Gluten-Free Travel: Airlines

Posted by on July 23, 2014

 

Gluten-Free Travel: In the Air

Whether you’re taking off on a one-hour flight or a fifteen-hour flight, flying as a gluten-free traveler can be challenging. Though we always recommend packing backup snacks for your flight (satisfying, certified gluten-free snacks like Hail Merry and i heart keenwah tend to be our favorites), the good news is that more and more airlines are able to accommodate special food requests. While there aren’t any 100% gluten-free airlines (yet!), some airlines are more friendly to gluten-free travelers than others.

Below you’ll find a list of 80+ major airlines, along with details of their gluten-free offerings or lack thereof. Note that snacks are generally available on short-, medium-, and long-haul flights, but meals are generally only available on medium- or long-haul flights. All special meals must be ordered in advance. To ensure that your meal actually makes it onto your flight, place your order when booking your ticket or at least a week ahead of time, and then follow up with the airline twice: 48 hours before your flight and when arriving at your gate. Also note that options available for purchase onboard may or may not be available on a specific flight.

gluten-free airlines

Gluten-Free Airline Options: North America

Alaska Airlines (United States)
• Alaska Airlines does not provide or sell gluten-free meals.
• Gluten-free snacks may be available for purchase in flight. Look for the Mediterranean Tapas Picnic Pack, which includes Late July chips, hummus, nuts, and dried fruit.
• Alliance: none

American Airlines (United States)
• Gluten-intolerant meals (GFML) are available in business class on transcontinental and international flights. Gluten-intolerant meals (GFML) are available in economy on international flights. Order online or call 800-433-7300.
• Complimentary gluten-free snacks may be available between meals or on shorter flights.
• Alliance: One World

Delta (United States)
• Gluten-free meals (GFML) are available in all classes. “Foods excluded are wheat or wheat flour, barley oats and rye, bread, cakes (unless wheat free), pastry, sausages or any flour based products. (Allergy related).” Order online or call 800-221-1212.
• Gluten-free snacks may be available for purchase in flight. Look for the Mrs. May’s Nut Crunch.
• Alliance: SkyTeam

Frontier Airlines (United States)
• Frontier Airlines does not provide or sell gluten-free meals or snacks.
• Alliance: none

Hawaiian Airlines (United States)
• Hawaiian Airlines does not provide or sell gluten-free meals or snacks.
• Alliance: none

JetBlue (United States)
• Gluten-free small plates are available in business class. Order by calling 800-538-2583.
• Gluten-free meals may be available for purchase in economy. Look for the kale salad or vegetable platter. Complimentary gluten-free snacks may be available in economy. Look for the Popcorners chips.
• Alliance: none

Southwest (United States)
• Southwest does not provide or sell gluten-free meals or snacks.
• Alliance: none

Spirit Airlines (United States)
• Spirit Airlines does not provide or sell gluten-free meals or snacks.
• Alliance: none

United (United States)
• Gluten-intolerant meals (GFML) are available in all classes. “This meal is available for customers who are gluten-intolerant, and does not contain wheat, barley, rye or oats.” Order online or call 800-864-8331.
• Gluten-free snacks may be available for purchase in flight. Look for the Two Degrees fruit and nut bars.
• Alliance: Star Alliance

Virgin America (United States)
• Virgin America does not provide or sell gluten-free meals.
• Gluten-free snacks may be available for purchase in flight. Look for the Udi’s gluten-free granola or the artisan cheese box with gluten-free Crunchmaster crackers.
• Alliance: none

AeroMexico (Mexico)
• Gluten-free meals (GFML) are available in all classes. Order online or call 800-237-6639.
• Complimentary gluten-free snacks may be available between meals or on shorter flights.
• Alliance: SkyTeam

Air Canada (Canada)
• Gluten-intolerant meals (GFML) are available in all classes. Order online or call 888-247-2262.
• Gluten-free snacks may be available for purchase in flight. Look for the cheese with gluten-free crackers or the Clif Bar.
• Alliance: Star Alliance
 

