Sure, you can spend hours—days!—searching for flights and agonizing over finding the best price. But is it worth it? The cheapest flight is rarely the most convenient, and finding the right mix of itinerary, amenities, comfort, and price is the real sign of a true travel pro. Today, Routehappy, the search engine known for its flight happiness scores (which factor in all the above criteria, along with things like Wi-Fi availability and legroom), is launching yet another way to narrow down which flights are good and which are downright evil. Now, the engine reveals which fares include inflight meals, and what they cost, if anything. Also helpful: notes on whether you need to pre-order complimentary and paid meals in order to be served (talk about next level).
We talked to Routehappy about some of the more surprising things that they learned while making this tool available, and walked away with a few good tips:
1. If you thought three course meals were limited to the front of the plane, you’d be wrong: United recently upgraded its offerings and now serves such meals to all passengers on many of its international flights.
2. JetBlue doesn’t always offer free food: the airline has a departure time cutoff of 8:59 pm for this perk.
3. Don’t expect anything to eat on a transcontinental redeye—for most passengers on most airlines, it just doesn’t happen. (Coffee is another story.)
4. JetBlue’s European counterpart when it comes to free snacks? British Airways. The airline offers a fresh snack of meal on all flights within Europe.
5. Flights that require you to pre-order meals include American, Qantas, and Aer Lingus (whose in-the-know customers can request a full Irish Breakfast).