Do pilots get the same meal as served to passengers?

On flights of more than about five hours, pilots will usually be served a meal, generally chosen from the business or first class menu although a small number of airlines have a specially designated flight crew meal.

Quite a few airlines require that the pilot and co-pilot eat different meals. This is to minimise the possibility of food poisoning impacting on the ability of both to fly the aircraft, the basis for the plot of the disaster satire movie Flying High.

In the case of cabin crew, if an airline provides food at all, it will be the same as the meal served to passengers. Otherwise they might be left with whatever food is left after cabin service.

Rather than eating the airline's food, some pilots choose to bring their own. More often, a diet-conscious pilot might eat only the healthier parts of an airline meal.

The rich, high calorie meals that are typically served at the pointy end aboard many carriers might be okay once in a while but over time they have a cumulative effect on the waistline, which goes a long way to explaining why there are plenty of older commercial pilots who can't see their own landing gear.