Road Warrior

Stinky Food, Lack of Free Meals Among Top Flier Gripes: Survey

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The majority of travelers bring food with them on board flights versus buying items directly from the airline, a new survey found. But please. Leave that stinky fast food in the terminal.

The online survey conducted by YouGov polled 1,000 travelers about their eating habits, when flying from U.S. airports. Nearly one in three (31 percent) brought food onto the plane with them—16 percent of that group purchased items in the airport and 15 percent brought food from home. Only 7 percent of respondents bought food on the plane. The survey results were released late last week.

And while 17 percent listed strong smelling food brought on board by other fliers as their top complaint, the largest gripe was that free hot meals aren't available on flights more than four hours. (Read more: No Sushi for You: Japan Airlines to Serve KFC Meals)

Other major criticisms included limited food options (37 percent), expensive food choices (31 percent) and poor quality (24 percent).

No particular airline stood out for their snacks. Seventy-three percent of respondents either weren't sure or didn't think any airline served the best snacks to buy. Delta scored the most points for snack quality (7 percent), followed by JetBlue (4 percent).

Looking at carriers overall, 27 percent said food quality has decreased during the past couple of years, 20 percent believe it's unchanged, and 7 percent had seen improvement. The survey was released last Thursday.

What's your biggest gripe about airline food?