Gluten-Free Airline Options: South America

Aerolineas (Argentina)
• Gluten flour-free meals (GFML) are available in all classes. Order online or call 800-333-0276.
• Complimentary gluten-free snacks may be available.
• Alliance: SkyTeam

Avianca South America
• Gluten-free meals (GFML) are available in all classes. These meals are “gluten-free, celiac, meals low in wheat and gluten.” Order by calling 800-284-2622.
• Complimentary gluten-free snacks may be available.
• Alliance: Star Alliance

Copa Airlines (Panama)
• Copa Airlines does not provide or sell gluten-free meals or snacks.
• Alliance: Star Alliance

LAN Airlines (Argentina)
• Gluten-intolerant meals (GFML) are available in all classes. Order by calling 866-435-9526.
• Complimentary gluten-free snacks may be available.
• Alliance: One World

TAM Airlines (Brazil)
• Gluten-intolerant meals (GFML) are available in all classes. Order by calling 866-435-9526.
• Complimentary gluten-free snacks may be available.
• Alliance: One World
 

Gluten-Free Airline Options: Europe

Adria (Slovenia)
• Gluten-free meals (GFML) are available on Moscow flights in all classes. Order by calling 011-386-1369-1010.
• Complimentary gluten-free snacks may be available.
• Alliance: Star Alliance

Aegean Air (Greece)
• Gluten-intolerant meals (GFML) are available in all classes. These are “meals that do not include wheat, buckwheat, rye, barley and oats.” Order online or call 011-30-210-6261000.
• Complimentary gluten-free snacks may be available.
• Alliance: Star Alliance

Aer Lingus (Ireland)
• Gluten-intolerant meals (GFML) are available in all classes. “The foods excluded in this type of meal are wheat, barley, oats and rye. Accordingly, we do not offer bread and pastries/cakes (unless wheat free) or any flour-based products.” Order online or call 800-474-7424.
• Complimentary gluten-free snacks may be available.
• Alliance: none

Aeroflot (Russia)
• Gluten-free meals (GFML) are available on select routes in all classes. These meals are “without products made from standard flour and vegetable protein, excluding dairy products.” Order by calling 866-879-7647.
• Complimentary gluten-free snacks may be available.
• Alliance: SkyTeam

Air Berlin (Germany)
• Gluten-free meals (GFML) are available in all classes. Order by calling 866-266-5588.
• Gluten-free snacks may be available for purchase in flight. Look for the currywurst, Indian curry, or Asian vegetables.
• Alliance: One World

Air France (France)
• Gluten-free meals (GFML) are available in all classes. Order online or call 800-237-2747.
• Complimentary gluten-free snacks may be available.
• Alliance: SkyTeam

AirEuropa (Spain)
• Gluten-free meals (SPML) are available in business class only. Order by calling 800-238-7672.
• Gluten-free snacks may be available for purchase in flight. Look for the almonds, olives, or cured sausages.
• Alliance: SkyTeam

Alitalia (Italy)
• Gluten-free meals (GFML) are available in all classes. These meals include “recipes without wheat, rye, barley, oats or flour.” Order online or call 800-223-5730.
• Complimentary gluten-free snacks may be available.
• Alliance: SkyTeam

Austrian (Austria)
• Gluten-free meals (GFML) are available in all classes. These meals “contain no wheat flour or related products; also largely lactose-free.” Order online or call 800-843-0002.
• Complimentary gluten-free snacks may be available.
• Alliance: Star Alliance

Blue Air (Romania)
• Blue Air does not provide or sell gluten-free meals or snacks.
• Alliance: none

British Airways (United Kingdom)
• Gluten-intolerant meals (GFML) are available in all classes. “Excluded foods are wheat or wheat flour, barley oats and rye, bread, cakes (unless wheat free), pastry, sausages or any flour based products.” Order online or call 800-247-9297.
• Complimentary gluten-free snacks may be available.
• Alliance: One World

Brussels Airlines (Belgium)
• Gluten-intolerant meals (GFML) are available in all classes. “Meals contain neither cereals (wheat, rye, barley, oats) nor starchy foods.” Order online or call 866-308-2230.
• Complimentary gluten-free snacks may be available.
• Alliance: Star Alliance

