Yes, pilots can and do eat in the cockpit during a flight, however, pilots in the cockpit do not eat at the same time and take it in turns to enjoy their food whilst the others are in control of the plane.
The pilots only tend to eat or have a meal when the airplane is flying smoothly and everything is ok in the cabin, will they then decide to take a break or eat some food.
Depending on the brand of the plane, pilots will eat off a tray on their lap, or in some circumstances, some planes have fold-out tables so the crew can eat like the rest of the passengers on board.
Can pilots eat while flying?
Yes, pilots eat while flying, but they do not eat whilst simultaneously flying or being in full control of the plane.
Pilots will commonly eat their food when the plane is on autopilot or when they’re flying at cruise altitude.
A pilot will take a short break and let another pilot be in control of the plane whilst they take some time to eat their food.
On a long-haul flight, a pilot may have two meals depending on how many reliever pilots are on board to take control when they need to take a break. On a short-haul flight, a pilot may not have the time to eat a meal.
Do pilots get free food?
Yes, for the most part, at decent airlines, pilots get free food on board their flight. However, there are some instances at some airlines where pilots and crew are required to pay for food and even water that they drink on board.
Pilots are permitted to bring their own food onboard as well, which is highly preferred by seasoned pilots who say it’s very easy to get bored of eating plane food as it can sometimes lack flavor and variety.
Many pilots bring on board a meal and will ask the flight attendants to heat it up in the microwave for them so they can enjoy a homemade cooked meal.
Airlines also offer a food and drink allowance to pilots so they can find somewhere to eat during layovers or if they do not have time to have a good meal whilst flying on the plane.
This allowance is sometimes given in the currency of the destination they’re flying to so they can go somewhere to eat once they’ve landed. Sometimes this food allowance is given to pilots at the end of the month in their salary.
Many people say free food is not a concern for pilots as most of them have quite high earning salaries, so paying for plane food or food once they’ve landed shouldn’t be an issue for them.
However, most airlines acknowledge that providing a free meal for employees should be standard.
Do pilots eat first class meals?
Yes, pilots can eat first class meals if they wish to. At some airlines, the captain or the main pilot will be entitled to the first class menu and then their co-pilot will be entitled to the business class menu and so on.
This is entirely dependent on the regulations of the airline, as some airlines allow all of their pilots to be allowed a first class meal during a flight.
However, some airlines will only allow pilots to be entitled to a first class meal if there is one leftover after service, so some pilots may just opt for one of the menu options from the passenger menu.
For some airlines, the crew and the pilots eat entirely different meals to the passengers on board to try and create some variety so they don’t end up eating the same meals every day whilst working.
They’ll have a selection of hot meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, as well as a variety of snacks including fruit, chocolate, and crisps.
Do pilots eat the same meals?
No, pilots on board do not eat and are not recommended to eat the same meals during a flight. This is because of sanitary regulations as a precaution in case some of the food is contaminated and could cause food poisoning.
Therefore, if the pilots eat different meals but one is contaminated, then the other pilot will still be ok to fly the plane safely.
However, it is ultimately up to the captain of the plane to decide whether the pilots will eat different meals to each other.
If there is only one meal that the pilots like on the menu, then they could be permitted to have the same ones but they will be required to eat them at different times to avoid the possibility of them all getting sick at the same time.