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      Frequently Asked Questions About Celiac Disease   09/30/2015

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Delta Air Lines To Offer Gluten Free Special Meals
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13 posts in this topic

I understand Delta Air Lines has now made gluten-free meals available as a special meal option. United already did this. So, one more choice for gluten-free travels.

WH

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IMO Delta has a terrible policy on food allergies in general. I would not trust them to make a safe gluten-free meal. If at all possible, I never fly Delta due to their allgery policy.

Of course, that is just my opinion!

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IMO Delta has a terrible policy on food allergies in general. I would not trust them to make a safe gluten-free meal. If at all possible, I never fly Delta due to their allgery policy.

Of course, that is just my opinion!

Delta does not make any of their own food. Nor do most of the other global airlines. In the US, only one airline makes it's own food. That is Continental and even then at only six locations: Houston, Cleveland, Newark, Los Angeles, Denver and Honolulu. Most airline food is made by Gate Gourmet or LSG SkyChefs. Together these two companies make about 80% of the airline food worldwide. Both of these companies are staffed with hundreds of experienced, trained chefs who understand nutrition, allergies, etc. Both offer a variety of special meal options that the airlines can choose to provide to their customers or not. Previously, Delta has choosen not to make GateGourmet's and LSG's gluten-free meals available as an option to their customers. That has now changed.

Here is a list of caters used by the major US carriers at their hubs (where most of the catering is done):

American -- LSG at Miami and Dallas. GateGourmet at Chicago and St Louis.

Continental -- Chelsea (owned by Continental) at Newark, Houston and Cleveland.

Delta -- LSG at Salt Lake City and New York JFK. GateGourmet at Atlanta and Cincinnati.

Northwest -- LSG at Detroit and Minneapolis. GateGourmet at Memphis.

United -- LSG at Denver. GateGourmet at Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago and Washington Dulles.

US Airways -- LSG at Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Charlotte, Phoenix, Las Vegas.

As you can see, the policies of the airlines itself around allergens should not be thought to carry through to the caterer and second, it doesn't really matter who you fly, you'll probably be getting food from one of these caterers.

WH

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Oh, I'm glad to hear this. I'm leaving on vacation next week, flying Delta. I'll have to change my meal from vegan to gluten-free. Or maybe there is some way I can manage both (& get soy free too ...) -- don't airlines sometimes have a fruit plate option?

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Oh, I'm glad to hear this. I'm leaving on vacation next week, flying Delta. I'll have to change my meal from vegan to gluten-free. Or maybe there is some way I can manage both (& get soy free too ...) -- don't airlines sometimes have a fruit plate option?

Yes, fruit plate is often an option. Here is a typical list of special meals provided by the caters, although individual airlines may not offer all of the options:

Bland Meal

Diabetic Meal

Gluten Free Meal

High Fiber Meal

Low Calorie Meal

Low Cholesterol/Low Fat Meal

Low Protein Meal

Low Sodium Meal

Non Lactose Meal

Low Purine Meal

Asian Vegetarian Meal

Raw Vegetarian Meal

Western Vegetarian Meal (strict, vegan)

Western Vegetarian Meal (lacto-ovo)

Hindu Meal

Kosher Meal

Moslem Meal

Baby Infant Meal (up to 2 years)

Toddler Meal (2 - 3 years)

Children Meal (from 3 years onwards)

Fruit Plate

Macrobiotic Meal

Seafood Meal

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I recently flew from Prague to Paris to New York - JFK on Air France, and was provided with a gluten-free meal for the Paris-JFK leg of my trip. Granted, Air France is not a US domestic airline, but I was still impressed that I was at least offered the option. You have to call a few days before your flight to request the meal, but it was easy to do, it was marked on my ticket when I checked in, and it was also marked on the passenger list, because they came and found me before they served the meals. The food itself wasn't that great, (although from what I'm told Air France food in general is pretty good) but I didn't get sick from it, and my entire tray was wrapped in a layer of plastic (even after they had heated up the main dish) which made me feel a bit safer.

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A few months ago, I flew from NYC to Los Angeles on Continental Airlines and checked the "gluten free" option when I purchased my ticket. The meal I was provided were scrambled eggs, a baked potato, and a macaroon. The macaroon (the only thing I actually ate) was from the brand Jennie's and was individually wrapped and labeled "gluten free."

However, I also flew another time recently on Continental and they thought they could remove the bread off of the hamburger and then it would be a "gluten free" meal. I don't eat meat anyway, so it really didn't matter. But, I think it's still very hit or miss with airlines and finding gluten free meals ,now that they are no longer allowed to serve peanuts.

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i ate peanuts on my May 16 flight to Spain on Delta!

i did have one teary moment when they thought that my gluten-free meal wasn

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Just flew to Hawaii and had a great gluten-free meal on Delta, all except the brownie. It was not gluten-free. Beware! don't assume the meal is going to be gluten free just because they have it marked so nicely. On the way back I was given Crispix cereal, milk, banana and a rice krispie teat as my gluten free breakfast. Could only eat the banana. Boo. I'm angry that they have dieticians planning these meals. They should know better.

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Please note: This topic is over four years old. Information may be out of date.

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4 years old but I'm contributing, too - sorry. ;)

Delta is the only airline that has given me an incorrectly marked meal. (read about it here: http://whatthegf.com...might-hurt-you/)

Their customer service left a LOT to be desired, I was so disappointed with them.

So yes Peter is correct - this topic is very old. Delta does offer gluten-free meals although some are tastier and more reliable than others - it depends on the originating airport more than anything with Delta.

If you have a problem with a gluten-free meal - non existent or other errors like you are severed wheat crackers on a meal clearly marked "gluten-free or Gluten Free Meal", contact customer support and let them know. I recommend email. Be specific as possible - flight, items on meal that were or weren't gluten-free, etc. I've been awarded up to 7,500 bonus miles for errors on 1 flight (granted the larger awards were on 12-16 hour choice international flights...) but they do review your complaint and make an attempt to compensate you which is better than most...

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Well obviously my issue was 2 years old - and the only compensation I got was a $7 meal voucher to use at an airport. The issue I had was on an Ireland-Chicago flight... I called and emailed and tweeted. :) The flight attendants were rude and customer service via phone was not helpful. They're the only airline that's been like that so far for me, I hope they've made adjustments to their gluten-free offerings since then.

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