Frequent flyer recreates airplane food as hobby during COVID-19 lockdown

Many people have discovered new hobbies during the COVID-19 lockdown, but Nik Sennhauser’s new skill may fly high above the rest.

He spends his quarantine days cooking and recreating airplane food, serving meals to himself and his husband on airline trays and plates he collected from his years of frequent flying, which came to a halt during the pandemic.

"I’m obsessed with plane food," Sennhauser, 38, told FOX Television Stations on Tuesday. "I’ve always been ever since I was a kid. It’s the one thing I look forward to when I get on a plane."

Before the pandemic, Sennhauser said he flew about every three weeks from his home in Glasgow, Scotland. Sometimes he visited family and friends. Other times, he tried out a new airline and its meals. 

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The global COVID-19 pandemic has grounded him for more than a year. In January 2021, Sennhauser found a way to get his airline meal fix.

"One Sunday morning, I was just making breakfast," he continued. "And I collect airline plates and trays anyways, so I just decided to plate it up like as if it was on a plane, for fun."

He said he cooks his airline meals about once a week. His dishes include meals he previously had on flights. They include Thai curry, dumplings, Japanese hamburgers and omelets. He posts pictures of his meals on Instagram.

Sennhauser, who works as a business support manager for a local company, said it’s not just the food he loves, but how the entire process comes together from looking at the menu of in-flight options to fight attendants preparing the dishes.

"That’s just magical," he exclaimed. "It’s crazy. It’s brilliant."

The frequent flyer said he understands his love for airplane food is what many passengers hate, or simply tolerate, about flying.

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"The thing is people always compare plane food to with the actual food they get on the ground. You can’t really do that. It’s like apples and oranges. It’s like its own category," he said.

Senhausser said his media exposure has connected him with other "plane foodies" around the world. He hopes passengers would at least be more appreciative of the work and preparation that goes into serving meals on flights.

"The food that you get on a plane is not just something that someone randomly whipped up in the kitchen somewhere. There’s research that goes into this. Whole panels that do the testing," he added.

"Maybe next time you get on a plane, think about all the work that goes into it," he continued.

He hopes to continue making his airline meals even after the COVID-19 pandemic is over.

In case you’re wondering, Senhausser said some of the best meals he had were on Thai Airways, Swiss International Air Lines and Singapore Airlines.

This story was reported from Los Angeles.