Inflight ‘snackdown’: The very best free airline snack within the sky

In relation to snacking, we at TPG take the matter very critically — a lot in order that we determined to check the complimentary snack choices on seven main U.S. airways.

After getting our palms on all of the airline snacks we might supply, we tempted our employees with these snacks unknowingly at a TPG retreat in Charlotte in March. We additionally requested our social followers to vote in three completely different rounds for his or her favourite free snack provided by U.S. airways.

Choosing a favourite snack isn’t a simple feat. In any case, any free nibble at 30,000 toes is one we’ll gladly attempt.

However let’s face it: Not all snacks are created equal. Some airways are higher at snacks than others.

So, which of them do you have to exit of your approach to get pleasure from? Listed here are the choices presently out there on the primary U.S. carriers and which of them get the seal of approval from TPG staffers and readers.

Free airline snacks

Whereas the precise snacks you will have on a flight will fluctuate by provider and route, most airways supply a number of choices for passengers to select from based mostly on their preferences.

United Airways


In March, United rolled out its new Undercover Snacks menu. It options a number of free snack selections for economic system passengers on all home and United Categorical flights greater than 300 miles lengthy. Choices embody:

  • Darkish chocolate and sea salt chocolate crisps by Undercover Snacks.
  • Apple and mango fruit bars by That is It.
  • A savory snack combine by Summer season Harvest.

The fruit bars and the savory snack combine will change pretzels and Biscoff cookies when the rollout is full. Nevertheless, United will proceed to frequently regulate and rotate its inflight snack choices based mostly on buyer suggestions.

Delta Air Traces


The Atlanta-based provider just lately modified up the complimentary onboard snack choices out there to all prospects. Decisions embody specialty choices like miniature SunChips in a harvest cheddar taste and Kate’s Actual Meals natural bars that includes hints of lemon and coconut. There are additionally classics like roasted almonds and everybody’s favourite, the long-lasting Biscoff cookies.

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Associated: Delta revamps inflight service, brings again buy-on-board merchandise

American Airways


In contrast to Delta, American solely affords complimentary (and paid) snacks in premium and foremost cabins on flights which are at the least 250 miles lengthy. Taking a web page from Delta’s e book, the primary cabin accompaniments are Biscoff cookies, pretzels and Love Corn corn snacks.

Southwest Airways


Identified for having fewer onboard choices when in comparison with different airways, Southwest has stepped up its snack sport recently. As an alternative of sticking to 1 customary possibility for all passengers, the provider now serves a wide range of complimentary snacks on flights which are at the least 176 miles lengthy, comparable to:

  • Sheila G’s Brownie Brittle.
  • King Nut snack combine.
  • Nabisco Wheat Thins.
  • Sunkist Fruit Bites.

As somebody who grew up solely flying Southwest, these snacks are a far cry from the airline’s days of solely having small luggage of roasted peanuts.

JetBlue Airways


JetBlue, lengthy recognized for its number of inflight snacks, guarantees the under choices on board (although some snacks will not be out there on all flights):

  • Cheez-It crackers.
  • Merely Stellar pretzel braids.
  • 88 Acres seed and oat bars.
  • Chifles plantain chips.
  • Goodie Woman cookies.

Hawaiian Airways

Though recognized for island-inspired, award-winning meals on long-haul routes, Hawaiian solely affords economic system passengers the selection of two free snacks, each of that are cookies. You’ll be able to select between La Tour Bakehouse cookies or Honolulu Cookie Firm shortbread cookies.

Alaska Airways


In comparison with the remainder of the mainstream carriers, Alaska’s free inflight meals and beverage service is extra restricted general (although the provider’s wine and meals choices out there for buy are fairly strong). Nonetheless, there are a number of free choices, together with Biscoff cookies and Merely Stellar pretzel braids.

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The US airline with one of the best free snacks

Social media outcomes

In three rounds of voting through brackets, a la March Insanity, we put the aforementioned airways’ snacks face to face. United went up towards American, Southwest took on Delta, JetBlue confronted Hawaiian, and Alaska was pitted towards a multicarrier contender: Biscoff cookies.

Within the first spherical, Biscoff cookies got here out on high, amassing essentially the most votes (4,366) throughout each Twitter and Instagram.


Voters additionally moved Delta’s SunChips, Southwest’s Sheila G’s Brownie Brittle and Hawaiian’s Honolulu cookies to the subsequent rounds.

Holding robust within the first and second rounds, voters superior Biscoff and Delta’s SunChips to the ultimate spherical.

Then, to maybe nobody’s shock, Biscoff claimed the title of essentially the most iconic snack within the sky, amassing greater than 9,500 complete votes.


In-person style check

We did not need to go away such an necessary ballot to likelihood, so we ran an in-house style check, too.


In March, we surreptitiously counted which free airline snacks TPG staffers picked most incessantly out of twenty-two snack varieties from six carriers plus personal jet operator JSX.

After a number of hours, these had been the snacks left behind.

The outcomes spoke for themselves. The almost 100 TPG staffers in attendance first devoured eight of the 22 free airline snacks we bought. Staffers ate the entire United free snack choices we examined, together with the longstanding stroopwafel.

Apart from United, the Hawaiian Airways’ makeshift airline snack field was the one one TPGers emptied on the primary day of the check. We might solely get our palms on the provider’s Island Princess macadamia nut caramel popcorn — an possibility that prices further.

No different airline’s makeshift snack basket choices had been fully gone after the primary day of our gathering. Nevertheless, TPG employees ate the entire following snacks:

  • JSX’s Cooper Avenue blueberry pomegranate granola cookie bakes.
  • JetBlue’s Cheez-It crackers.
  • Delta’s SunChips.

Upward of 90% of Delta’s roasted almonds, Kate’s Actual Meals natural lemon coconut bars and Biscoff cookies had been gone; the identical is true for American’s Love Corn corn snacks, JetBlue’s Chifles plantain chips and Alaska’s PeaTos tacky rings.


It was an in depth race, however with our mixed outcomes, we crown the Biscoff cookie — which you will discover on Delta, American, United and Alaska flights — because the snack of the skies. United could need to rethink changing it with their new snack rollout, as it is a clear favourite with flyers.

Backside line

At TPG, we try to ship hard-hitting, snackable content material (pun meant). Should you missed the chance to take part in our ballot, do not fret: You’ll be able to nonetheless check out these snacks for your self the subsequent time you fly. You might even uncover a brand new favourite munchie to choose for future journeys.

Associated studying:

Further reporting by Meghna Maharishi and Kristy Tolley.

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