Croatia Airlines (Croatia)
• Gluten-free meals (GFML) are available in business class only. This is “a meal not containing gluten-–-the meal excludes wheat and all products containing wheat, oat, barley and rye, including products with a possible addition of flour. The manufacturer guarantees for the rolls served with the meal. All thermally treated foodstuffs are prepared separately (e.g., oil).” Order online or call 011-385-166-76-555.
• Complimentary gluten-free snacks may be available.
• Alliance: Star Alliance

Czech Airlines (Czech Republic)
• Gluten-free meals (GFML) are available in all classes. Order by calling 855-359-2932.
• Complimentary gluten-free snacks may be available.
• Alliance: SkyTeam

easyJet (United Kingdom)
• Gluten-free snacks may be available for purchase in flight. Look for the Boxerchips, Eat Natural Bar, or Mrs. Crimble’s macaroon.
• Alliance: none

Finnair (Finland)
• Gluten-free meals (GFML) are available in all classes. “Contains naturally gluten-free ingredients and wheat starch” and “is suitable for a person with celiac disease.” Order online or call 800-950-5000.
• Gluten-free snacks may be available for purchase in flight. Look for the olives.
• Alliance: One World

Iberia (Spain)
• Gluten-intolerant meals (GFML) are available in all classes. “Meals with no wheat, rye, barley or oats. Not suitable for those allergic to gluten.” Order online or call 800-772-4642.
• Gluten-free snacks may be available for purchase in flight. Look for the chips, olives, or yogurt.
• Alliance: One World

KLM (Netherlands)
• Gluten-intolerant meals (GFML) are available in all classes. “Ingredients used for these meals are verified by the manufactured label to ensure gluten is not present. Unfortunately, however, we cannot guarantee that the meal is 100% gluten free.” Order online or call 866-434-0320.
• Complimentary gluten-free snacks may be available.
• Alliance: SkyTeam

LOT (Poland)
• Gluten-free meals are available in all classes. Order online or call 212-789-0970.
• Complimentary gluten-free snacks may be available.
• Alliance: Star Alliance

Lufthansa (Germany)
• Gluten-free meals (GFML) are available in all classes. These meals involve “incompatibility to gluten (gluten protein): the usage of gluten free flours.” Order online or call 800-645-3880.
• Complimentary gluten-free snacks may be available.
• Alliance: Star Alliance

Niki
Gluten-free meals are available in all classes. Call 0820-737-800 to reserve yours.
• Complimentary gluten-free snacks may be available.
• Alliance: none

Norwegian (Norway)
• Gluten-free meals (GFML) are available in economy. Order online or call 800-357-4159.
• Gluten-free snacks may be available for purchase in flight. Look for the olives.
• Alliance: none

Ryanair (Ireland)
• Gluten-free snacks may be available for purchase in flight. Look for the Heinz soup, olives, or peanuts.
• Alliance: none

S7 (Russia)
• S7 does not provide or sell gluten-free meals or snacks.
• Alliance: One World

SAS (Sweden)
• Gluten-free meals (GFML) are available in all classes. Order online or call 800-221-2350.
• Gluten-free snacks may be available for purchase in flight. Look for the Heath bar.
• Alliance: Star Alliance

SWISS (Switzerland)
• Gluten-intolerant meals (GFML) are available in all classes. These meals are “available without cereals (wheat, rye, barley, oats) and starch.” Order online or call 877-359-7947.
• Complimentary gluten-free snacks may be available.
• Alliance: Star Alliance

TAP (Portugal)
• Gluten-free meals (GFML) are available in all classes. Order by calling 800-221-7370.
• Complimentary gluten-free snacks may be available.
• Alliance: Star Alliance

TAROM (Romania)
• TAROM does not provide or sell gluten-free meals or snacks.
• Alliance: SkyTeam

Turkish Airlines (Turkey)
• Gluten-intolerant meals (GFML) are available in all classes. Order online or call 800-874-8875.
• Complimentary gluten-free snacks may be available.
• Alliance: Star Alliance

