Korean Air Vegan Meal Options (Review + Photos)

Hoping for a Korean Air vegan meal option?

Thankfully, Korean Air is great and knowledgeable when it comes to their special meals.

They are one of the better airlines to provide special vegan and vegetarian meals in my experience.

Keep reading to see my Korean Air vegan meals during my last flight with Korean Air (Korean Air Economy Class Food).

If you’re new to South Korea, read my travel guide to South Korea and vegan in Korea tips.

What Are the Vegan Meal Options on Korean Air?

Korean Air has more than one vegan meal option.

To see which ones are available, go to their special meals page, then select “Vegetarian” in the Category search bar:

Korean Air Special Vegan Vegetarian Meal Options

They provide eight special meals in this category, and indicate dietary restrictions under each description. While none of these meals contain meat or seafood, some do contain animal products such as egg and dairy:

New: In March 2023 they added an additional Korean Vegan Meal. Can’t wait to try!

List of Korean Air Special Vegan Vegetarian Meal Options

Of those eight special meals, four are vegan:

  • Korean Vegan Meal
  • Vegetarian Vegan Meal
  • Vegetarian Jain Meal
  • Vegetarian Oriental Meal

There is a “Raw Vegetarian Meal” that may be a raw vegan meal, but it doesn’t indicate if any side dressings would contain dairy or honey. I have seen some photos where the meal looks like it’s just raw fruit and vegetables:

Screenshot of Korean Airs Raw Vegetarian Meal of salad and fruits

You can also select the “Other Special Meals” category and see that there’s a fruit-only platter. I’ve never had this option on Korean Air, but I have had it on another airline. While it’s good to eat light while in the air, be prepared in case the fruit platter isn’t enough calories for you.

📲 Travel Tip: Use Skyscanner to see which months are cheapest to fly to/from South Korea

Korean Air Vegan Meal Review

Korean Air generally already provides great service on flights. From my experience, they have the best attentiveness when it comes to vegan meals.

When I last flew with them and was served my vegan meal, I was even told by the flight attendant that the (soy) milk that came with it is vegan.

I chose the Vegetarian Vegan Meal (VGML) and here’s what I got:

First meal: Most flights I’ve been to give non-vegan creamer, even with a vegan meal. I think this is the first time I was given a vegan creamer. Most flights do serve vegan butter now!

Tray of squash and polenta dish, fruit and bread roll - Korean Air Vegan Meal VGML - 1

Second meal: While seemingly plain, the meal was filling and pretty good. There was even a whole tin of maple syrup. I loved visiting Jeju Island and was excited to see the Jeju pure water.

Vegetables in tray, fruit, bread roll, and Jeju water - Korean Air Vegan Meal VGML - 2

Vegan Snacks on Korean Air

I didn’t take a photo, but one time I had fallen asleep and others were being served non-vegan treats. I woke up to vegan snacks next to me, and a flight attendant told me that the treats they passed out to others weren’t vegan, but the ones they gave me were.

I don’t know how many people were served special meals on that flight, but that consideration was really appreciated! As a vegan on flights, it’s always like hmm, can I trust that this is actually vegan?

If you go to the vegan travel page on Facebook you’ll see some horror (but a lot of good) airplane vegan meal stories.

Vegan Meals for Shorter Flights with Korean Air

During my last flight with Korean Air, I flew from the Philippines to San Francisco with a layover in Seoul.

A Korean Air vegan meal was offered on the longer flight, but not from the four hour flight with their partner airline Jin Air from the Philippines to South Korea. To be fair, it was a 2am flight, and I definitely did not want to eat then!

📲 Tip: I usually use Airalo for esims in South Korea. You can use my code ROSEAN3468 for $3 USD off your first purchase.

How to Request a Korean Air Vegan Meal

You can request a special in-flight meal with Korean Air either through their Service Center where they provide phone numbers for the country you’re currently in, or you can request it on their website.

To book a Korean Air vegan meal or special meal, log in or look up your ticket reservation on their website.

Under your reservation, click on “Display More”:

Korean Air Select Special Vegan Meal

Click on the last box, “In-Flight Meals.” Select the following drop downs: “Special In-Flight meals” -> “Vegetarian meal” -> “Vegetarian Vegan Meal” or preferred vegan option.

Korean Air Select Vegan Meal Dropdown Special Meal

They do not send you a confirmation email, so make sure to go back to your flight details to double check that the Korean Air vegan meal request was made 1) right after you bought your ticket and 2) a week before your flight.

When Can You Request a Special Meal on Korean Air?

You can request your Korean Air vegan meal up to 24 hours before your flight. So if it’s 3pm now and your flight is 10pm tomorrow, you have until 10pm tonight to book it.

If you missed the deadline, you can try asking at the check-in counter at the airport during check-in, but in case they say no, it’s best to bring some vegan snacks or food with you.

At the airport, look for restaurants with vegan-friendly meals, or at an airport convenience store for vegan snacks like nuts or protein bars. Depending on where you are, look for any cereals or oatmeal cups and vegan milk.

When Do You Get Served Your Korean Air Vegan Meals?

Special meals generally get served first, and early. Sometimes you’ve finished your food before others are even served!

So I always breathe a sigh of relief when a flight attendant either comes up to me at the beginning of the flight confirming my seat and vegan meal, or when they come up to my row with my vegan meal early. Phew!

That being said, don’t change your seat since the special meal is assigned to your seat number. If there are lots of seats and you want to move, make sure to tell them first that you’re moving and if it’s possible to serve your vegan meal at your new seat.

Meals are generally served an hour or two after landing and before arrival.

Thumbs Up for Korean Air Vegan Meals

If you’re a frequent traveler like me, it’s never a sure thing that an airline will get your vegan meal in correctly.

I sometimes even get nervous when they start to prepare meals. It can feel like a game you have to win to be honest! I try to fly with Korean Air when I have the option to, whether it’s flying to South Korea or to the Philippines.

Their service is always good and I don’t have to worry about my vegan meals. Phew! Thumbs up for Korean Air vegan meals!

🏨 Tip: Look up vegan-related activities on Viator

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