Japan is calling!
Except there is one big step you need to do before actually living here: hopping on a plane and getting yourself here!
Nowadays it isn’t as complicated to get your vegan needs covered on-flight and I want to share my experience in traveling to Japan with Finnair as a vegan.
Flying to Japan as a Vegan
My itinerary was the following: Berlin – Helsinki – Osaka. I got a decent deal with them for flying to Osaka, since somehow most other airlines wanted me to go to Tokyo first and even switch airports in Tokyo within 1 hours (which is impossible!). Ain’t doing that obviously. So booking the ticket was pretty easy, but when I came to the food preferences I shuddered: none of them was marked as a vegan meal. Whaaaaat?! I called the hotline for help because sometimes it definitely helps to actually talk with a human being and decided to go with something called a “non-lacto vegetarian menu” which sounded like a vegan menu to me. I was still uncertain and prepared for a worst case scenario packing a ton of snacks.
My travel day came and getting from Berlin to Helsinki was pretty easy and took roughly 3 hours. No food was included since it was an intercontinental flight, but I remember that I had my snack.
I know you shouldn’t eat too much while on a plane, but honestly: who doesn’t? It’s pretty boring sitting for a couple of hours trying to entertain yourself with the in-flight entertainment system. I didn’t buy any snacks or food at Helsinki airport, but if you’re interested I would recommend you checking out this article on VeganTravel.com that guides you through the airport and the food options there. I actually got this sexy avocado tomato sandwich and saw quiet a few other vegan options at the airport.
Finnair’s Vegan Menu
Next was the long-distance flight and the part I was most anxious about food-wise.
Needless to say that there was actually nothing to worry about because I was in best hands. Obviously, airplane food is no gourmet meal but I always feel like my seat neighbours are enviously looking at my veggie meal. Getting my food before anybody else definitely feels special.
This is what I got:
The cinnamon bun was a bit dry but the rest was better than expected and left me satisfied during the flight. I actually kind of like airplane food, how about you? To be honest, it never looks very pleasing to the eye but airlines for sure have come far when it comes to responding to individual customer needs.
Overall I would give Finnair 3 out of 5 stars, because they could label a vegan menu more clearly. However, they were able to help me via their phone hotline and the board staff was very accommodating. I have actually already booked my next flight with them!
Do you have a favourite airline to fly with? What do you think about airplane food?