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I'm trying to "compile" single list of IATA meal codes. By using different airlines and data sources I have found many meal codes. However, I have also found problems with codes that are used to mean different things, or different codes used to mean the same thing. For example:

  1. On Cathay Pacific's special meal page I have found an information, that both Non-Beef Meal and Liquid Diet Meal are using the same code of SPML. These meal types seems to be far different. How to understand this? A bug on CP's page? To make things more complicated, another source uses SPML code for Special Meal or Specify Meal.

  2. Cathay Pacific uses VGML for Vegetarian Vegan Meal (Strict vegetarian food with high protein, rich iron and high calcium). Other source uses VVML code for this meal type and have VGML code reserved for Vegetarian Non-Dairy Meal. Is there any difference between these two meal types and if yes, then which code is correct / official according to IATA.

Help with the above two examples would be appreciated. However, my main question is:
Where can I find official IATA codes for food?

If there is any "ultimate source", that we can / should use for this purpose (ignoring airline's specific listings, as in case of Cathay Pacific)? If so, then please, provide a link to it.

EDIT: Please, consider above paragraph. This question asks official IATA meal list, not about airline-specific regulations.

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closed as off-topic by reirab, fooot, Pondlife, SMS von der Tann, mins May 16 '16 at 22:49

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "This question does not appear to be about aviation, within the scope defined in the help center." – reirab, fooot, Pondlife, SMS von der Tann, mins
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • $\begingroup$ I have, of course, contacted Cathay Pacific to ask them the same question as in point one, but received automated response including "one of our team members will contact you within 14 days". I have a small hope, that I get some answer here a bit faster than within two weeks! :> $\endgroup$ – trejder May 13 '16 at 8:23
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    $\begingroup$ I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because how airlines code and load food onto their aircraft is not within the scope defined in the help centre. $\endgroup$ – Simon May 13 '16 at 11:58
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    $\begingroup$ "How airlines code and load food onto their aircraft" is certainly not within the scope of this site. The problem is, that this question asks, where I can find official IATA codes for food. And, no, it does not ask about how airlines load food onto their aircraft. I think, you have a slight problem with your translator / interpreter. Voting to reopen. $\endgroup$ – trejder May 14 '16 at 10:20
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    $\begingroup$ This isn't anything that's come from IATA - the airlines choose/use their own codes and they're part of the airlines booking systems. SPML is fairly generic and used by most airlines, but how they store the "details" of this varies between airlines. Some use other codes, others will add remarks to the PNR or attach additional paperwork $\endgroup$ – Jon Story May 16 '16 at 10:06
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    $\begingroup$ I'm voting to close this question again because it's not within the scope defined on our scope page and also because it's about resource location, which is explicitly off-topic for this SE (and most others, too, except Open Data and Software Recommendations.) Whether it's from IATA or not, I don't see how being from IATA makes it any more on topic than being from a particular airline. IATA is just an industry trade group of airlines; it is not a regulatory body. $\endgroup$ – reirab May 16 '16 at 19:36
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SPML is Special Meal, differs from airline to airline.

VGML is vegan, i.e. not even dairy products are used. Unlike vegetarian were animal products can be used, say eggs or milk.

Source: Wikipedia


The official document (behind a paywall) can be found here: IATA Manuals.

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  • $\begingroup$ Welcome to aviation.se! That is a good reference, but not really authoritative. And they themselves do not link any source, would you happen to have any other link about it? $\endgroup$ – Federico May 13 '16 at 8:32

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