Singapore Airlines Gluten Free Meal

 

GFML with wheat crackers?!

Eggs and veggies for breakfast

I recently flew with Singapore airlines. SFO-HKG-SIN. I ordered a gluten free meal for all legs of the journey. Their website allowed me to do this whilst booking my flights.

I was excited for my gluten free meals as I had heard great things about Singapore airlines but a couple of things left me concerned that my meal may not be the safest…

Firstly, one of my meals arrived with a packet of wheat crackers on my tray!?! Luckily I noticed this before eating them or I would have been really sick. I’m really not sure how on earth this came to be on my tray but there was no other side in it’s place so it looked like it had been deliberately put there. Worrying!

Low gluten?

Potatoes and veggies

Secondly, I noticed that one or two of my meals were labelled as “low gluten”. Does this mean that my meal contained some gluten? :-/ As a celiac, there are extremely serious consequences if I eat anything gluten containing so I didn’t want to risk it. I always bring my own food when I fly incase of situations such as this but it’s always disappointing and extremely disconcerting when I don’t get to enjoy a safe meal like the other passengers. ๐Ÿ™ I’m looking further into this, and the safety of gluten meal airplane meals in general, so hopefully I”ll have some interesting information for you soon!

Dinner on the way out was chicken and veggies, not bad. This was the meal which came with a side of wheat crackers. Breakfast was eggs and veggies and lunch was some kind of spinach and veggie mix.

My meals on the return flight were better. Lunch was cheesy potatoes and veggies. Dinner was chicken with sweet potato and breakfast was spinach and veggies again. No wheat crackers this time!

EXCITING UPDATE: I contacted Singapore Airlines to let them know that Iร‚ย received wheat crackers with my gluten-free meal and sent them photographs as evidence. I received a call from their customer service department today (They actually have a great customer service department rather than the usual call centre which most airlines have!) to tell me that because of my persistence, Singapore Airlines are now introducing special checks on ‘special meals’ received from the catering company for their flights.

Special meals will now be checked by catering staff as the meal leaves the facility and also by the Singapore Airlines crew when it arrives on the flight and again before it’s handed to the customer. ร‚ย Woohoo! I helped change something which will help gluten free travellers stay safe! ๐Ÿ™‚ Proof that suffering in silence isn’t the way to make changes. Tell companies and restaurants why you are disappointed and maybe they will do something about it. ๐Ÿ™‚

Cheesy potato and veggies

Chicken with sweet potato

 

Have you flown gluten free with Singapore Airlines? What did you get to eat?

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Comments

  • I’ve seen that low gluten thing on a few other airlines. It just seems odd to me. Plenty of easy meals to make that wouldn’t involve gluten.

  • Do you normally eat the ‘low gluten’ meals? I wonder if it’s just the term they use for gluten free or if it really is low in gluten rather than gluten free. The later would be completely ridiculous though. Why even bother then..

  • The new codex for labeling in europe allows to distinguish between products that that are gluten-free (20ppm or less) or very low gluten (21-100ppm).
    see http://www.coeliac.ie/manufacturers/labelling
    this changes from country to country outside the EU

  • I wonder if this is the standard they are using on airlines though? On flights within Europe I would certainly hope so, unless the law doesn’t count when you are 35,000 feet above Europe! ๐Ÿ™‚

    On this flight I flew on Singapore Airlines from the United States to Hong Kong and then Singapore. None of these countries have gluten free labelling legislation as yet so I’m left wondering what ‘gluten intolerant/low gluten’ means to them and who it is actually safe for.

  • Thanks for posting about this. Planning food for a long flight is so tricky when needing to be gluten free and it is nice to hear about options on various airlines.

    I have had decent success with American Airlines international flights.

    I have to wonder why they just don’t have better labeling in general. A good portion of the stuff my gluten eating husband is served on a plane may be gluten free based on visible ingredients (rice, chicken, veggies, etc) but the flight attendants have no way to verify and I certainly won’t take the chance!

  • Someone at Air Canada told me that you should not eat the gluten free meal if you were sensitive to gluten or if your health was at risk by doing so. I don’t understand why they bother with the hassle when it is not really safe for the people who get the sickest. It seemed to me that it is all for show or that their understanding of why they offer the meal is completely lacking.

  • There is a restaurant chain in the Northern VA area that has a low gluten menu. I complained when I first saw it and what’s the point? This chain is famous for their customer service so next thing I knew a manager was at my table and explained to me that they say low gluten because the restaurant isn’t GF (and in my opinion this is their way of CYA) She also told me that 2 of the managers have celiacs and so depending on how sensitive the customer is they will do what they need to including making a dish in a separate part of the kitchen after everything has been washed down. So I still think its stupid but I don’t fuss about it anymore because they get it.

  • Interesting, Jen. Sounds like they are definitely covering themselves. If I saw a menu labelled as ‘low gluten’ I would be put off but as you describe their preparation methods, this would make me feel comfortable eating there.

    I guess it comes down to knowing what their precautions are, which is the issue with airlines because we don’t know for sure. And who wants to get sick at 35,000 feet with limited bathrooms!? ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Interesting experience Laura, I have never flown Singapore (Malaysia airlines yes, Sydney Hyderabad), food was OK but I have experienced the gluten product on my plate too on a few airlines and also being handed a bread roll to which the air steward got the evil eye and his manager told him off ๐Ÿ˜‰ I have never come across “low gluten” on an airline, I must be more diligent, I do experience the lack of a gluten free meal bi-weekly because my corporate travel forgot to book it for me! I usually eat a large meal if possible before I fly and carry the obligatory safety bars in my carry on. I have found most airlines can mustard up a bit of fruit from first class if you give them the sad panda eyes lol

  • I have flown Singapore Airline’s many times since finding out I was a Coeliac. Mostly between Australia and Europe and have had not had problems with the food.Some times I will be offered bread by staff. My one complaint is that the gluten free meal is usually milk free as well and the deserts are always fruit based .Which I find frustrating as I love chocolate .So I make sure that my handbag always has some chocolate in it.

  • I was served the same croissant as everyone else on a Korean Air flight. Because I got my food first I had already eaten it before I saw everyone else getting it. So frustrating luckily I don’t have an immediate reaction but I have coeliac disease so was really annoyed. Like you it was on my tray with my GF meal so I assumed it was GF! Also instead of cake or muffin etc you’d just get fruit salad which you’d also often get at other times so was just same thing again. Fruit’s nice but it’s no cake and GF cakes are really not that hard to provide. Disappointing ๐Ÿ™

  • The “low gluten” thing on airlines comes about because they can’t guarantee their suppliers. I know most airline catering companies do have separate areas for preparing their kosher/halal/gluten free foods but they can’t promise every single one of their suppliers do the same.

    Most will have an allergy statement on their website explaining how likely cross-contamination is.

    I’ve travelled internationally a lot and have had all sorts of GFML’s…I’ve never gotten glutened.
    More often than not I’ve chosen not to eat a meal simply because it looks gross ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • I’ve flown with Singapore airlines many times and they are great BUT when you order a special meal I find they assume you are on a low calorie diet as well and don’t give you anything full fat and margarine (yuk) rather than butter. I am not at all fat and I’m usually starving!!!

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