We Asked Flight Attendants to Share Their Favorite Snacks — Here’s What They Recommended

published Feb 9, 2022
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A passenger looks at items as he passes a duty-free store in a shopping area on the first full day of public operation of the new BER Berlin Brandenburg Airport on November 1, 2020 in Schoenefeld, Germany. The new airport incorporates former Schoenefeld airport as its Terminal 5 and also replaces Tegel Airport, which will close in the coming days. Berlin Brandenburg Airport was originally scheduled to open in 2011 but was stricken by design flaws, corruption scandals, legal wranglings and failed technical audits. The airport will serve Berlin and the surrounding region.
Credit: Getty Images/Adam Berry / Stringer

“Being a flight attendant has its ups and downs,” says Wendy, a former flight attendant and now customer service coordinator for her local transit authority. You get the opportunity to travel to many places, meet lots of people at airports and on planes, and, best of all, you get to know your colleagues really well in the cozy environment of the cabin. 

Wendy spent nearly 15 years as a flight attendant and, during those years, developed relationships with many of her colleagues. Most are still doing a job that is arguably one of the toughest ones to do right now, given how the pandemic has changed (and continues to change) the airline industry. Most importantly, she sees it as a public service job. “You always have to smile, be polite, and make sure people follow the rules, just like a police officer. And you don’t always get to eat when everyone else does,” she adds. 

Because they can’t necessarily eat whenever the passengers eat, these flight attendants usually stow away a small zip-top bag or two of snacks in their luggage when they fly (they also supplement their stash with fruit and granola bars at airports when they’re on their break between flights). What’s in those bags? Well, it’s a bit of a mixed bag. Spicy, sweet, savory, crunchy, and creamy — these are their top picks for snacking on the plane.

Credit: Instacart

1. Dark Chocolate

Brianne, who goes by Bri (like the cheese) loves these dark chocolate bars. “They are so, so good,” she gushes. What Bri loves about these bars is the cacao content (she likes that higher percentage) and the packaging; the one she buys comes in eight mini bars, which makes it seem more manageable. She can nibble on one or two and save the rest for later if she’s in a hurry.

Buy: Godiva Signature 72% Cacao Dark Chocolate, $3.84 for 3.1 ounces at Instacart

Credit: Trader Joe's

2. Fruit & Nut Granola

Technically, this Trader Joe’s granola is located in the breakfast aisle, but Victoria argues that it makes a great snack. “These are so crunchy good,” she says. Packed with nuts and dried fruit, this snack really fills her up whenever she’s hungry. At home, she normally pours it into a bowl with milk and eats it like breakfast cereal, but when she’s working, she eats the pieces right out of the bag. “It’s good either way,” she says.

Find it in stores: Trader Joe’s Gluten Free Granola Loaded Fruit & Nut, $3.99 for 12 ounces at Trader Joe’s

Credit: Amazon

3. Pecan Nut Thins

“The great thing about these crackers, aside from the crunchiness, is that you can find them in just about any grocery store,” says Mary, who normally works part-time. Furthermore, she adds, “I usually go to my local Fred Meyer, and they always have a giant bin with these Nut Thins right by the door.” She likes the pecan ones, she says, because they have a simple, light nutty taste that’s not overpowering. Best of all, they’re gluten-free, which helps her stay true to her gluten-free diet.

Buy: Blue Diamond Almonds Pecan Nut Thins, $2.96 for 4.25 ounces

Credit: Amazon

4. Veggie Chips

When I asked Eric what he likes to snack on, he said he normally doesn’t snack. But further prompting reveals that he loves veggie chips. “My coworker Colleen introduced them to me,” he says. “Even though I don’t really snack — I eat full meals — whenever I’m with Colleen, she brings these veggie chips that she gets from the bulk bin at her local grocery store and together, we just munch on these chips. It’s like you’re eating rice crackers, but not really. I wish my mom had bought these when I was a kid,” he laments. “I would’ve eaten a lot more vegetables after eating these chips!”

Buy: Sensible Portions Garden Veggie Straws, $9.52 for 8 (1-ounce) bags

Credit: Kroger

5. Roasted Almonds 

Almonds make a great snack, according to Jessica. Like Mary, she shops at her local Fred Meyer, where they sell Simple Truth, Kroger’s private-label brand. “I love the Simple Truth brand because it really delivers a good taste and it’s affordable.” But she’s not married to this bag: “You can get roasted almonds just about anywhere, and they may even be cheaper in the bulk aisle,” she says.

Buy: Simple Truth Sea Salt Roasted Almonds, $7.99 for 16 ounces at Kroger

Credit: Amazon

6. Wasabi Peas

Laura likes wasabi peas from the Hapi brand. “I go to the Asian supermarket specifically for these,” she says. It’s possible to find them in other stores, but she knows that she can reliably find them at her favorite local Asian grocery store. She loves their flavor profile, and the sudden burst of spice in your mouth along with the crunch. “It hits you hard at first if you’re not used to the wasabi flavor, but I really like wasabi, so it’s great to eat it as a snack.”

Buy: Hapi Hot Wasabi Peas, $17.88 for 4 (9.9-ounce) tins

Credit: Lily's

7. Peanut Butter Cups

Danny says he’s tried several different brands of peanut butter cups; the one brand he always comes back to is Lily’s. “I don’t know what it is about Lily’s, but they’re really good,” he says. Perhaps it’s because they’re sweetened with Stevia. “Yes, that’s it!” he confirms. Danny has such a sweet tooth that he’s been consciously trying to eliminate sugar, but eating this as a snack once in a while makes him feel like he’s trying. “It’s like getting the best of both worlds.”

Read more: Lily’s Milk Chocolate Style Peanut Butter Cups

Are you a flight attendant? What snacks would you add to this list?