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Sophiekins

Frequent Fliers Unite!

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I know there are tons of us who are gluten-free and have to avoid other foods as well. . .meaning that while airlines are making great strides in offering gluten-free meals, for many of us this isn't enough. On my last trip on British Airways, I was given a "Gluten-Free Meal" as I requested (shock! stunned disbelief! they actually remembered to put one on the plane??!!). Which would have been great, except that the bun was the only item on the tray with ingredients. . .thank god. . .and the ingredients started with "wheat starch". Now I know it's technically gluten free, but that doesn't stop it making me violently ill. Needless to say, this shattered my confidence in the gluten-free nature of the rest of my unlabeled meal, and I didn't eat any of it.

I'm now considering switching my business to airlines that don't ask me to pay for a meal (which, let's face it, without complete ingredients, I'm never going to eat), but it also occurred to me that we'd all do a lot better ("we" being the special meals contingent on the average airliner. . .which, if the number of tray-laden trips the flight attendants make before each serving is any indication, is a rapidly increasing number) if the airlines would clearly label the ingredients in their special meals.

So here's my plea: the next time you fly (on any flight that offers meal service), ask for a gluten free meal when you book your ticket, and write feedback to the airline explaining what happened to you after eating the meal (especially if it made it easier for you to fly or if you had a serious reaction) and letting them know how very much we'd appreciate complete ingredient listings on all of the parts of the meals they serve us (and how very depressing it is to get your "safe" meal and discover the only thing on it you can actually consume safely is the bottled water).

Let's spread the word and highlight the airlines that are celiac-friendly!

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While it's not really up to them, but with the caterers they contract out to, the airlines may be the only way to exert influence. While I don't take trips that involve meals (mostly flying along the west coast of the US, or even just in the states), I think it's a great idea, and should be done at every opportunity.


Tiffany aka "Have I Mentioned Chocolate Lately?"

Inconclusive Blood Tests, Positive Dietary Results, No Endoscopy

G.F. - September 2003; C.F. - July 2004

Hiker, Yoga Teacher, Engineer, Painter, Be-er of Me

Bellevue, WA

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When, in the past, I've spoken to the airlines about this, they've told me to write to their customer service department and ask that it be passed to their catering managers. . .who knows if that happens, but if enough of us do it, maybe we'll become un-ignorable?

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hi everyone,

i travel internationally quite frequently, and since i'm a skyteam elite member, this means i usually fly on klm or air france. thus said, i have always had relatively decent gluten free meals with klm...the flight attendants sometimes forget and offer me bread, but then they always come back a few minutes later and apologize for having offered bread.

i would also like to point out a warning - don't know if it has been covered before, but delta airlines no longer offers gluten free meals AT ALL. after i purchased my ticket online i called to request the gluten free meal only to be told that they used to offer it but don't do it anymore. they said they couldn't request one via their catering company, and they couldn't tell me what the ingredients were in the other special meals. finally they agreed to refund me 100% of my ticket, so i think i'll be heading back to klm....

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Let's spread the word and highlight the airlines that are celiac-friendly!

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I fully suport this initiative. The airlines and their caterers will listen if enough noise is made, or if enough travellers switch to gluten-free friendly airlines.

My wife and I plan to visit Europe this fall. We will provide comments upon our return.

Rajawali.

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