Monarch Airlines may have unlocked the secret to helping you relax on a flight so you can avoid ‘air rage’
While there’s nothing like a holiday to help you relax and rejuvenate, in some cases the stress of actually travelling can somewhat dampen the experience.
In fact, new research from Monarch Airlines has revealed that over a third of Brits don’t relax until at least day three of their getaway – and 72% find travelling to the destination stressful.
However, it seems that Monarch has found the secret to keeping its passengers feeling happy and chilled out – and it involves food!
Anyone who’s been ‘hangry’ knows how much hunger pangs can turn even the sunniest of moods into a grump, but the budget airline has put together a brand new menu serving up a mood-enhancing feast.
It unveiled its new experimental ‘Monarch Mood Food’ snack box, aimed to get travellers in the holiday mood, and developed alongside food psychologist Prof. Charles Spence, who’s worked with the likes of Heston Blumenthal.
The menu was created by top chef Jozef Youssef and his team at Kitchen Theory , and offers a series of bespoke snacks to suit different moments throughout the flight – and they sound really tasty too.
So what’s on the menu?
1. Echinacea and liquorice ice cream
Prior to take off, passengers will be treated to this unusual black-hued ice cream which aims to boost immunity – especially handy as 39% of Brits surveyed said they get ill when travelling or on holiday.
Plus, the liquorice boasts active ingredients with anti-inflammatory and cell protective abilities too.
Prof. Spence says: “The black colour is certainly counter-intuitive – most passengers think of white or pale colours with the ice cream. This may also help to distract passengers from their chaotic journey whilst also surprising them and playing into childlike nostalgia.”
2. Green tea and lavender mochi rice cakes
Once it’s take-off time, passengers can snack on these soothing and relaxing cakes: lavender has been proven to enhance relaxation and sleep quality, while green tea is packed with antioxidants for a second boost of immunity.
Prof. Spence says: “Whilst flavour and ingredients are key, texture also plays a part in modifying mood states. The soft, chewy texture of the rice encourages mastication which has proven anti-stress properties, reducing tension much like chewing gum. The chewy rice snack has therefore been designed to help reduce passenger stress on aeroplanes.”
3. Herbal tea containing chamomile, fennel seed and kelp
Roughly half an hour into the flight, passengers will be treated to this herbal fusion that’s proven to combat bloating and help digestion (which can affect 18% of travellers).
There’s also a touch of lemon balm providing aromatic properties that can aid relaxation too, and a side crunch, seaweed biscuit for a sweet yet salty taste.
Prof. Spence says: “Reduced air pressure, dry cabin air, and engine noise all inhibit taste perception, but umami is the only one of the basic tastes that manages to cut through these barriers, which is why so many passengers order a tomato juice or Bloody Mary on-board. Using umami tastes alongside our other flavour combinations will be comforting and satisfying for passengers.”
4. A caramelised nut bar
Before disembarking, the snack box ends with a sweet caramelised nut bar that’s coated in umami-rich mushroom and tomato powder: ideal for re-energising and awakening the senses!
Prof. Spence says: “Travelling is a time when we’re under pressure and rushed, so eating well is often an afterthought. I’ve loved working with Monarch to use food – which can be a powerful psychological and physiological tool – to create the first ever real ‘happy’ meal to get travellers in the holiday mood as quickly as possible.”