An Airline that Dared to Serve a Hamburger In Economy Class 🍔

Written by Charlie

Eating food in economy class on airlines is often just about getting calories than enjoying what you are eating. Some foods are easier to serve in economy class than others but this airline went for a hamburger in economy class – and the result was pretty good!

When it comes to flying, there can be a world of difference between the food served in a premium cabin like business or first and the food that is served in economy class.

An Airline that Dared to Serve a Hamburger in Economy Class! 🙂

Turkish Airlines

Courtesy of Turkish Airlines

For the most part, airlines have the system down to what works best for food served in economy class – pasta or a meat like beef or chicken served with a rice or something like potatoes. I cannot tell you how many times that this was the kind of meal options available to me in economy class! I do not fly to Asia much these days but I do know that there are some more cultural differences to those dishes but often with the same main part.

There are some foods that I think airlines just try to avoid. I would think that hamburgers would be one of them. One time in Lufthansa First Class, I ordered the hamburger and was actually told by the flight attendant that she suggested I avoid it because it really wasn’t good! 

Hamburgers in First Class Can be Tricky!

I mean, if Lufthansa First Class can’t get it right, you would think that other airlines may try to avoid it! 🙂 Of course, you have a flying chef and catering in business on Austrian and Turkish and a chef in first on airlines like Etihad but in economy, you are basically going to get some dish in a foil container blasted in a mini-oven for a few minutes and then served!

Turkish Airlines Dared to Serve a Hamburger in Economy Class – And it was Good!

Note: I know about köfte and have had that on short-haul destination flights. It is called that on the menu normally but this particular flight had the item listed as “hamburger” and it was larger than regular köfte. It did taste similar to the other köfte dishes I have had with Turkish in the past so not sure why it was larger this time and labeled as a hamburger.

Yet, Turkish Airlines actually had a hamburger as an option on one of my flights with them (that is what it was called on their menu) – in economy class! I have flown Turkish Airlines in economy a lot – probably more than any other airline – and had never had that option before. But on a flight from Istanbul to Toronto, they had the hamburger as an option.

What It Looked Like and How It Tasted

Of course, I had to order it! 🙂 However, I didn’t take any photos of it because I was traveling with my family and wasn’t in blog mode – sorry! But, I can describe it enough to say that it was about 2/3 the size of a traditional burger that you would get in a burger house. The top had a bit of a oven-burned blackening to it and it wasn’t as moist as a hamburger that you would get on land.

But, those things aside, the hamburger was actually pretty good! It was kind of like a meatloaf with a tighter consistency in the meat (which is what köfte is like). Not only was it somewhat good, it was pretty filling as well! I am normally not full after a meal in economy class but after eating the hamburger from Turkish and the accompanying potato-wedge fries, I was definitely full enough.


I normally don’t write much about food on airlines (unless it is a highlight in a review) but I was impressed enough about Turkish attempting this and how well it turned out that I thought I should.

Have you ever had a hamburger on an airplane? Which class and was it good?

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About the author


Charlie has been an avid traveler and runner for many years. He has run in marathons around the world for less than it would cost to travel to the next town - all as a result of collecting and using miles and points. Over the years, he has flown hundreds of thousands of miles and collected millions of miles and points.
Now he uses this experience and knowledge to help others through Running with Miles.