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Catering for dietary disabilities

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Beta4Me

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Hello all,

I am happen to be a celiac, dairy intolerant and require low fructose meals.

I have a big trip booked in J/F on QF, CX, AA, US, BR, OZ and TG and I was wondering how I go about and get these multiple requirements attended to as there is no "combination" meal option AFAIK.

Your advice is appreciated. Thanks! :)
 

markis10

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A lot of airlines have limited the meals on offer as special requests through the GDS, for instance Qantas offer:




  • Diabetic: High in complex carbohydrate and dietary fibre; low in fat; no added sugar; low salt.
  • Child's meal: Foods that are easily identified, ie, pasta, rice, boneless fish or poultry. No highly seasoned foods or rich sauces.
  • Fruit Platter: Consists of fresh, tinned and dried fruits.
  • Gluten Intolerance: Do not contain wheat, rye, oats, barley or malt or any milk or milk products.
  • Hindu: Do not contain beef, beef derivatives, veal or pork. Meals may contain fish or lamb.
  • Infant (0-11 months): Consist of soft strained food which can be eaten with a spoon.
  • Infant (12-23 months): Toddler meal for children 12 to 23 months.
  • Kosher Meal: Prepared to comply with Jewish dietary laws.
  • Moslem (Halal): Do not contain pork, or pork by-products. All meats come from ritually slaughtered animals. Note: You do not need to make a special meal request on Qantas international flights to and from London via Dubai (QF1, QF2, QF9 and QF10), all meal options in all cabins will be Halal.
  • Vegetarian (Asian Indian Style): Contain diary products and are suitable for Hindu vegetarians.
  • Vegetarian (Lacto Ovo): Do not contain meat, fish or seafood but may contain dairy products such as milk, b
  • utter, cheese and eggs or foods containing these.
  • Vegetarian (Oriental): Contain vegetables, fruit, rice noodles and can contain nuts.
  • Vegetarian (Strict Indian): Do not contain any eggs, dairy or bulbous vegetables and are suitable for Hindu vegetarians.
  • Vegan: Contain fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts and pulses and do not contain any animal products such as meat, poultry, seafood, eggs milk or honey.


You need to speak to the Qantas Contact Centre if your request is outside of the above offerings, I suspect the same would be the case for other carriers.
 

Beta4Me

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You need to speak to the Qantas Contact Centre if your request is outside of the above offerings, I suspect the same would be the case for other carriers.
I thought I wouldn't be able to set something like that online. I guess what I'm looking for is if anyone has experience with getting multi/combo special meals. I guess, though, they would be willing to be flexible since I'm a J/F pax.
 

Homer

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I know somebody in airline catering who told me just last week that the "holy grail" for them in terms of special meals is to get it down to just one or two dishes that essentially tick all dietary requirement/food intolerance boxes. And their budget per meal is between $1 and $2. I can't imagine those one or two dishes tasting very good...:shock:
 

MEL_Traveller

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I thought I wouldn't be able to set something like that online. I guess what I'm looking for is if anyone has experience with getting multi/combo special meals. I guess, though, they would be willing to be flexible since I'm a J/F pax.
Maybe vegan or gluten intolerance meal will be the closest for you? And bring some supplementary snacks? There should be plenty of food (multi courses) so there should at least be something worth grazing on.

Maybe try one or two airlines on the list to see if they can do a combo... you'd need to call their reservations to request that. Always call to reconfirm your special meals 48 hours before departure.
 

ozbeachbabe

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Hello all,

I am happen to be a celiac, dairy intolerant and require low fructose meals.

I have a big trip booked in J/F on QF, CX, AA, US, BR, OZ and TG and I was wondering how I go about and get these multiple requirements attended to as there is no "combination" meal option AFAIK.

Your advice is appreciated. Thanks! :)
I'd say you'll have more of a chance of a special meal if you're flying in F/J than in Y. The airlines would have to request a SPML that specified what you could have eg no gluten/no dairy.

I'm not a dietician but I know fructose is a fruit sugar but what meals is it found in/used in besides fruit?

As others have said I'd reconfirm the meals 48 hours prior & take plenty of your own snacks with you as a backup.

Remember that if you do cancel/change flights, any SSR requests eg meals, seating are automatically cancelled along with the flight so you would need to request these again.
 
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JessicaTam

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I know somebody in airline catering who told me just last week that the "holy grail" for them in terms of special meals is to get it down to just one or two dishes that essentially tick all dietary requirement/food intolerance boxes. And their budget per meal is between $1 and $2. I can't imagine those one or two dishes tasting very good...:shock:
Sometimes they are good, and sometimes not. And sometimes they don't appear at all.
 

