ANA responds to gluten-free banana incident

ANA responds to gluten-free banana incident

Following the news that a gluten intolerant passenger on an ANA flight was served a banana instead of a full meal, ANA has shared its own side of the story.

As reported by Travel Weekly, passenger Martin Pavelka received a substantial gluten-free meal for dinner after ordering GF due to his coeliac condition, but claimed to be confused when his breakfast was a single banana.

Pavelka told media outlets that it seemed odd he received a single banana when other passengers were served full English breakfasts.

“All other passengers were served full breakfast meal consisting of eggs, sausage, mushrooms, bread, and yogurt,” he told Evening Standard.

But speaking to Travel Weekly, two spokespeeople for ANA clarified the incident, saying the second meal service is only intended to a “snack service” shortly before arrival in Sydney, and the snack this passenger elected was a banana.

One spokesperson explained the passenger was given his first service GFML (full tray meal) on departure approximately 1 hour into the flight at approximately 23.20. In addition to his pre-ordered gluten-free meal, he asked for an additional regular meal, which was duly provided by the cabin attendant.

Following this, Pavelka apparently picked some items from the regular meal tray where it met his dietary needs, then two hours before landing, the second service commenced at around 06:30 (Sydney local time) and snack was served to the passengers.

The spokesperson refuted the notion that other passengers were served English breakfasts, claiming “no sausage, eggs and tomatoes were physically on board the flight, even in Business Class”.

The passenger requested to have a regular meal entree from the first service and the request was met by the cabin attendants, and he ate this on top of the banana.

As for the Gluten-Free sticker, the spokesperson added the “GF 33A” sticker placed on the banana (shown in the above picture) was originally placed on top of the seat back in order for the cabin attendants to identify which passenger ordered non-regular meals.

“We do not know who placed it on the banana itself, but that is not ANA usual procedure.”

A second spokesperson has clarified the facts to TW, explaining that during an international flight on the Tokyo-Sydney route, there are two food services. The first service is a full meal an hour after departure and the second is a snack service two hours before arrival.

“To accommodate the various food and dietary needs of our passengers, there are several food options including gluten free that are selected when a passenger purchases their ticket,” they said.

“On this specific instance, the passenger ordered a gluten free meal and then a gluten free snack. The banana he ordered was the gluten free snack option.

“We make every effort to meet our passengers needs and in this situation felt we accommodated our guest’s additional food requests inflight by providing an additional regular meal as well as an entrée from the regular menu for his snack.

“ANA takes great pride in providing an exemplary customer experience for all passengers, and for this one passenger we did not meet his expectations,” they added.

“We have apologized to him personally and as a result of his experience we are reviewing our policy on gluten free options and how they are served.

They concluded, “To imply that ANA only serves a banana for a flight of this length is incorrect.”

ANA has more recently gathered a following among travel agents for 9 reasons in particular, and they’re not what you’d expect. You can read up on them here.

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