For anyone who’s felt a certain despair when setting out for a transcontinental flight—after being offered nothing but a cardboard box of crackers, cheese and deli meat that most 2nd graders would find gastronomically unsatisfying—there is a vivid outlet for your culinary bitterness.
Airlinemeals.net actually started 10 years ago, when frequent flier Marco t'Hart decided to upload some shots of terrible meals he’s had (if not eaten) aloft, and invited other travelers to do the same.
Today the site has grown 26,000 images strong, and is reportedly getting more attention from airline catering companies, which are sifting through the reviews to help improve in-cabin dining—and which no doubt will enable coach-class food critics even more.
To be fair, plenty of the pics are of reasonably good-looking meals, though we were most dazzled by the old-school shots, taken long before a mini-bag of Wheat Thins counted as dinner. Check out, for instance, the platter of rare roast beef on real china, from a 1960s flight on long-gone Braniff Airlines, or the first-class Oktoberfest spread from TWA in the 1950s, featuring—well, veal aspic, which actually had us thinking that a cold, cardstock-esque turkey wrap didn’t sound so bad after all.