Special Meals Decoded- Descriptions and Ticketing Codes

Last week, I covered airline “Special Meals”. If you are ordering a special meal, you may want to know what the code is for one or be ready to read your ticket information for what the airline has scheduled as a meal for you.

Just as the International Air Transport Association (IATA) allocates two letter codes for airlines (AA= American Airlines) and  three letter codes for airports (JFK = John F Kennedy, NY), they have created four letter standardised codes for meals which should cover every combination you will ever encounter!

  • AVML – Asian Vegetarian MealA much more interesting vegetarian alternative as the meals usually incorporate flavours from the Indian sub-continent. The meal will contain fruit, veggies and milk products but no eggs, fish or meat.


    JAL Baby Meal

  • BBML – Baby Mealobvious. One of my staff once ordered a baby meal for the “Big boss”. He was bemused when the check in staff spotted the entry.
  • CAKE – Birthday Cakeairlines vary in their treatment of cakes. Some will sell you one and some will give you one free if you have pre-ordered it
  • BLML – Bland Mealsome critics say all airline meals are bland but in this case, the meal is designed for passengers who may have ulcers, heartburn, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or have undergone  stomach or intestinal surgery. Includes foods that are soft, not very spicy, and low in fiber. 


    ANA meal

  • CHML – Children Meal I know some adults who swear by kid’s meals for themselves as they usually contain soft and easy to chew foods which are usually both easily identifiable and healthy. Can include a toy!
  • CLML – Celebration Cake Meal
  • DBML – Diabetic Meal- Includes no cakes, chocolates, jams, sugars, syrups
  • FPML – Fruit Platter Meal – only seasonal fresh fruit. Thats it! 
  • GFML – Gluten Intolerant Meal- No wheat, rye, barley or their derivatives
  • HFML – High Fibre Meal
  • HNML – Hindu Non-Vegetarian Meal- These spicy and hot-flavoured  meals will contain lamb, poultry, fish or milk but not beef, veal or pork 



  • JPML – Japanese Meal (on Japan Airlines)
  • JNML – Junior Meal
  • KSML – Kosher Meal- prepared observing Jewish Kosher cooking rules. On the meal packaging, there will usually be an indication of complying with Kashrut status

    Source: the1stclassproject.blogspot

    Source: the1stclassproject.blogspot

  • KSMLS – Kosher Meal (Snack)
  • LCML – Low Calorie Meal
  • LFML – Low Fat Meal
  • LPML – Low Protein Meal- containing restricted quantity of protein, specially for liver and kidney ailments. Meals contain fresh fruit and vegetables, vegetable fats and seasoning, and a restricted quantity of eggs and meat.
  • LSML – Low Salt Meal- LSML, intended for persons with high blood pressure, ingredients are chosen for their low sodium content and no salt is added during the cooking process. t-t2111-61-728
  • MOML – Muslim Meal- Food does not contain pork, gelatine or alcohol
  • NBML – No Beef Meal (on China Airlines)
  • NFML – No Fish Meal (on Lufthansa)
  • NLML – No Lactose lactose free) meal – It excludes milk and dairy products – yoghurt, cheese, butter, ice cream, water ice and etc.
  • OBML – Japanese Obento Meal (on United Airlines)
  • ORML – Oriental Meal- The main course is a hot-flavoured dish in an “Oriental style” usually with beef, pork, domestic fowl or fish.
  • PFML – Peanut Free Meal- ono peanuts, peanut butter or associated products.
  • PRML – Low Purine Meal – a meal with a low quantity of purine, typically for people with gout.
  • RVML- Raw Vegetable Meal –Only raw vegetables and salads.
  • RFML – Refugee Meal (on United Airlines)
  • SFML – Seafood Meal– Contains only seafood items
  • SPML – Special Meal – Specify Food
  • VGML: Vegetarian Vegan Meal- excludes any ingredients of animal origin. May also be listed as VVML
  • VJML – Vegetarian Jain Meal – It contains fresh fruit and stem vegetables that grow above the ground. It won’t contain: animal products/by-products, honey or root vegetables including carrots, ginger, garlic,mushrooms,onions, potatoes
  • VLML – Vegetarian Lacto-ovo Meal-  It contains vegetables, fresh fruit, eggs, dairy products, and pulses. It may contain eggs and dairy products. It does not contain any type of fish or meat.

    Turkish airlines- who have some of the best food in the air!

    Turkish airlines vegetarian meal. They have some of the best food in the air!

  • VOML – Vegetarian Oriental Meal- This is a Vegetarian Meal that is  prepared Chinese or Oriental-style.
  • VVML: Vegetarian Vegan Meal- see VGML

These codes are used on all of the airline booking systems including Abacus, Amadeus, Galileo, Sabre and Worldspan. Ask your airline call centre staff member or your travel agent to enter the request in the Special Services Request (SSR) field of your booking.

As noted previously, not every airline will have all of these meals. Bon Appetit!

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  1. I don’t understand why airlines offer “special meals” to begin with. not trying to be rude, but if you are in so need of a certain diet, bring it onboard..i mean there are some restuarants that cater to special people, Say u go to Olive Garden, and want a kosher meal—do ya think they have it, or they should be required to have it…I think not. I don’t think that Pan Am in the 30s had special meals, as travelling in those days was an exotic experience–unlike the trash we haul these days. If u require a special meal—shouldn’t be up to the airline to cater to you..stay home, and fix your gluten free breakfast.

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