Gluten-free, vegan, paleo options may be infiltrating every aspect of our dietary lives, but Japan’s Nippon Airways is having none of that nonsense. One man’s meal aboard a flight from Tokyo to Sydney has gone viral. During breakfast, he ordered a gluten-free meal and received one solitary banana — not very a-peel-ing. To add insult to injury, the banana was marked with a “GF” — denoting it as a gluten-free meal, and it came with a napkin, knife and fork, and packages of salt and pepper. (Who puts salt on their banana?!)[related]
But Londoner Martin Pavelka was not amused. After all, his dietary restrictions were not a result of food trends, but a strict necessity:
“As a celiac, I always order gluten free meal on my flights,” he told the London Evening Standard. “Sometimes they are bland, sometimes they are actually much better than the ordinary meal service. On this flight, I was left literally speechless.”
He said that he observed other passengers tucking into eggs, sausage, mushrooms, bread, and yogurt, while he was left with this meager fruit for a nine-hour flight.
You think this was bad? Check out the all-time worst airlines for food here.
In response to this quasi-outrage, Nippon Airways has said that the banana was just meant to be a snack, not a full meal:
“ANA takes great pride in providing an exemplary customer experience for all passengers, and for this one passenger we did not meet his expectations. We have apologized to him personally and as a result of his experience we are reviewing our policy on gluten-free options and how they are served.
We make every effort to meet our passengers’ needs and in this situation felt we accommodated our guest’s additional food requests inflight by providing an additional regular meal as well as an entrée from the regular menu for his snack. To imply that ANA only serves a banana for a flight of this length is incorrect.”