I remember the days when on most domestic trips in the U.S., the airlines would give some kind of snack. It was usually a small sandwich, chips and something small for dessert, so nothing fancy, but a nice to have as on most flights, I would be hungry. Long gone are those days with flights now replacing these snacks with either a small bad of pretzels or a Biscoff cookie. While there are snacks for purchase on most flights, it still doesn’t feel the same. For this reason though, it was a pleasant surprise to see the free snacks we received on some of our European flights.

TAP Air Portugal – Tenerife to Lisbon

Our flight from Tenerife to Lisbon was a quick 2 hours so I was pleasantly surprised when I saw the flight attendants coming down the aisle handing each customer a small box. The box contained a small wrap, some cheese and crackers, and a chocolate covered almond. Nothing fancy, but a nice snack that filled me up. The highlights were the cheese and crackers and the chocolate covered almond.

Snack box from TAP Air Portugal flight #TP1127 from Tenerife to Lisbon on 19.09.2019.

TAP Air Portugal – Lisbon to Paris Orly

As there were no direct flights to Paris from Tenerife, we had a layover in Lisbon before boarding our next leg of our trip. The second leg was just a little longer than our first flight, but I still wasn’t sure if they would be handing out a snack box. So again, I was pleasantly surprised when I saw them coming down the aisles. The snack box on this flight came with a half sandwich and a piece of chocolate salami, which is a popular Portuguese dessert. While there was nothing fancy or special about the sandwich, it was still a good snack to keep my stomach from grumbling during the flight. The chocolate salami was a nice touch as it gave me and Sonia a quick taste of some Portugal eats.

Snack box from TAP Air Portugal flight #TP0438 from Lisbon to Paris Orly on 19.09.2019.

Swiss Air – Paris to Zurich

If I were to rate an airline solely based on the snacks they provide on their flights, Swiss Air would be my #1 airline. Sonia and I had flown Swiss Air last year on our trip, and the food was not all too memorable. This time though the experience was completely different. The flight from Paris to Zurich is approximately an hour so we weren’t expecting anything but a drink service. While not a snack box, we were given a warmed, flaky pastry that was better than most baked goods I have had on my travels.

Swiss Air – Zurich to Dublin

Our last flight within Europe was probably the most surprising for me because we actually had a snack that I would have considered a main plate on business class for any long haul flight. By this point on our trip, I was no longer going to be surprised by a free snack. Yet, Swiss Air managed to do it by serving us a hearty and filling, warmed cheese tart. This tart like the pastry on our previous Swiss Air flight had a fresh from the bakery look and taste. If I could have, I would have asked for seconds.

While I understand that cost pressures have resulted in necessary changes for U.S. airlines, our experience with free snacks on our flights with European carriers was a surprising highlight from our recent trip to Europe. I cannot say enough about the snacks from Swiss Air and highly recommend them as a choice when flying in Europe. That cheese tart alone makes it worth a layover.

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