Special meals on flights

25 March 2014

Have you ever been on a flight and wondered why the person in the next seat receives their meal earlier than you or seems to have different food?

Airplane Meal Options Airplane Meal Options

This passenger has ordered a special meal, which caters for medical/health or religious meal requirements. Although generally not always offered on domestic flights (and not at all on low cost carriers), special meals are available to book on most international long haul flights. The type of meals available will vary from airline to airline, but the list below will give you an idea of some of the options available:

Gluten free





Low sodium

Fruit platter



Low fat


Children and infant meals

 How can I book a special meal?

You can ask your Flight Centre travel expert to book your meal on your behalf or you can call the airline directly. Alternatively you can log in on the airline’s website and order the meal in the “manage your booking” section by using the booking reference on your e-ticket.

Some things to keep in mind:

To be safe, you must order your special meal at least 72 hours before flying. Even if you booked in advance, it is a good idea to re-confirm your meal a few days before you travel. Make sure you order a meal for each flight you are on – it will not automatically be added to your connecting or return flights. Be aware that if you are on standby then you will not receive a special meal even if you have booked it in advance.

The good news is that you can order a special meal no matter what class of ticket you are travelling on. There is no additional charge for the meal, so as long as you book in advance you should have no problems on your flight. If you do have any questions, ask them at the time of booking your ticket and don’t wait until you are onboard , as by then it will be too late!

Flight Centre

Flight Centre is all about amazing travel at the cheapest available price. We have over 125 Flight Centre stores all around South Africa, making us the largest total travel specialist in the country .