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MarzieK

American Airlines Gluten-Free Meals- Bad Experiences?

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Hello Celiac Forum,

 

My son and I have had three really negative experiences with Gluten Free Meals on American Airlines in the past year. I'm finally getting really fed up and am seriously considering filing a class action complaint.

 

We are commonly receiving clearly labeled wheat containing rolls on flights out of Miami to Madrid. Last year on one flight with such rolls, which of course we didn't consume, evidently there gluten in the entree provided on the clearly labeled GFM, because I was sick for three days out of a 5 day vacation. My child was sick as well.  But it gets better. Last Friday, on a flight back from Madrid, to Miami, our flight attendant served us a GFM appetizer (this was business class) that contained both pita bread and tabouli (which contains bulgar wheat). The entree was a chicken dish that looked like it had béchamel sauce on it. This was on a tray labeled GFM. While I can certainly try to get some food through US security on a flight TO another country, being able to prepare gluten-free food, when traveling internationally, let alone getting it through security in other countries, is a significant challenge. If I order a GFM, I should be able to believe it's going to be gluten free.

 

Has anyone else had recent problems that they could document on this issue?

 

Marzie K

 

Celiac diagnosed 2005, HLA-DQ8.

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So sorry that you were glutened!

Yep. Happened on Delta going for Atanta to London this past summer. Food was marked with a Sharpie "gluten-free " on the foil wrapping but the packaged roll and dessert were clearly labeled from the manufacturer and contained wheat. I pre-ordered gluten free months before for the fun of it. We did not eat it. We always carry our own food, so we were not hungry.

I do not think a lawsuit would be helpful. The airlines are in the transportation business and are not a restaurant. Perhaps an email suggesting prepackaged gluten-free products only?

Always bring your own food.


Non-functioning Gall bladder Removal Surgery 2005

Diagnosed via Blood Test and Endoscopy: March 2013

Hashimoto's Thyroiditis -- Stable 2014

Anemia -- Resolved

Fractures (vertebrae): June 2013

Osteopenia/osteoporosis -- June 2013

Allergies and Food Intolerances

Diabetes -- January 2014

Celiac.com - Celiac Disease Board Moderator

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The gluten-free meals I've had on American have been ok themselves but the flight attendants have no idea what it is to be celiac and felt sorry for me  and dumped a bunch of rolls on top of my dinner.  After that I order the fruit plate even in first or business.

 

Hello Celiac Forum,

 

My son and I have had three really negative experiences with Gluten Free Meals on American Airlines in the past year. I'm finally getting really fed up and am seriously considering filing a class action complaint.

 

We are commonly receiving clearly labeled wheat containing rolls on flights out of Miami to Madrid. Last year on one flight with such rolls, which of course we didn't consume, evidently there gluten in the entree provided on the clearly labeled GFM, because I was sick for three days out of a 5 day vacation. My child was sick as well.  But it gets better. Last Friday, on a flight back from Madrid, to Miami, our flight attendant served us a GFM appetizer (this was business class) that contained both pita bread and tabouli (which contains bulgar wheat). The entree was a chicken dish that looked like it had béchamel sauce on it. This was on a tray labeled GFM. While I can certainly try to get some food through US security on a flight TO another country, being able to prepare gluten-free food, when traveling internationally, let alone getting it through security in other countries, is a significant challenge. If I order a GFM, I should be able to believe it's going to be gluten free.

 

Has anyone else had recent problems that they could document on this issue?

 

Marzie K

 

Celiac diagnosed 2005, HLA-DQ8.


"Ryo tatereba mi ga tatanu"

If we try to serve both sides, we cannot stand our own ground.

Japanese proverb

Celiac.com - Celiac Disease Board Moderator

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I take my own food. NO messing with what airlines might make. I find that cheese, salami, rice crackers travel well. I also bring bars (Lara, Kind) and nuts and fruit. Whatever I don't eat on the plane I just toss in the flight attendant's bag when they come around at the end of the flight to clean up. I've never had a problem taking anything through security in the US or Japan.

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I guess the biggest problem I have is that many time with international travel it is not possible to take your own food, as there are stricter limits on what you can and can't carry through security. It's really hard with kids. I'd be happy eating almonds and fruit. Although in some countries they will not let you leave with fruit. But anyway, half a day on a light meal wouldn't bother me. Not so my teenage son, however. There seems to be no good solution.

 

BTW, investigation as to laws indicates that American was in violation of food and catering laws in the European Union, and those laws specifically address airlines and catering offerings. Those laws apply to any airline that departs from an EU country, whether based in the EU or not.

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Geez...its a shame that you can't fly Virgin Atlantic because they do a stellar job with gluten free meals. Never, ever been sick from one and I am highly sensitive.  But they are British and the British get it where Celiac is concerned.

 

Could you get a letter from your doctor for the TSA?  I never accept any crap from them when it comes to food.  If diabetics can take needles on board, then you should be able to get a letter stating that you NEED to have your own food supply for health reasons.  Be polite but really firm. I have never had them give me a hard time regarding the food thing, when I need to take my own supply.

