Gluten Free Food | Emirates Airlines | Gluten Allergy | Allergy

Gluten Free Food on Emirates Airlines

by Allergy Guy

Gluten free food on Emirates Airlines leaves a lot to be desired.  I don’t really trust their gluten free diet meal plan, and my food did include gluten.

I flew with Emirates Airlines recently and ordered a gluten free meal.  I’d have been better off bringing my own food, or starving.

The first problem with the Emirates food for a gluten free diet is that you can not order gluten-free and dairy-free.  Since many with a gluten allergy or even more so, celiac disease, are unable to take dairy, this is already a bad start.

I was able to leave a note on my file that I wanted dairy free as well as gluten-free, but I was told this may not be read or followed.  As it turns out, the food I got was dairy-free.

The first thing I noticed about it though, was that there was a package of crackers with the meal.  They were ordinary crackers, with wheat plainly listed on the ingredients.  Most likely this is due to poor training of the stewardess staff.  But it also meant that I lost confidence in the whole meal, and did not trust the slice of bread that came with the first meal.  I did not eat the bread.

The second meal was a sandwich, with the same type of bread that came with the first meal.  I had to assume that the bread was gluten-free, since it was pretty much the whole of my nominally specially marked gluten-free meal.

I ate the sandwich.

The next week, I was quite out of it, a symptom of both my gluten allergy, and severe jet lag (30 hours of flying and airports across 9 time zones).  Was this gluten poisoning, jet lag, or the lackadaisical feeling one often gets upon returning from vacation?

I was out of it most of the second week as well.  This is not typical of jet lag, and I was by then in sync with the rest of the world in my time zone.  And at some level I was motivated to start working.  But I just couldn’t.  one would think an article like this one right here would be easy to write, but I couldn’t imagine even starting until now, two weeks after getting back.

There are other possible sources of gluten, so I can’t be 100% certain it was the airline food.  But I am suspicious.

In any case, the meal I had on Emirates Airlines for a gluten free diet was not very impressive.

Have you flown gluten-free with Emirates Airlines?  What was your food like?  Was it really gluten-free?

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1 Lucy February 15, 2011 at 01:18

Oh yes, I’ve travelled gluten-free with Emirates – never again.

The meals were terrible. My first meal on a 16 hour flight was a boiled piece of fish with no flavouring whatsoever on a pile of very undercooked green beans (also unflavoured). Accompanied by a (sour) fruit salad and a piece of gluten free olive bread that was as dry as the desert we were flying over.

I was also brought crackers with wheat in the ingredients listed with my lunch-time meal which was a simple salad (no dressing), with another piece of that dry olive bread and a bit of chicken with a capsicum salsa (not bad).

I gave up though on the evening meal, which was what appeared to be two boiled eggs with mushroom and tomato. With a gentle prod of the fork the egg broke open – the white and yolk inside were raw and covered my entire meal. Not in the least bit appetizing. Also got that same salad and same piece of olive bread.

Was given one gluten free snack that included a tasty apple tea cake though. Just wish the rest of the food was as edible.


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