Virgin Atlantic (United Kingdom)
• Gluten-Free meals (GFML) are available in all classes. This meal “contains no foods with barley, wheat, rye or oats and milk and milk products are avoided where possible. Suitable for passengers with coeliac disease.” Order online or call 888-747-747.
• Complimentary gluten-free snacks may be available.
• Alliance: none

Vueling (Spain)
• Gluten-free meals are available in all classes and are complimentary with an Excellence Fare. Order online when booking an Excellence Fare or call 011-34-931-518-158. Order onboard when booking any other fare class.
• Gluten-free snacks may be available for purchase in flight. Look for the gazpacho, almonds, or apple slices.
• Alliance: none

Wizz (Hungary)
• Wizz does not provide or sell gluten-free meals.
• Gluten-free snacks may be available for purchase in flight. Look for the Heinz soup.
• Alliance: none
 

Gluten-Free Airline Options: Middle East

El Al (Israel)
• Gluten-intolerant meals (GFML) are available in all classes. “A special meal for passengers who must control their gluten intake. These meals are not suitable for celiacs and for persons who are
sensitive/allergic to gluten.” Order online or call 800-223-6700.
• Complimentary gluten-free snacks may be available.
• Alliance: none

Emirates (United Arab Emirates)
• Gluten-free meals (GFML) are available in all classes. “This meal is available for passengers who are allergic or intolerant to gluten (a protein of wheat, barley, oats, or rye). It contains one or more of these ingredients: dairy products, fresh vegetables, salads, fruit, fish, lean meats, and rice. It does NOT contain: bread, sauces, pasta, custard, cakes, chocolates, rolls, or crackers.” Order online or call 800-777-3999.
• Complimentary gluten-free snacks may be available.
• Alliance: none

Etihad (United Arab Emirates)
Personal chefs are available in first class, personal food & beverage managers are available in business class, and gluten-free meals (GFML) are available in economy. “Gluten-free meals are available for guests who need to limit their intake of gluten (or gliadin, a protein fraction of gluten), a substance found in wheat, barley, rye and oats. Gluten-intolerant guests usually suffer from a condition known as celiac disease. This condition is caused when the lining of the intestine is damaged by gluten and the body will not absorb food properly. Many packaged and convenience foods contain modified food starches that contain gluten and should be avoided. Therefore, there is no guarantee that meals will be absolutely gluten-free. A rice cracker can be served instead of bread. Items which are usually allowed on a gluten-free diet are: meat, poultry, fresh fish, rice, fresh fruits and vegetables, corn, salt and pepper, herbs and spices, potatoes, aged cheese, eggs, dairy products, sugars and preserves, margarine, tapioca, vegetable oils, yoghurt, chocolate, and dried beans and peas. Items which are usually prohibited on a gluten-free diet include: wheat and wheat flour, barley, oats and rye, sauces, bread, cakes and biscuits, pastry, soups, sausages and sausage meats, pasta, gravy mixes and stock cubes.” Order online or call 877-690-0767.
• Complimentary gluten-free snacks may be available.
• Alliance: none (some One World partners)

Middle East Airlines (Lebanon)
• Gluten-free meals (GFML) are available in all classes. Order online or call 011-961-162-9999.
• Complimentary gluten-free snacks may be available.
• Alliance: SkyTeam

Qatar Airways (Qatar)
• Gluten-free meals (GFML) are available in all classes. These meals are “free of wheat and wheat flour, barley, oat- and rye-based sauces, breads, cakes, pastas, biscuits, pastries, soups, sausages, farinaceous, prods, gravy and stock cubes.” Order online or call 877-777-2827.
• Complimentary gluten-free snacks may be available.
• Alliance: One World

Royal Jordanian (Jordan)
• Gluten-free meals (GFML) are available in all classes. Order online or call 212-949-0050.
• Complimentary gluten-free snacks may be available.
• Alliance: One World

Saudia (Saudi Arabia)
• Gluten-free meals (GFML) are available in all classes. Order online or call 800-472-8342.
• Complimentary gluten-free snacks may be available.
• Alliance: SkyTeam
 

