Meal codes: the basics

Sep 18, 2020 | Cabin Crew

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(Last updated on: 13/12/2021)

While having to learn the different passenger codes and airport codes, Cabin Crew are also required to learn the different meal codes for flights that serve food. As discussed in my post The basics of aviation terminology’, it’s important for Cabin Crew to learn a number of new words and phrases as they will come up constantly throughout your career.

Examples of meal codes

AVML – Asian Vegetarian meal

BBML – infant/baby meal

CHML – Child meal

DBML – Diabetic meal

FPML – Fruit platter

GFML – Gluten free meal

HNML – Hindu (non-vegetarian) meal

KSML – Kosher meal

LCML – Low-calorie meal

LFML – Low fat/low cholesterol meal

LSML – Low sodium/salt meal

MOML – Muslim meal

NLML – Non-lactose meal

ORML – Oriental meal

SFML – Seafood meal

SPML – Special meal, food to be specified

VGML – Vegetarian meal

The importance of meal codes

Cabin Crew are required to know the different meal codes when delivering meal services onboard a flight. They need to be able to respond to the request of the passenger and deliver them the correct meal. This not only ensures that the passengers are happy and receive a good standard of customer service, but it also ensures passengers don’t eat anything they arn’t allowed to. 

Examples of why Cabin Crew need to know the different meal codes:

If a passenger has a baby or child onboard the flight, then Cabin Crew will need to give them a meal correlating to the correct codes (BBML or CHML). 

If a passenger informs Cabin Crew of their religion and subsequent dietary requirements, it is then the responsibility of the Cabin Crew to give them the correct meal. E.g, if a passenger is Jewish they will require a Kosher meal (KSML) that contains Kosher foods. Similarly, if a passenger is Muslim they will require a Muslim meal (MOML) that contains halal foods. It is important they are given the correct meal so that they don’t eat foods which are not permitted in their religion. 

If a passenger has any dietary requirements then Cabin Crew will need to ensure they are given a meal that is safe and free from anything that could harm them. For example, someone with diabetes will require a diabetic meal (DBML), and a passenger with a gluten or lactose intolerance will require a gluten-free meal (GFML) or a non-lactose meal (NLML). This is especially important as if they were given the wrong meal they could become seriously ill. 

There may also be some passengers who request meals based on personal preference. For example, a vegetarian would request a vegetarian meal (VGML) so that they don’t eat any meat, or a passenger may request a low-calorie meal (LCML) or a low fat/low cholesterol meal if they are watching their calorie or cholesterol intake. 

Have you ever had a good/bad experience with Cabin Crew remembering the different meal codes? I’d love to hear from you, please leave your comments in the box below! 

Are you looking for a job as Cabin Crew? Don’t let the chance slip through your fingers… make sure you have the right resources to maximise your chances of getting the job- check out my new Online Diploma Becoming Cabin Crew now!


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Dr Hayley Stainton

Hi, am Dr Hayley Stainton

I’ve been travelling, studying and teaching travel and tourism since I was 16. Through Tourism Teacher I share my knowledge on the principles and practice of travel and tourism management from both an academic and practical perspective.

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