The Best Airlines For Gluten-Free Travel
When a person gets diagnosed with celiac disease or is gluten intolerant, quite a few concerns cross their minds. Fear of what they will eat when they go out. What type of food might cause an adverse reaction if they accidentally eat it while out? What can you eat, if anything, if you have a long journey ahead of you, especially on a plane? For example, can you eat a snack on the plane that is not from a carry-on? Like the one you brought with you from home so that you do not have to worry about eating what is safe for you? In this post, we will tackle the best airlines for gluten-free travel.
The Best Airlines For Gluten-Free Travel
Here is the good news. For those who suffer from these intestinal and digestive issues, certain airlines are now beginning to accommodate people who have this type of intolerance. They offer special meals and/or snacks. Most of the time, these snacks are complimentary and can be given to you upon just asking for them. But there are some occasions where you will have to pay for a gluten-free snack or meal on a plane.
Unfortunately, most major and even some minor airlines often receive a lot of backlashes. These are from people who say that they experienced poor customer service on the floor for one reason or another. There are hundreds of poor customer service stories coming out on the media, specifically on social media. They include people having horrible dining experiences on airlines. However, it is also important to point out the fact that airlines are not all bad.
Special Accommodations for Passengers Who Have Dietary Restrictions Regarding Gluten
Many airlines do make an effort that is worth pointing out and giving them credit for. One of those things is that many major and minor airlines have worked hard. For example, they make special accommodations for passengers who have dietary restrictions regarding gluten.
It becomes a more widely accepted practice for these dietary changes to begin being made. But, it is also becoming a standard among the airlines in the industry. So, as a result, they begin offering their passenger’s different types of food for people. It is especially true for those who suffer from food allergies or health conditions that restrict their consumption.
This means the airlines have to offer people with celiac disease or gluten intolerance something different. Different from just the typical chicken and pasta offered to other passengers on long international flights. Most airlines that take passengers overseas now offer totally gluten-free menu items, which the passengers can ask to see well ahead of time.
How do you get gluten-free meals if you do not fly in first-class?
It is no secret that not everyone can afford to fly in first class, especially if they are going on an international flight. However, first-class is great if you can afford it. You will certainly enjoy some great meals and other luxury accommodations that you would not get to experience when flying in coach or economy.
However, it is nice to know which airlines they can fly on that will allow them to pick a meal from a gluten-free menu. This is true for most people who cannot afford to fly in first-class, especially internationally.
Some of the most popular airlines globally have been researched and analyzed. They find flights in and out of North America. And find those that will give its passengers the flexibility they need to eat without worrying about digestion issues. Below are the top international air carriers that offer gluten-free dining to passengers to people that ride in the economy.
International air carriers that offer gluten-free dining:
This infographic from Reservations.com shows some of the most popular airlines in the world and their gluten-free policies.
Anyone with Celiac disease or gluten intolerance knows this. But, unfortunately, it is difficult to find gluten-free food that truly tastes good and does not have the texture of mush. Couple that struggle with the fact that most airlines have the reputation of having poor food on the plane. And the thought of putting your inner health in an airline’s hands can be a bit gut-wrenching, literally.
Many airlines can give you a menu that seemingly offers you a gluten-free meal. But what they actually end up giving you can be either a hit or miss.
How to live with what you have when you board that airplane
Living your life with an intolerance to gluten can be difficult enough in a regular life setting. Still, anytime you enter into a new environment, that challenge is just going to get harder. And it requires you to adapt so that you can make it through without experiencing stomach upset.
Airlines have begun doing a better job providing their passengers with special meals and/or snacks based on their dietary restrictions. But, there is still a long way to go meaning sufferers still need to be attentive when flying. However, below are a few tips that will make flying gluten-free a little easier and not as nerve-wracking.
1) Do your research before you ever leave your house for the airport
Before even buying your plane ticket, look through the food policies of different airlines that you are interested in. Find out what they will serve. There are many factors. They include how far or short the flight distance is, the operator, and the departure city. Those are all factors that will determine the meal availability.
2) Be aware of cross-contamination
The next thing you need to look at is the possibility of the airline food being cross-contaminated. Several airlines offer gluten-free meals. But upon giving you the menu ahead of time, make sure that you are completely aware of a fact. They cannot fully guarantee that the ingredients in the gluten-free meals were not mixed in with gluten ingredients at the manufacturing plant. Other airlines may not tell you this specifically. That is why it is so important to pay attention to the fine print and small details. It will make sure that your meal is 100% safe for people with Celiac disease to eat.
3) Understand that there are other restrictions
Airlines cannot accommodate everyone and all the dietary needs on every single flight. It means that if you have more than one dietary issue, they will more than likely only be able to meet one. For example, do you have celiac disease, lactose intolerance, peanut, or other food allergies? The airline will only be able to meet one of your needs. They are not equipped to handle every dietary need at once. And there are too many passengers on board to accommodate everyone in this way.
4) Know that every single flight is different from another
Every single flight that goes up in the air is going to be different from another. Someone who is gluten-free experienced and typed up about the airline may have a great review. But there will also be someone who had a poor experience and got sick on that same airline. It is important to look through reviews and take people’s experiences into account. It is also important not to assume that everything you read on the internet is true. And that it is completely write off an airline just because of something you read. Do your own research, ask about their policies, read the fine print, and you should be fine.
5) What is your next step after your research is complete
Have you done all your research? Have you figured out which airline you want to fly on? The next thing you need to do is book your flight and reserve your meal immediately after. It is best to go ahead and reserve your meal as soon as you book your flight. So that your airline has enough notice to make sure everything is prepared for you when the time of your flight arrives. It is easiest to do this if you book your flight directly on the airline’s website. It will give you an option to choose your meal. And it will direct you to a gluten-free menu before you even get to the checkout page. Have you chosen to go to another party to get your ticket? Once you check out, it is important to call the airline directly with your flight’s confirmation number. They will help you reserve your menu ahead of time.
Ready for the Best Airlines For Gluten-Free Travel?
Have you boarded your flight? Are you ready to embark on your vacation? Gently remind your gate agent and/or flight attendant of your specially ordered meal so that no last-minute mistakes or people are running around. And your onboard meal will be as smooth as your flight! That’s it! The best airlines for gluten-free travel!