Gluten-Free Airline Options: Africa

Egypt Air (Egypt)
• Egypt Air does not provide or sell gluten-free meals or snacks. Pack your own food.
• Alliance: Star Alliance

Ethiopian Airlines (Ethiopia)
• Gluten-free meals (GFML) are available in all classes. Order by calling 800-445-2733.
• Complimentary gluten-free snacks may be available.
• Alliance: Star Alliance

Kenya Airways (Kenya)
• Gluten-free meals (GFML) are available in all classes. Order by calling 866-536-9224.
• Complimentary gluten-free snacks may be available.
• Alliance: SkyTeam

South African Airways (South Africa)
• Gluten-free meals (GFML) are available in all classes. Order online or call 800-722-9675.
• Complimentary gluten-free snacks may be available.
• Alliance: Star Alliance
 

Gluten-Free Airline Options: Asia

Air China (China)
• Gluten-free meals (GFML) are available in all classes. Order by calling 800-882-8122.
• Complimentary gluten-free snacks may be available.
• Alliance: Star Alliance

Air India (India)
• Gluten-intolerant meals (GFML) are available in all classes. Order by calling 800-223-7776.
• Complimentary gluten-free snacks may be available.
• Alliance: Star Alliance

ANA (Japan)
7 allergen-free meals are available in all classes. “ANA orders allergen-free meals to be cooked separately from other meals in a kitchen of a company specializing in research of allergies. We provide a “7 allergen-free meal,” which does not contain the 7 major allergic ingredients (wheat, buckwheat, dairy products, eggs, peanuts, shrimp and crab), and a “25 allergen-free meal,” which does not contain the 7 major allergic ingredients and 18 other ingredients (abalone, squid, salmon roe, orange, kiwifruit, beef, walnut, salmon, mackerel, soybean, poultry, banana, pork, matsutake mushroom, peach, yam, apple, and gelatin).” Order online or call 800-235-9262.
• Complimentary gluten-free snacks may be available.
• Alliance: Star Alliance

Asiana Airlines (South Korea)
• Gluten-free meals (GFML) are available in all classes. “Meal for those who have digestion trouble with gluten or wheat (flour). Starch potato, rice, bean, etc. rather than wheat is used, as well as vegetable, fruit, eggs, meat, fish, etc.” Order online or call 800-227-4262.
• Complimentary gluten-free snacks may be available.
• Alliance: Star Alliance

Cathay Pacific (Hong Kong)
• Gluten-intolerant meals (GFML) are available in all classes. “Gluten from any source is not present in food. Not suitable for gluten allergies.” Order online or call 800-233-2742.
• Complimentary gluten-free snacks may be available.
• Alliance: One World

China Airlines (China)
• Gluten-free meals (GFML) are available in all classes. Order by calling 800-227-5118.
• Complimentary gluten-free snacks may be available.
• Alliance: SkyTeam

China Eastern (China)
• Gluten-free meals (GFML) are available in all classes. Order by calling 800-200-5118.
• Complimentary gluten-free snacks may be available.
• Alliance: SkyTeam

China Southern (China)
• Gluten-free meals (GFML) are available in all classes. Order by calling 011-86-208-668-2000.
• Complimentary gluten-free snacks may be available.
• Alliance: SkyTeam

Dragonair (Hong Kong)
• Gluten-free meals (GFML) are available in all classes. This meal “excludes wheat, buckwheat or wheat flour, rye, oats, barley, bread or any flour-based products.” Order online or call +852-2747-3333.
• Complimentary gluten-free snacks may be available.
• Alliance: none

EVA Air (Taiwan)
• Gluten-intolerant meals (GFML) are available in all classes. These meals “Ensure gluten from any source is not present in foods.” Order online or call 800-695-1188.
• Complimentary gluten-free snacks may be available.
• Alliance: Star Alliance

Garuda Indonesia (Indonesia)
• Gluten-free meals (GFML) are available in all classes. Order by calling 011-62-21-2351-9999.
• Complimentary gluten-free snacks may be available.
• Alliance: SkyTeam

