A couple of weeks ago I wrote about how impressed I was with American Airline’s recent gluten-free meal I was served on board a flight from Athens to New York. If you have not read that article, in summary, I was given a well-cooked steak in economy as my gluten-free specialty meal. With sky high expectations I boarded my American Airlines flight to Madrid from JFK. After a seat change prior to the flight, I was expecting the meal to go to the wrong seat or having to speak with a flight attendant to get my meal. Luckily, before the primary meal service came around, I received my specialty meal.
I happily opened the meal but was quickly disappointed. The meal not only looked like slime but did not taste any better. Luckily, I had taken my own advice and eaten before the flight, so when I chose not to eat the main course of the meal, I was not left hungry. I only ate the salad and fruit.
The true disappointment was when I opened the crackers served with the meal, I figured I should read the packaging. The ingredients included wheat flour. I checked the roll, also made with wheat flour. I was offered a meal marked gluten free, but in fact was not gluten free. What if a passenger had not looked as closely as I had! This was not safe by any means and not just as an airline, but as a business.
Although the pre-landing breakfast was a poor meal, at least it was gluten free. That said I was very confused when I received a Hershey chocolate bar for breakfast in my kit and curious as to why I did not receive the yogurt, without gluten, that other passengers did. I am happy for the chocolate bar, but maybe 5 am is not the best time to enjoy it.
My travel partners who ordered traditional meals, one with chicken and one with pasta, both gave impressed reviews. This included a pickier eater who was not fond of airlines in general, let alone their food. I was surprised this time that the mass-produced meal had actually come out better than the specialty meal, which I normally find to be of higher quality and taste. I am not only disappointed with American Airlines, but I warn any customers with allergy issues to triple check anything that they put in their mouths on board.
Leave a Reply