When making travel plans, one of the biggest concerns is the food – what are the Halal options in the country we are visiting, or what are the alternatives? Sometimes we tend to forget that the journey starts from the airport – does the airline that we are taking offer Halal food?
If you are travelling from a Muslim country or with a Muslim airline, you don’t have anything to worry about. If you don’t want a vegetarian meal, however, it is better to know your options, and if there are any at all. Travelling from or in East Asia can be tricky because the cuisine is so different and the ingredients might be vague, so here is our guide to which airlines provide Halal in-flight food, and everything you need to know about getting them.
Check out the airlines in Southeast Asia offering Halal in-flight meals
First, to be clear, East Asia is classified as China, Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, North Korea, South Korea, Macau and Mongolia. China has several airlines to its name and most of them provide options for Halal meals.
China Southern Airlines
In order to accommodate as many people as possible, China Southern Airlines provides lots of options, one of which is the Moslem meal. It has to be booked at least 24 hours beforehand through customer service and is only available for dinner, snacks or a light meal. Please note that any changes in the flight – delays or cancellations – will affect the meal reservations. A passenger is allowed only one special meal per flight.
China Eastern Airlines
Once you have made your booking, call your local office to make a reservation for a Moslem Meal – or any other special meal – and you will be assisted. Most airlines state a general rule of reserving special meals 24 hours in advance, so don’t leave it until the last minute. China Eastern Airlines also offers various other options that take care of those with allergies or other preferences.
Air China offers in-flight Halal meals that need to be specified 24 hours in advance. The airline states that Kosher Meals are not available on all domestic flights or domestic segments for routes departing from Saipan, Sapporo, Sendai, South Korea, Jakarta, India, Karachi, Australia and Yekaterinburg. So it is worth double checking the availability of Halal food in-flight if your route leaves from any of the places listed above.
You can place the booking for a Halal meal when booking your flight, and make sure to confirm your preference at least 24 hours in advance as Halal meals are limited. This part is important, as the airline stresses on confirming the Halal meal. They also offer Vegetarian, Western Vegetarian and Seafood Meals in case you miss out on the Halal option.
The last in the list of Chinese Airlines, Sichuan Airlines offers health conscious and religious conscious meals – Halal meals being amongst them. Book your in-flight preference when you make your ticket reservation, and don’t forget to confirm it at least 24 hours before flight departure.
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If you prefer going through the website, submit your choice for a Halal in-flight meal at least 25 hours before flight departure, or 24 hours ahead through phone. If you are changing your flight reservations, be sure to mention your special meal preferences too. Double check the availability of Halal meals, since special meal services may not be available on the code-share flights operated by another carrier. Japan Airlines recently went all out in accommodating Muslim travelers by even switching all dishware used for the Muslim meals to disposable ones – to make their travelers feel as comfortable and secure as possible.
In general, when flying Air Asia you have nothing to fear as they offer a Muslim-friendly in-flight food menu for all meals. They source all their meat from Halal certified suppliers, with the exception of AirAsia Japan and Philippines.
All Nippon Airways
Known for their delicious meals and classy chefs, All Nippon Airways also offers Halal in-flight meals. It needs to be booked at least 48 hours before departure either through their reservations department or online. If you have booked your ticket through a travel agent, then your request for a special meal must be made through the travel agent as well.
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Flying to and from Hong Kong, Cathay Pacific offers a Moslem Meal under their special meal options, which has to be ordered up to 24 hours before departure. If you are flying Cathay Pacific to Indonesia, Malaysia, Maldives, Middle East and Pakistan, note that all main meals are Halal certified.
You can book an in-flight Halal meal 24 hours in advance, but since special meal offerings vary depending on where you are departing from, it is better to double check the availability. While the airline states Seoul accommodates its passengers in this regard, it is always better to be sure.
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Your other airline option when flying to and from South Korea, Asiana Airlines allows you to order a Moslem Meal 24 hours before departure. They also offer a variety of meals and take into consideration dietary requirements or allergies.
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When flying to and from Taiwan, you can be sure that Halal food will be provided on the journey if you specify your preference to the airline at least 24 hours before departure. China Airlines wants to make their passengers feel as comfortable as possible and meet their needs when it comes to age, health, religion or anything else.
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It turns out that Muslim travel is definitely being accommodated more as several airlines offer the option of Halal meals. If you want to know how to book in-flight Halal food in advance, just call up the airline or travel agent and they should be happy to help. Note that the terms for these in-flight meals are generally ‘Moslem Meal’ or ‘Halal meal’ under the Special Meals option. State your preferences when you make your flight booking and confirm it at least 24 hours before your flight departure to ensure that you have a satisfying journey.
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