Beta4Me

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I'd say you'll have more of a chance of a special meal if you're flying in F/J than in Y. The airlines would have to request a SPML that specified what you could have eg no gluten/no dairy.

I'm not a dietician but I know fructose is a fruit sugar but what meals is it found in/used in besides fruit?

As others have said I'd reconfirm the meals 48 hours prior & take plenty of your own snacks with you as a backup.

Remember that if you do cancel/change flights, any SSR requests eg meals, seating are automatically cancelled along with the flight so you would need to request these again.
Alright, I'll give the ring around a go! :)
It's a bit sad, though, that there is even any possibility that they wouldn't fully cater for J/F pax.

Fructose is surprisingly pervasive. Onions, garlic, asparagus are full of the stuff!

Thanks.

Sometimes they are good, and sometimes not. And sometimes they don't appear at all.
:eek:
 

MEL_Traveller

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It's a bit sad, though, that there is even any possibility that they wouldn't fully cater for J/F pax.
Mistakes happen and sometimes special meals don't get loaded. But if you reconfirm that will lessen the chance.

Even so, it does come a little down to economics. If you were a frequent flyer spending $16,000 a ticket on a regular basis, the airline would make sure anything you wanted was loaded :)
 

JessicaTam

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Mistakes happen and sometimes special meals don't get loaded. But if you reconfirm that will lessen the chance.

Even so, it does come a little down to economics. If you were a frequent flyer spending $16,000 a ticket on a regular basis, the airline would make sure anything you wanted was loaded :)
I was told quite clearly that QF no longer cater for dietary requirements in J for refreshment flights.
 

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To provide a complete contrast to my last post...

On Sunday I was heading out of SIN and my flight had to be changed (by me) from QF82 to 6 at the last minute. I naturally assumed "catering not assured" would apply. On boarding the CSM Troy Warner recognised my name on the BP and drew me aside for a chat.

He said he spotted my profile had AVML and it had not been loaded. I explained that it was a late flight change and I accepted that. He told me that he had already spoken to SIN catering and made it clear that a special meal was to be loaded regardless of the late notice.

Apparently my profile has quite a few catering "failures" next to it so Troy went out of his way to make sure that did not happen on his watch.

I had a great flight with the crew being very attentive, and my meal did in fact arrive. It tasted quite good. As it was served on china in J after my on departure op-up from Y probably helped, too.

Brilliant service recovery QF - when I wouldn't even have considered it a failure.
 
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Beta4Me

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Thanks everyone for their thoughts. I will call up the respective airlines and post feedback here :)
 

Madam Mina

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I am gluten intolerant (although luckily not also lactose intolerant) and find that generally the airlines are pretty good with special meals for it. I have had GF meals on QF (Y,PE & J), CX (Y, PE & J), TG (Y) and BA (PE) most of them have been fairly reasonable if a little bland as fish or chicken with tomato sauce on sweet potato mash seems to be the most common dish although I have been getting a lamb strew a few times lately. The majority of the time airline GF meals are both gluten and lactose free but not always so its probably a good idea to check exactly what each airline offers. I would be a little concerned about the fructose thing just ordering a GFML meal as fruit and vegetables to feature quiet heavily the most common desert does seem to be fruit salad or a raspberry muffin thing although the Asian airlines seem to give you this weird tofu thing that's very sweet. More often than not you will get GF bread and margarine but you do get rice cakes quite a bit too.

On domestic QF snack flights there is no provision for special meals but they usually have an apple and sometimes you get lucky and the snack just happens to be gluten free. Intra European flights also seem to have a no special meals policy. Sometimes the cabin crew can be a bit clueless regarding food allergies/intolerances more than once I have had crew serve me my special meal then offer me bread but they are generally quite understanding and patient about letting me read a label to see if I can eat something (this is usually icecream so probably won't apply to you). Lounge QF staff are generally pretty good and if I ask nicely I have had several go out of their way to find out if I can eat something or to find me something to eat if the immediate choices are not suitable I even got offered baking paper the other day in the SYD dom J lounge so that I would be able to use the sandwich toaster without contaminating my bread. I have been lucky and only had my meal not loaded once and it was a snack before landing in SIN on a SYD-SIN flight I probably could have survived without it but the CSM freaked and went off and came back with a lovely fruit platter that I am pretty sure came from F (when QF had F to SIN) and I did once donate my margarine and soy milk to a lady sitting behind me who was lactose intolerant and hadn't had her meal loaded.

Good news is it doesn't preclude you from op-ups as I have had 2 since being diagnosed. Good luck and have fun on your trip.
 
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