What do pilots eat during the flight?

What do airline pilots eat on a flight and when?

1: Do pilots eat during the flight or do they wait until they are back on the ground?

Since pilots happen to be human, their metabolism works in a similar way to yours or mine. So eat when you are hungry. On a long flight, you may be able to eat in-flight; on short flights (e.g. 30 minutes - 2 hours) you may not have enough free time to eat.

On busy days, pilots may not have enough time to eat the right meals. So they try to eat small meals that contain more food. This is described in an article on Airline Pilot Central. They also avoid heavy meals before a flight.

2: Do they get the same food served to passengers or do they bring their own meal?

Most of the time, the food served to passengers is the same as that served to pilots, even though they don't eat the exact same food. An airline pilot announced that:

... the pilot gets the first-class food and the co-pilot gets the business-class food.

Todd Wilcox

Is the whole crew eating at the same time or are they staggering?

Farhan ♦

@ToddWilcox They all go to the dining area where they have a big big round table, the captain says grace and they all thank the lord for the food. It's usually a multi-course meal that can last 1-2 hours. Oh wait, we're on a flying plane. Forget all that, the main focus is always on flying the plane, getting to the destination and serving the passengers.

Todd Wilcox

I laughed. And still don't know what I was curious about. But I laughed. :) :)

Jan Hudec

@ToddWilcox: A pilot must always watch instruments in case something goes wrong and watch out for ATC so they should let it stagger.