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Dallas vs. Chicago

I’m not referring to sports teams here. I’m talking about airports, and the food choices available.

I have been spending a lot of time in airports lately, and my personal choice is to always eat fresh fruits and vegetables and gluten-free products, so I pay attention to what is offered.

When I was in Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport last month, I was astounded by the healthy food options that presented themselves: cut fruits and veggies, hummus and veggies, fresh fruit juices, unsalted nuts, gluten-free snacks and fruit smoothies. Multiple kiosks in each corridor of the airport offered many healthy dining options.

Then, this past week, I spent a lot of time at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport — thanks to the tornado activity. Although fresh salads were available in many terminals, I did not find a lot of variety when it came to just plain old fresh fruits and veggies and other healthy options. (In full disclosure, I will say that I found many displays of the basics: fresh whole apples, bananas, and oranges.)

So what is the difference between these two major hubs. Is it lifestyle? Texans are well known for their “steak and potato” propensity.

Is it the politics? Chicago is a well-known bastion of Democrats and liberals. Dallas is known to be more conservative and Republican.

Or is the airline that has the hub there driving the food choices? United Airlines in Chicago and American Airlines in Dallas.

I can tell you that as a consumer, a mom, and a fresh produce advocate, I want more fresh choices when I travel.

I feel better when I eat healthy during my plane flights. I find myself packing or purchasing fresh snacks before I board so I am not held hostage to what the airlines offer — mostly crackers, pretzels, candies and cookies. There is not much fresh produce offered by the airlines. What happened to the small bags of carrots that United Airlines used to give out?

I hope you will all agree that offering healthy options at airports and on airplanes is a good idea. Feel free to offer your comments or special requests to all the major airlines:

JetBlue Airways
US Airways 
American Airlines
United Airlines
Delta Air Lines
Southwest Airlines
Virgin America

Travel safe!


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