Earlier this week a gluten-free passenger on a nine-hour flight was served up a solitary banana and a sachet of salt for his breakfast. Have you witnessed or experienced any dietary requirement fails?
Plane food can be something of a punchline; the common trope for bad food. You essentially expect it to be terrible, so when it’s tolerable it’s a pleasant surprise. But when your diet requires something a little different than the main offering, things can get a bit tricky…
Recipe for disaster
I’m gluten-intolerant, but I’ll often just hope for the best when I go out. That said, I’m quite lucky as, although I won’t be darkening the door of the traditional pizzeria down the road any time soon, there’s a huge range of culinary offerings in London. If I can’t eat in one place, I can try next door.
But, when you’re on a long-haul flight it can be a different story.
— Telegraph Travel (@TelegraphTravel) May 3, 2017
While most airlines will have a range of options, the standard of dietary requirement meals aboard a flight can vary greatly depending on where you’re flying and the airline.
At their best these meals are individually planned. At their worst, the gluten, lactose or animal-product components are removed from the regular meal. Depending on what that is, it doesn’t always leave much and, at 30,000ft in the air, you can’t just nip to the shop to supplement what you’re given.
Friends of mine with dietary requirements have also mentioned attending a wedding or function and found that their vegan or lactose-free requirements haven’t quite been catered for, or been left with an odd thrown together option. Sometimes this is fine, but a lactose-intolerant friend had the misfortune of being assured his meal was lactose-free only to go home unwell later.
Thankfully, I’ve generally found my in-flight gluten-free meals to be that pleasant surprise. Often trumping my travel buddy’s regular meal, it has more often than not been quite tasty and frankly at least I know what I’m eating – which, to borrow from every bad comedian, is not always the case with airplane food!
Do you have any dietary requirements? Have you had any issues with being catered for?