Man Receives Sad Excuse for a Gluten-Free Meal on ANA Flight
Martin Pavelka was on an ANA flight in economy from Tokyo (HND) to Sydney (SYD) when he received his gluten-free meal: a single banana. Not only was it a dismal offering, but to make matters worse, it was accompanied by a condiment pouch that included a napkin, salt and silverware. Because at 35,000 feet, you eat a salt and pepper-seasoned banana with a fork and knife, as one normally does.
Pavelka, who has Celiac Disease, said he always orders gluten-free meals on flights. He said some are better than others, but this one left him speechless, especially considering that other economy passengers were eating hot meals of eggs, sausage, mushrooms, bread and yogurt.
ANA released the following statement to Mashable:
"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.
During an international flight on the Tokyo-Sydney route, there are two food services. The first service is a full meal an hour after departure and the second is a snack service two hours before arrival. To accommodate the various food and dietary needs of our passengers, there are several food options including gluten free that are selected when a passenger purchases their ticket.
On this specific instance, the passenger ordered a gluten free meal and then a gluten free snack. The banana he ordered was the gluten free snack option.
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."
So, as it turns out, the banana wasn't Pavelka's only meal on the nine-hour flight. And, he did get what he asked for: a gluten-free option. Nonetheless, even as a breakfast option, a banana (and silverware) is a pretty sad excuse — especially from one of Asia's top carriers.
H/T: The Standard