Lonely Planet Writer

This in-flight menu aims to ease your travel stress and make flying healthier

One airline is hoping that a few mood- and immune system-boosting snacks on your next flight could help get your holiday off to a good start.

Monarch is hoping to help travellers with the mood through in-flight snacks. Image by Monarch

UK-based Monarch has introduced a new take on traditional plane food, with a ‘Monarch Mood Food’ box snack-box. The box contains food designed to reduce the stress of travellers, using ingredients like Echinacea, green tea and lavender.

The menu was developed based on the research conducted by food psychologist Prof. Charles Spence. Before take-off, guests will get an immunity-boosting Echinacea and liquorice ice cream that is designed to reduce the symptoms of coughs and colds – as nearly 40% of Brits surveyed by the airline say they get ill when travelling or going on holiday. According to Monarch, the ingredients have anti-inflammatory qualities and may offer immunity-boosting benefits.

Monarch is hoping to help travellers with the mood through in-flight snacks. Image by Monarch

That will be followed by tea and lavender mochi rice cakes at take-off. About 22% of flyers say that’s the most stressful part of flying for holidaymakers, and lavender is known to enhance relaxation, while green tea has antioxidants to boost travellers’ immunity.

About 30 minutes into the flight, travellers will be given a special tea containing chamomile, fennel seed, lemon balm and kelp to aid with digestion. The tea will be come with a crunchy, seaweed biscuit, which has sweet yet salty umami tastes, which is one of the basic tastes that passengers can sense through inhibitors like reduced air pressure, dry cabin air and engine noise. Finally, just before leaving, travellers will receive a caramelised nut bar coated in umami rich mushroom and tomato powder. But even if you’re not so sure a bit of Echinacea can stave off the post-flight sniffles, 60% of those surveyed by Monarch say good food is most likely to lift their spirits while travelling, so at least you’ll be off to a good start.