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Man Recreates Classic Airplane Meals At Home For A Very Nostalgic Reason

Photo: cherry-hai / Shutterstock
Airplane meal in an airplane

When it comes to flying to different countries, many dread the long hours in tiny seats with no legroom and the mediocre food. But that’s where Nik Sennhauser would disagree.

The Glasglow, United Kingdom native wanted to keep busy during isolation and quarantine, so he decided to recreate airplane dishes served from all over the world to give him the feeling of traveling again — minus the traveling.

Traveling for Sennhauser is much bigger than just hopping on a plane and going to a new destination. To him, flying has always meant “home.”

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Sennhauser creates unique airplane meals to keep himself grounded

The aviation fanatic has been flying his whole life. His first time on a plane was when he was just 5 months old.

“I grew up between Austria and Thailand, so I’d be on a plane every two to three months or so,” he told CNN Travel.

Unlike many who see airplane food as a running joke, Sennhauser actually looked forward to the meals and that’s where his love for airline food began.

“At home, my mum would have to force me to eat stuff, but on a plane I’d just eat whatever I was given. I remember getting on the plane and looking forward to the food,” Sennhauser said.

When COVID-19 canceled all flights across the world, Sennhauser’s supply was threatened. Thankfully, he was able to find an innovative alternative to keep him busy while the pandemic ravaged the world.

When it comes to recreating airline meals, Sennhauser goes the extra mile. If he’s creating food from a certain airline, he’ll go online and buy their coffee cups and plates to add to the realism. He plates and serves himself the dishes just like he would if he were really having a meal 40,000 feet in the air.

He posts images of all his dishes on his Instagram account at @flysoplane. Every one is home-cooked and authentic. 

“The meals aren’t just for Instagram to look nice; they have to taste good, as well, because they’re actually our Sunday meals, and I have to feed my husband. So, it needs to be edible,” Sennhauser said. “So, I actually had to go and consult cookbooks and the internet for all these recipes, and I’ve learned to cook all these different things.”

Sennhauser grew up with family all across the world, so traveling is a way of seeing the world but also visiting family. His parents live in Thailand, his sisters live in the U.S. and he has a brother living in Spain.

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What kinds of airplane meals has he made?

From Japanese omelets to Thai curries, Sennhauser has created foods from different airlines, in different parts of the world, all from scratch for both him and his husband. He’s recreated dishes from airlines including Lufthansa, Thai Airways, Austrian and ANA.

His favorite dish so far has been one that included a wiener schnitzel found commonly on Austrian Airlines. 

“Having grown up in Austria, wiener schnitzel is one of my favorite dishes of all time, so I recreated that, along with a potato salad, cucumber salad and chocolate mousse,” Sennhauser said.

Unfortunately, the pandemic has taken his love for traveling away. Cooking these meals “helps me deal with my wanderlust,” he says. The best part is that he is able to share it with his husband who now gets a glimpse of his past experience with traveling, and find insight into Senhauser's life before they met.

There is a small community on social media that shares a similar passion, and it’s this community that has given Sennhauser a sense of togetherness during quarantine

“It brings people who have the same interests together and allows you to do stuff like this, where somebody in Vienna picks up a couple of plates, puts them in a box, sends them off and they arrive in Glasgow, where somebody else can cook and plate food from that flight, and then take a picture and put it up on social media,” he explains.

Isolation forced many of us to find new hobbies and niches

Like Sennhauser, we all miss the sense of togetherness that airplane travel brings to the world. It’s what connects us physically and brings cultures and people together.

The meals he creates give him a purpose while locked down in his house all day. It’s something we have all been looking for during our time in isolation.

There will come a time, hopefully sooner rather than later, where we will all be shoulder to shoulder in a packed airplane having mediocre meals and trying desperately to enjoy the ride. Somewhere in the sky will be Sennhauser having the time of his life.

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Tomás Diniz Santos is a writer living in Orlando, Florida. He covers news, entertainment, and pop-culture topics.