KLM and their ‘special meal’

I was travelling on my first gluten free flight less than a week after being diagnosed. It was a KLM flight from Glasgow to Chicago with a change of plane in Amsterdam. A couple of days before the flight my boyfriend had called the airline to try to change my meal to gluten free. Our flight had been advertised as an NWA flight but operated by KLM. The woman on the other end of the phone was very nice and understanding of my situation, saying that her own brother was a Coeliac and ‘making sure I get a gluten free meal when I travel is very important.’ After checking our booking, she returned with the news that as it was KLM who were operating our flight, they don’t actually provide gluten free meals and would I like a fruit plate? Admittedly I do love my fruit but seriously, this is all they could offer me on an 8 hour trans-atlantic flight? I of course said I would take the fruit plate as the prospect of sitting with nothing whilst everyone was munching on their dinner didn’t sound like fun to me. Also, the last 5 or 6 flights I’d taken had been with cheap airlines who didn’t provide food and I was determined that if I was paying for something to eat on this flight then I would get it!

I came well prepared for both flights to and from the States with seed bars, bananas, rice cakes and other gluten free snacks as I didn’t want to have to rely on my fruit plate. It turned out to be an ok plate of fruit, more so on the return flight where they had invested in a more interesting variety but if I hadn’t brought my own nibbles I would have been starving! Personally, I am a huge fan of fruit anyway but any fussy or hungry Coeliac probably wouldn’t have been very impressed by KLM’s ‘special meal’.

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