 

Have you ever thought about renting a flat for your stay, as opposed to a hotel?  It costs about the same (really!) and then you can cook breakfast or dinner in. I do not stay in hotels overseas anymore.  Flats give you much more room and the option of preparing your own food.

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I didn't get served something I shouldn't but on the last AA flight I took, 90% of the meal was inedible.  I fly quite a bit, and this was among the worst airline meals I'd ever had.

 

I have another flight with them coming up (I know, I know, my husband booked it), so we'll see how that goes, but I'm not holding out any hope

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I do not fly out of country so can't comment on that, however I do carry a letter from my doctor stating that I am Celiac and need to carry my own food etc.  I have had to use it twice when my food amount was questioned.

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my experience was with terrible GFM  and  with the flight attendants  just  dumping the rolls on top too. 

On domestic first, i just get the set up salad  and a glass of wine for  the dressing. 

last year I had great gluten-free meals on Ethiad, Emirates, air India, JAL and Jet airways. All better than any US carrier


"Ryo tatereba mi ga tatanu"

If we try to serve both sides, we cannot stand our own ground.

Japanese proverb

Celiac.com - Celiac Disease Board Moderator

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On 1/5/2015 at 10:19 AM, MarzieK said:

Hello Celiac Forum,

 

My son and I have had three really negative experiences with Gluten Free Meals on American Airlines in the past year. I'm finally getting really fed up and am seriously considering filing a class action complaint.

 

We are commonly receiving clearly labeled wheat containing rolls on flights out of Miami to Madrid. Last year on one flight with such rolls, which of course we didn't consume, evidently there gluten in the entree provided on the clearly labeled GFM, because I was sick for three days out of a 5 day vacation. My child was sick as well.  But it gets better. Last Friday, on a flight back from Madrid, to Miami, our flight attendant served us a GFM appetizer (this was business class) that contained both pita bread and tabouli (which contains bulgar wheat). The entree was a chicken dish that looked like it had béchamel sauce on it. This was on a tray labeled GFM. While I can certainly try to get some food through US security on a flight TO another country, being able to prepare gluten-free food, when traveling internationally, let alone getting it through security in other countries, is a significant challenge. If I order a GFM, I should be able to believe it's going to be gluten free.

 

Has anyone else had recent problems that they could document on this issue?

 

Marzie K

 

Celiac diagnosed 2005, HLA-DQ8.

I have fought and fought with American Airlines over supplying complimentary gluten free snacks to Celiacs like myself. They just blow me off. I am ready to go to a lawyer and/or switch to Delta.

 

Cathy diagnosed 2006 HLA-DQ2.5

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1 hour ago, Cathlyn Mariscotti said:

I have fought and fought with American Airlines over supplying complimentary gluten free snacks to Celiacs like myself. They just blow me off. I am ready to go to a lawyer and/or switch to Delta.

 

Cathy diagnosed 2006 HLA-DQ2.5

Well....you are not required to go on an airplane. So, I think legally you are not going to go far.  

I travel and I always bring my own food.  All airline food is awful and I can not imagine that their food service can safely prepare food.  I have tried to order gluten-free on international trips, but there is always a mess up.  So, do not count on it.  If I get a meal, I just eat the prepackaged stuff clearly labeled gluten-free.  

Most people on domestic flights just grab a sandwich and board the plane.  I bring a soft-sided cooler.  I dump my ice bag going though TSA and then ask a restaurant to refill my ice bag (usually Starbucks).  

Going to a university that requires you to buy a dorm meal plan but can not keep you safe from gluten?  You have a legal right then.  

But really, you can go for hours without food on a plane.   Just not days.  

 


Non-functioning Gall bladder Removal Surgery 2005

Diagnosed via Blood Test and Endoscopy: March 2013

Hashimoto's Thyroiditis -- Stable 2014

Anemia -- Resolved

Fractures (vertebrae): June 2013

Osteopenia/osteoporosis -- June 2013

Allergies and Food Intolerances

Diabetes -- January 2014

Celiac.com - Celiac Disease Board Moderator

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On ‎1‎/‎9‎/‎2015 at 10:56 AM, MarzieK said:

I guess the biggest problem I have is that many time with international travel it is not possible to take your own food, as there are stricter limits on what you can and can't carry through security. It's really hard with kids. I'd be happy eating almonds and fruit. Although in some countries they will not let you leave with fruit. But anyway, half a day on a light meal wouldn't bother me. Not so my teenage son, however. There seems to be no good solution.

 

BTW, investigation as to laws indicates that American was in violation of food and catering laws in the European Union, and those laws specifically address airlines and catering offerings. Those laws apply to any airline that departs from an EU country, whether based in the EU or not.

WOW, I already KNOW I will never travel again unless it is in the U S  then I can get  a kitchen-ette close to an  Aldis  or  Walmart, where I can cook my own food.   I don't see how celiacs do it, like go on  Cruises , and they have all been glutened.  My nerves could NOT handle being on a ship especially knowing that I am  celiacs.

I have low blood sugar problems so I  have to eat 3 balanced meals a day not just a  gluten-free protein bar.  I feel so sorry for any celiac ppl trying to travel.  

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