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Travel Frequetly Asked Questions (FAQ)

Embarking on a journey to new destinations can be thrilling, but for vegetarians and vegans, navigating meal options in the sky and in foreign lands can be challenging. In this comprehensive guide, we'll address frequently asked questions related to vegetarian and vegan meals on airlines, provide essential tips for meal requests, and share valuable resources to ensure a smooth and satisfying dining experience during your travels. From understanding international meal codes to discovering the best airlines for vegan food, this guide will help put your mind at ease as you explore the world, regardless of your dietary preferences.

Which airlines serve vegetarian meals?
Most airlines now serve vegetarian meals. Call the airline ahead of time to make your request, and it is suggested that you confirm your meal twice.

from a reader in Canada: There are international codes used for vegetarian meal selections. Four special vegetarian meals would appear to be generally available. I would recommend airline passengers request by code with their airline or travel agent, confirm their request 24 hours ahead of their flight departure and confirm again on obtaining their boarding pass at the airport.

Interesting preamble (from Canadian Airlines): "Passengers may request vegetarian meals for religious, health, economic or political reasons, environmental considerations, humanitarian issues. The many different types of vegetarian meals have been consolidated into several categories."

Here are the codes, the various names by which these meals are described and explanations of what is eaten/not eaten by customers who order them:

VGML - Strict/Pure Vegetarian - Non-Dairy - Vegan. "Vegan or pure vegetarians eat no meat or meat products of any type - no fish, fowl or products with lard or gelatin. Dairy products, eggs and honey are not permitted."

VLML - Lacto-Ovo Vegetarian - Vegetarian Lacto-Ovo - Western Vegetarian. "Lacto-Ovo Vegetarians eat no meat or meat products of any type - no fish, fowl or products with lard or gelatin. Diary products and eggs permitted. Cheese should be of the vegetarian type without rennet whenever possible."

AVML - Asian Vegetarian - Asiatic/Indian Vegetarian - Moslem and Hindu Vegetarian. "Asiatic/Indian vegetarian meals are spicy vegetarian combinations which may include limited use of dairy products."

RVML - Raw Vegetarian. "Raw vegetables - combinations of raw fruits and/or vegetables."

An additional note on the characteristics of vegetarians (from Canadian Airlines): "Some vegetarians also incorporate restrictions on other foods and beverages such as alcohol/caffinated beverages, highly processed foods and foods that are grown or processed nonorganically or with certain additives or preservatives."

Other codes/meals:

Individual airlines may have other codes and meals. For example United Airlines (of the US) has IVML - Indian Vegetarian and KVML - Kosher Vegetarian.

Other information:

One international airline (Air Canada) states, "In order to meet your request, we would appreciate 18 hours notice prior to your flight departure, except Kosher which requires 24 hours." Other airlines may have similar requirements.

Which airlines serve vegan meals?
from a US reader: A note for vegans - I called a US Airline company (Southwest) ahead of time and requested a vegetarian meal and they asked me dairy or non dairy and I said non dairy. When i got the food i got a carton of milk, yogurt and fruit. I explained the situation to the stewardess and she said that was all they had. For vegans i would suggest packing yourself some food on planes.

>> Best Airlines for Vegan Food


What do you do if you're going to a country as a vegetarian and don't speak the language?

see: Vegetarian Phrases in World Languages!

 Vegan Passport

Well, guess what. There´s an app for that too! The Vegan Passport show in a very neat and direct way what you eat and what you don´t eat on different languages, so you can show it waiters on restaurants and cashiers at supermarkets while traveling in a foreign country.

- Googleplay link
- AppStore link

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Download the Vegetarian Nutrition Booklet for Kids and Adolescents