Hainan Airlines (China)
• Hainan Airlines does not provide or sell gluten-free meals or snacks.
• Alliance: none

Japan Airlines (Japan)
• Gluten-free meals (GFML) are available on international flights in all classes. “Gluten-free meals are available for those customers who need to limit their intake of gluten, a substance found in wheat, rye, barley and oats. Gluten-intolerant customers usually suffer from a condition known as celiac disease.” Order online or call 011-81-0570-025-121.
• Complimentary gluten-free snacks may be available.
• Alliance: One World

Korean Air (South Korea)
• Gluten-intolerant meals (GFML) are available on flights from Seoul in all classes. This is “a medical meal without wheat, barley, rye, or oats containing gluten.” Order online or call 800-438-5000.
• Complimentary gluten-free snacks may be available.
• Alliance: SkyTeam

Malaysia Airlines (Malaysia)
• Gluten-intolerant meals (GFML) are available in all classes. “Perfect for gluten intolerant passengers unable to consumer foods which contain gluten. May contain meat, poultry, fish, rice, potato dairy products.” Order online or call 800-552-9264.
• Complimentary gluten-free snacks may be available.
• Alliance: One World

Philippine Airlines (Philippines)
• Gluten-free meals (SPML) are available in all classes. Order online or call 310-338-7197.
• Complimentary gluten-free snacks may be available.
• Alliance: none

Shenzen Airlines (China)
• Gluten-free meals (GFML) are available in all classes. Order by calling 011-86-755-888-14023.
• Complimentary gluten-free snacks may be available.
• Alliance: Star Alliance

Singapore Airlines (Singapore)
• Gluten-intolerant meals (GFML) are available in all classes. “No wheat, rye, barley, oats and bran in any form (including food items which may contain such ingredients) are served for this meal.” Order online or call 800-742-3333.
• Complimentary gluten-free snacks may be available.
• Alliance: Star Alliance

Sri Lankan Airlines (Sri Lanka)
• Gluten-free meals (GFML) are available in all classes. “Gluten, a substance found in wheat, barley and rye is excluded in the preparation of this meal. However, we do include milk and dairy products, eggs, meat, fish, vegetables, fruit, rice and corn which are free from gluten.” Order online or call 877-915-2652.
• Complimentary gluten-free snacks may be available.
• Alliance: One World

Thai Airways (Thailand)
• Gluten-free meals (GFML) are available in all classes. “Gluten free diet avoids gluten which is found in wheat, rye, barley and oats.” Order online or call 800-426-5204.
• Complimentary gluten-free snacks may be available.
• Alliance: Star Alliance

Vietnam Airlines (Vietnam)
• Gluten-intolerant meals (GFML) are available in all classes. These meals are “recommended for: gluten intolerant passenger. Note: not suitable for gluten allergic passengers. Prohibited: wheat, wheat flour, rye, oats & barley. pasta, bread, bread crumbs & batter. oat-based breakfast cereals. Semolina. Soup, sauce, soya sauce & gravy mixes made with flour. Cakes, muffins, pastries. Malt products, ovaltine. Starch derived from cereals containing gluten. Custard powder, luncheon meats, meat substitutes. Sausages. Confectionery with chocolate including cereals containing gluten. Nut & nut products.” Order online or call 866-677-8909.
• Complimentary gluten-free snacks may be available.
• Alliance: SkyTeam

Xiamen Air (China)
• Gluten-free meals (SPML) are available in all classes. Order by calling 011-86-592-573-9100.
• Complimentary gluten-free snacks may be available.
• Alliance: SkyTeam
 

Gluten-Free Airline Options: Australia & Islands

Air New Zealand (New Zealand)
• Gluten-intolerant meals (GFML) are available in all classes. These meals are for “gluten-intolerant customers, not suitable for gluten allergic customers.” Order online or call 800-262-1234.
• Complimentary gluten-free snacks may be available.
• Alliance: Star Alliance

Fiji Airways (Fiji)
• Gluten-free meals (SPML) are available in all classes. Order online or call 800-227-4446.
• Complimentary gluten-free snacks may be available.
• Alliance: none

Qantas (Australia)
• Gluten-free meals (GFML) are available in all classes. Order online or call 800-227-4500.
• Complimentary gluten-free snacks may be available.
• Alliance: One World

Virgin Australia (Australia)
• Low gluten meals (GFML) are available on international flights in all classes. Virgin Australia asserts that “gluten is not used in the preparation of this meal.” Order online or call 855-253-8021.
• Complimentary gluten-free snacks may be available.
• Alliance: none

 
We hope this takes some of the guesswork and stress out of flying gluten-free. If you have questions or need advice on planning your trip, don’t hesitate to leave a comment below or contact me directly!
 
