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Gf Airline Food


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11 replies to this topic

#1 Pegster

 
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Posted 30 July 2004 - 05:09 PM

I'm flying to Europe next week. I ordered a gluten-free meal for both my flights to and from (Lufthansa and Delta). I'm just wondering what to expect. My husband says I'll get a bowl of rice and an apple. My daughter says I'll get steak and a baked potato! Who has experience with gluten-free food on an airplane? And can I trust that it will really be gluten-free???? Who wants to be sick on an airplane? Thanks!!!
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PEGGY
Positive DH biopsy 4/19/04

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#2 SofiEmiMom

 
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Posted 30 July 2004 - 06:27 PM

I've had about a half dozen airline meals - all on Northwest. Not sure what airline you're flying and how similiar they are, but these are items that I've been served:

Veggie Omelet
Corn muffin
Lettuce Side Salad
Entree salad (lettuce, carrots, cucumbers, radishes)
Huge fruit plate for lunch or a side of fruit with other meals
Ham and cheese rice cake sandwich
Side of vegetables with ranch dip
Chicken and rice (hot, for dinner)
Plain rice cake with jam and peanut butter
Gluten Free cookie
Gluten Free brownie

The meals seem to be sensitive to dairy intolerance as well, as all but the ham and cheese rice cake sandwich were without dairy touching the food.

I would bring some extra rice cakes or gluten-free bread. If the rice cake is part of a sandwich then it tends to be soggy.

I've had some really good meals. On one trip my husband ordered the gluten free meal too just to be safe for me, and the pursor traded him because he said it was one of the best looking meals he's seen. I also had another passenger comment to me after looking at my meal (half jokingly, of course), "Gee, I wish I was intolerant to gluten."

My experience is that the stewardesses are completely clueless about the Gluten Free meal. Every single time my meal was served they tried to put a dinner roll on my plate - so mention it "before" they unwrap your meal or the roll will be plopped on top and your dinner ruined (no replacements on board).

A funny story to tell only a fellow Celiac could appreciate:
It was meal time and the stewardess pulls out my meal (much more plain than what the others were getting - mine was a huge fruit plate as everyone else had a turkey and cheese croisant)
She says, 'Oh, do you really want this? Wouldn't you like a croissant?' I said, 'no thank you, I'll take the fruit as I'm allergic to wheat (best way to describe, I've found, when I need to be brief). She looked at me blankly, and said, "Ah, um, ok". Then after a slight pause she says, "Oh, I have some extra of this wonderful chocolate cake! It's awesome, everyone loves it. Would you like a piece?" I chuckled and then repeated, "No, thank you, I'm allergic to wheat". She looked at me so puzzled. I couldn't help but laugh as she just didn't get it at all. My husband said after she walked away, "She obviously has never read the ingredients on a box or made anything from scratch." We giggled. It takes a lot of patience in this gluten free world:).
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#3 Pegster

 
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Posted 31 July 2004 - 10:05 AM

Thanks so much for your very thorough response! I've had people offer me sandwiches that they think I can eat because they're on white bread, not wheat! Do they think there is an ingredient called "white" that bread is made from?
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PEGGY
Positive DH biopsy 4/19/04

#4 flagbabyds

 
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Posted 31 July 2004 - 01:46 PM

Glad to hear you have had a good experience but mw on the other hand, i always end up with spoiled fruit and a bagel on the side, they expect because it is not in the food but it is touching the food, i won't gwt sick and will just avoid it

Always carry rice cakes and never be too polite

~Jacquelline mallorca. Expect for the worst! If it's a long flight and they don't have food you can have, you may have toeat it and face the consequences or just get really sick from not eating enough,
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Molly

#5 sunflower

 
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Posted 02 August 2004 - 02:01 AM

I would bring some extra rice cakes or gluten-free bread. 

Definitely take extra bread and some gluten-free snacks if it is going to be a long flight. You never know what kind of food you will get. From my experience, Lufthansa gluten-free meals are good and they always put some kind of gluten-free bread in your meal, but once, when I was flying with Austrian Airlines, I got no bread, and for lunch I got vegetable salad and fruit salad only, and they were the kind of salads where you try to look for any calories and find out that there are so few of them that they are sitting there crying because they are so lonely ;) I suppose their dietetician mistook "being gluten-free" for "not being hungry". This was a very long flight and ever since I ALWAYS bring something to eat on board, just in case. Better safe than sorry.

My experience is that the stewardesses are completely clueless about the Gluten Free meal.  Every single time my meal was served they tried to put a dinner roll on my plate - so mention it "before" they unwrap your meal or the roll will be plopped on top and your dinner ruined (no replacements on board).


Oh yes, the stewardesses do bring you your gluten-free meal AND then try to give you a roll :D . It happened in all airlines I have ever used. It seems to me that they do it automatically, without thinking. You just have to be fast and say "no roll, please" as soon as you see them approaching you with the food tray :P

I don't know about airlines in US, but I used some European airlines, and what I find annoying is that you can order a special meal that is gluten-free, or one that is dairy-free, but you can't have one that is both gluten and dairy-free. Somebody who set the rules made a list of available special meals and you can have just one type from the list, which makes sense only if you are not aware that there are people who have more than one food intolerance. I am both gluten-free and lactose-free, and so whenever I fly I choose to order a gluten free meal, hoping that I will be able to skip the cheese or butter that comes in the pack and that I will not receive something baked with cheese on top of it (it happened once so far). I am never sure, though, if the gluten-free bread that I get is also milk free :huh:

