Travel Blogger Explains Why He Refuses To Eat Complimentary Airline Meals

If you've ever taken a long-distance flight, you may be familiar with the items that most airlines try to pass off as food to their unassuming passengers.

Frequent flyer and travel blogger Ben Schlappig told HuffPost Live last week that his unfortunate experiences with airline food have forced him to forgo the meals altogether. While he used to scarf down free airline meals out of boredom, no matter how unappetizing, Schlappig realized it was a bad habit for both his palate and waistline.

"At some point I just found myself eating food that was disgusting and unhealthy. You know, American [Airlines] nowadays in domestic first class has this disgusting microwave ravioli," he told host Josh Zepps. "I mean, I've had Lean Cuisine ravioli that's much better than that. It's completely inedible, and at some point, I [asked] myself, Why am I even eating this?"

"Inedible" meals aside, Schlappig also said that "sanitary issues" with flight attendants have impacted his experience in the skies.

"I had a flight attendant recently who was in his jump seat eating fried chicken with his fingers [and] licking his fingers," he said. "And then before washing his hands, he got up though the cabin and did a beverage service and refilled drinks and served everybody else food after licking his fingers."

Even after some seriously gross in-flight experiences, Schlappig says there are some airlines that have "fantastic" food offerings -- just don't expect to find them on your local American carrier.

"If you fly Cathay Pacific first class, for example, they'll still serve you caviar and Krug [champagne]. So there definitely are still experiences in the sky that are great, when it comes to food. I think the key is that they're almost exclusively with non-U.S. airlines," he said.

Watch the full HuffPost Live conversation about airline meals here.

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Airplane Food Fails