One Airline's In-Flight Dessert Options Just Got A Lot More Exciting

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Years ago, I was on an international flight to a pretty exciting destination known for its food. When it was time for the meal service, the flight attendant came around and asked everyone if they wanted beef, chicken, or pasta.

Ever the food writer, I immediately asked about what of those meal options would be the best one. She responded: “Honey, this is airline food.”

Honesty on her part, for sure, but in my experience of years of travel (and eating), sometimes food on an airline can be surprisingly good, and pretty exciting too. You just need to know where to look for it.

United, for example (which was not the airline where said dinner conversation occurred), has recently been upping their food program, and this week announced they would be offering complimentary Milk Bar desserts in United Economy and United Premium Plus on select flights.

These desserts will be available on long-haul international flights (except those going to India) that are departing from the US and anyone who is interested (and who wouldn’t be interested?) will be able to enjoy a Milk Bar Birthday Truffle Crumb Cake for dessert.

These cakes are among the most famous of Milk Bar’s options, but will be available in flight in an individual single-serve package, so no need to start slicing cakes or sharing with fellow passengers. It also presents a great way to get a much-needed burst of sugar on an exhausting long-haul trip.

“We’re thrilled to add acclaimed dessert-maker Milk Bar to the lineup of premium brands offered onboard United planes,” said Aaron McMillan, United's managing director of hospitality and planning. “At United, we’re rethinking the travel experience for every customer, at every step of the journey, and our complimentary food and beverage is an important part of that. This won’t be the last exciting announcement you hear from us.”

United isn’t alone in trying to up their game. In 2020, JetBlue partnered with Delicious Hospitality Group to create onboard menus based on favorites from DHG’s trendy New York City restaurants.

Airline food may remain an exercise in managing expectations, at least in most cases, but it’s exciting to know that sometimes, there’s going to be pretty delicious treats in store if you know where to find them.


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