As for funny stories, I remembered how I was trying to book a special meal for myself after making a reservation. I called the airlines and the lady who talked to me was trying to be helpful, but she was absolutely clueless as to what kind of food I wanted and why. I explained her patiently and asked to check if the airlines offer any meal listed as "gluten-free" or "lactose-free" or "dairy-free", etc. After a while she exclaimed "Oh! I found it! We have it! That was lacto-ovo vegetarian, wasn't it?" :D After some more explanations, including the difference between lactose-free and lacto-ovo vegetarian, I did manage to book my gluten-free meal somehow :)

Hope you will have a good flight!
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#6 tarnalberry

 
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Posted 02 August 2004 - 09:50 PM

Ha! I've asked for a gluten-free meal on airplanes twice, and the first time, I didn't get anything. The second time (today), I get a chicken salad sandwhich in pita bread and a wheat flour based cookie! I'll be writing American a letter explaining that gluten-free means gluten-free. (Not phrased that way, of course, but still...)
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Tiffany aka "Have I Mentioned Chocolate Lately?"
Inconclusive Blood Tests, Positive Dietary Results, No Endoscopy
G.F. - September 2003; C.F. - July 2004
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#7 Kim

 
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Posted 03 August 2004 - 02:33 AM

I have flown to Europe many times on Delta with gluten-free food requests.

For the most part, the protein part of the meal will be fine, if a little plain. Omellette for breakfast, plain chicken or beef for dinner, etc, some veggies or salad. Bring some individual packets of salad dressing with you as once in a while, they serve a dressing that I can't be sure is gluten-free and I never want to take a chance when flying (or otherwise). They'll either give you corn muffin (which is only edible if you have them heat it up for you -- explain to the flight attendant that it must not touch anything else and they'll go up to first class and put it on a plate and heat it up a little -- even then, be prepared for a very dry muffin) or plain rice cakes. The flight attendants are almost always completely clueless and will offer to put the roll on your plate so be sure to tell them that you can't have the roll. The gluten free foods on the European airlines tend to taste much better than on Delta.

Once (which is pretty good for my number of flights), my gluten-free meal did not make it on board and they offered me vegetarian (which of course wasn't gluten-free). Needless to say, I ALWAYS travel with snacks, including protein bars (and, often fruit) to ensure that I am not starving on the trip. I also recommend calling the airline about 24 hours in advance to reconfirm the gluten-free meal is on there.

I often will make a few "treats" -- cookies, pan bars, etc. and individually wrap in plastic wrap and then put in ziploc bags. I then put all of the ziploc bags in the disposable (ie lightweight) plastic food containers so they don't get crushed. I never travel without my own gluten-free food anymore.

Have a great trip and safe travels. Kim, Atlanta, GA
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#8 Pegster

 
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Posted 03 August 2004 - 07:39 AM

Thanks for all the responses! I will definitely take plenty of snacks. I have a total travel time of almost 20 hours including a layover in Germany before I arrive in Rome so my carry-on will be stuffed with gluten-free snacks for me. Great suggestions, everyone! :D
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PEGGY
Positive DH biopsy 4/19/04

#9 starlitgrl27

 
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Posted 14 August 2004 - 09:16 PM

I'm flying to london on Virgin airlines in a couple of days. If you go their website they have five or six different meals for different dietary needs including gluten-free at this website: http://www.virgin-at...rements.view.do
All they need is 24hrs notice. I'll try it and make sure to get back to everyone on whether is was any good. Hope this helps someone!
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Kelsey
Gluten-intolerant since August 2004...so i am a newbie!

#10 astyanax

 
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Posted 15 August 2004 - 02:22 PM

i flew on virgin 1 1/2 years ago - they had AWESOME gluten free food! i guess cos celiac is more popular in the UK. enjoy!!
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gXf since november 1998

#11 Pegster

 
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Posted 17 August 2004 - 02:36 PM

Well here's my report on gluten-free Airline foods: On Lufthansa on an overseas flight I got chicken with a gluten-free pasta and tomato sauce and fruit for dinner, but for breakfast I got a lovely concoction of tator tots and mushrooms :( EW! Coming back on Delta Airlines my gluten-free meal was a tiny chunk of fish and greenbeans, a Wheat Roll, Wheat Crackers, and a salad with CROUTONS!!!! My snack was a rice cake cut in half with some chicken and lettuce on it to make a sandwich and non-gluten-free cookies which my husband ate. :blink: I agree with other posters, be sure to bring your own foods just in case! All I could find at one airport to eat was a banana. <_<
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PEGGY
Positive DH biopsy 4/19/04

#12 kristi

 
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Posted 20 June 2006 - 02:36 PM

We got a seal-a-meal to package up my adult diapers. This really helped on the added bulk in my suitcase and makes them easy to transport. Foods I packed and was glad to have them from home: Jay Robb's Egg White Protien powder mix vanilla flavor (Wild Oats Market), individual packets of mashed potatoes (Costco)...This was a huge help on the the many plane rides!, Gerber Graduates Mini Fruits freezed dried banana and strawberry, Aunt Candice P&B Choc chip bars(New Seasons Market), Ener G WF Pretzels, Almond butter, Nana's Banana gluten-free bar cookies, Pamela's Biscotti, Cliff Nectar dark choc & walnut bar, Tillamook Country Smoker Old fashion Steak Nuggets, plain rice crackers and lots of preserved ginger for my tummy. I did OK most of the trip but near the end when the imodium couldn't keep up I was glad to have also packed Oral rehydration salts and some Cera Lyte 70 Rice Based Oral Elecrtolyte powder. If it is a short trip bring some string cheese if your stomach can take it and a boiled egg.
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Kristi
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