Guide to Gluten-Free Airline Food

Sprouted red and white quinoa

The commercial flight industry as a whole takes a lot of flack for infamous tales of poor customer service. While airline PR disasters are a dime-a-dozen these days, there is at least one area in which airlines deserve a bit of credit. In recent years, global flight carriers have made tremendous strides to accommodate the dietary needs of passengers who cannot eat gluten.

It is now an industry standard for airlines to offer travelers with food allergies, health conditions, or faith-based dietary restrictions more than just the standard choice of “Chicken or pasta?” during long-haul flights. In addition to vegan, kosher, diabetic, halal, and lactose-free meals (among others), most international carriers now include a gluten-free menu option that passengers can request ahead of time.

Nicole Villegas, the Outreach Specialist, Green Flag Digital, shared with Healthy Lombard that they just did a mountain of research and compiled a list of 54 popular airlines and how friendly they are for gluten-free fliers.

First-class seems to get anything they need, so they focused on economy-class fliers.

Some interesting findings:

  • Some of the most common foods – chocolate, nuts, cheese – are the riskiest
  • The majority of airlines allow a 24-hour notice, but some require up to 72 hours ahead
  • Alaska Airlines is one of the least friendly for gluten-free travelers

Reservations.com researched some of the most popular airlines in the world, with a focus on flights in and out of North America, to summarize the policies for you here. They sorted the list alphabetically and provided this link for you to view the information.

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