Gluten free airline food: flying UK to Canada

Added on 01 May, 2013 . There are .

After my less than tasty—or safe—gluten free meals experience flying from Canada to the UK I decided to ensure there were plenty of gluten free goodies in my bag for the return trip.

Things didn't start too badly as the hot meal that arrived was almost tempting—chicken in a tasty smelling sauce with rice. Sadly I had to give that a miss as I didn't know what was in the sauce, and from experience know that airline food providers have no concept of what ingredients are safe on a gluten free diet. My husband happily ate that after eating his salmon. But a manufacturer wrapped bread roll from Lifestyle Healthcare, clearly stating wheat/gluten free on the packaging along with the ingredients, was a tasty surprise. I slathered it with Laughing Cow Cheese Triangles that I'd fortuitously brought on board and it was very enjoyable.

The tub of salad looked fresh and okay, and the fruit salad was very tasty—thankfully not containing a strawberry either.

I have to add that Air Canada really went the extra mile by delivering my husband his cooked meal early so that we could eat together. This meant he got to eat my chicken meal after his own meal—while it was still hot.

The snack meal served later wasn't overly exciting: a banana, plum, and clementine, but at least they were safe to eat. They happily accompanied the remains of a Warburtons Newburn Bakehouse Free From Spiced Fruit Loaf, more cheese triangles, and a Tesco Free From Apple Pie.

As an aside, the Warburtons Free From Spiced Fruit Loaf was so amazing if I could get it shipped to Canada and it still be edible when it arrived, I would. It was light and airy, and the flavours made my mouth water, even smelling it made me drool. It reminded me of warm Hot X Buns slathered in butter—pre-wheat allergy of course.

There does appear to be a non-improving pattern in the quality of the gluten free meals provided by Air Canada since I've been flying with them. The gluten free meals flying from Canada to the UK are inedible, but flying from the UK to Canada they are considerably better. I've taken it up with Air Canada on several occasions and always received the response that it's not their problem, they just serve what the catering company provides—what a crock. So, to be safe, there's still no substitute for having abag of your own gluten free goodies for carry-on.