The question is simple: is it reasonable to for airlines to limit the kind of food you can bring onboard when most are unwilling to serve food (or offer it for purchase) onboard?
Do Airlines Want Us To Starve? Airlines Limit Food Onboard
The context of my question is flying on SAS, which does not currently serve food on flights within Europe but has the following onboard food policy:
You are allowed to bring light snacks and non-alcoholic beverages on board SAS flights. Examples of light snacks include a chocolate bar, a sandwich or similar. When eating the light snack, you may remove the required face mask, as long as it is put on again as soon as you are done. Meals such as salads or take-away food are not allowed to bring onboard.
We have implemented these measures to limit the contact associated with handling waste from consumption of food and beverages onboard.
I think the smelly food issue is a red herring. Let’s assume that pungent fast-food like a hamburger dripping in sauce with French Fries or an Indian curry is inappropriate onboard. But salad? Or pasta in a light sauce? Or perhaps a chicken breast drizzled in pesto sauce?
And isn’t the definition of a sandwich broad to enough to encompass many messy and smelly things, like the aforementioned hamburgers?
SAS claims this ban is to limit contract associated with disposal of waste. That’s not unreasonable, but don’t sandwiches and chocolate bars have wrappers as well? Could this be part of the wider move by SAS to be environmentally conscious and limit plastic and paper waste? And what if you just forced passengers who bring food with them onboard to leave with that food?
As much as I detest a seatamate with a stinky meal, what about the person who gets to the airport late to minimize wait time but may not have eaten all day?
Perhaps on a SAS flight, in which flight time is generally under two hours, this is less of a problem. But I’m uncomfortable with the notion that airlines won’t serve you a complimentary meal, won’t even sell you food, but also won’t allow you to bring food onboard. Even in this pandemic era, we don’t need to reduce air transport to flying prisons.
Much ado about nothing or reasonable point? Should airlines ban food altogether onboard during this time?