 

Comments

  1. Leave a Reply

    Celiac Guy
    September 1, 2014

    FYI: American Airlines Special Services told me last week the GFML coded meals are only avail on Int’l and Trans Oceanic Bus Class Flights. They will accommodate Vegetarians transcontinental, but we can’t eat their cheesy pasta menu. Note also that AA menu has alarmingly abridged ingredient descriptions. On my flight yesterday the entree sounded edible, but chicken had been battered. Potatoes deep fried. Last week my salad was destroyed with a substantial pile of crumpled bulgar wheat on top – who does that to a salad?!? Is that even a thing? At least they had nuts. Even after describing allergy to flight crew, I was repeatedly offered buns and cookies to much eye rolling and hand waving, like I was being too fuzzy or expecting too much after paying thousands for business class service.

    On Delta, the GF meals often contain deep-fried items, and I was given a dubious turkey sandwich with a GF sticker on a recent very long haul flight to Dubai that looked identical to those of co passengers. I don’t know about you, but I don’t care to risk injury by pretending to be eating normal bread products just to fit in with strangers. I wish the airlines understood our discomfort with that. I’d rather eat an apple, or a salad any day. How hard would it be to have I fruit basket in the galley? Luckily I brought my own stuff.

    There is certainly more training required in kitchens producing our meals and with attendants who have no clue.

    Lastly I note that COPA is based out of Panama. I’ve flown them quite a bit too, but not since being diagnosed, so can’t comment on their menu.

    • Leave a Reply

      Anna Sonnenberg
      September 2, 2014

      Thank you SO much for sharing this. Did AA tell you that the GFML is available only in business class on those flights? Curious—I’ll confirm. And how infuriating that you can pay so much and not have a basic meal request (which something they claim to offer—not anything above and beyond!) turn into such a complete failure.

      COPA, which I’ve updated to reflect its Panama HQ (thanks!), is one of the few airlines that states outright that it does not serve GFMLs. Good to know—I’ll be sure to pack my own food if I ever have the chance to fly with them.

      Agreed that we don’t need our meals to be identical to the regular offerings. In fact, I’m surprised that for special meal requests, which are often designated “medical meals,” stickers with complete, reliable ingredient lists aren’t the norm. Wouldn’t that make it easier on everyone? Then we wouldn’t have to worry as much about mix-ups or flight attendants not understanding allergies and intolerances!

  2. Leave a Reply

    Sue
    June 14, 2016

    By accident, we flew ANA (All-Nippon Airways) to Thailand via Tokyo and I was thrilled to see the WONDERFUl allergy meals they offered since I have many food allergies and it is a very long series of flights! Of course our first flight was delayed by 4 hours at Chicago so we missed that ANA flight and I missed my “7 allergen meal”! I was really worried since I had eaten most of my carry-on foods and spent an outrageous price for a half cup of plain rice at the Tokyo airport. It tuned out that the regular breakfast they served was fine for my allergies since it was rice with some toppings (fish and some egg). Then the stewardess even offered me some rice crackers for a snack, when the others all had wheat based treats! I will always fly ANA now, if I possibly can. We all need to get all of the airlines to AT THE VERY LEAST realize that dairy sensitivities often go along with gluten intolerance, so they can simply eliminate both from their “Gluten-Free” meals. I’d be happy if they also left out eggs and nuts, too, but that’s probably asking too much :). I have all the recipes they need that I can send them — and they can serve me the same meal on every single flight I take — that would be just fine!!

Leave a Reply

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>