Turkish Airlines offered a "celebration cake," though the program is currently suspended. When they were being offered, they'd provide free cake for birthdays and wedding anniversaries. You can see some pictures of those who received it.

This 2018 article lists other airlines that have offered birthday cakes: "Korean Air, Turkish Airlines, SpiceJet, Swiss, Qatar Airways, and Cathay Pacific are just a few airlines that will bake a cake or special dessert for onboard enjoyment." Some other airlines may offer a special treat to top-tier frequent flyers reaching certain milestones. It looks like Indian carriers GoAir, SpiceJet, and Vistara have offered cakes, and IndiGo used to.

Some airlines charge for the service: Hong Kong Airlines has several cake and champagne options, and Cathay Pacific had a charge as well. Emirates used to before the pandemic. And some airlines (apparently including Singapore) might be able to offer one but don't advertise it as an option. Cakes may only be available on certain routes.

The pandemic makes an answer with a complete list of airlines not really practical, since it seems many airlines that previously had cakes aren't doing them right now. But a search for "[airline name] birthday cake" should provide any relevant information.

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    On a more technical note, did any of these airlines actually let you choose CAKE/CLML while booking, right next to normal and vegetarian food? The Turkish Airlines cake looks like something you request by email.
    – JonathanReez
    Aug 17 at 12:17
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In this list from Amadeus, a company that sells travel booking software, I can see two cake listings:

  • Air Austral - Birthday cake (BDML)
  • Niki (no longer exists) - Niki special cake (HPML)

Scandinavian is listed there but with no cake listing. I couldn't find any cake listings on other systems either. I don't have the money to travel with Air Austral right now so I can't confirm if the option to book a cake exists, but if you were booking with a travel agent they would theoretically put a request in a SPML (special meal) which is a free text field regardless of airline.

Also according to this forum post from 2011, SAS used to have a cake option.

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    Air Austral also appears to have a Champagne meal CPML and a Caviar meal CVML, so even if they have no cake, I'd be pretty happy with those instead! Aug 18 at 23:30

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