Due to the airline’s ‘confusing website,’ a woman claims she was left’starving’ on a nine-hour flight after failing to arrange a special lunch.
Amber Fisher, 32, has celiac disease and claims that the British Airways website led her to believe that she could alert a flight attendant about her allergies and be served a gluten-free meal once she boarded.
Amber was told she should have booked the lunch in advance once she boarded the aircraft to the Dominican Republic.
Amber was left on the nine-hour journey with carrot and celery sticks, chocolate buttons, crisps, popcorn, nuts, chocolate bars, and a tangerine after the airline’s staff pulled together some gluten-free food from snacks and their own lunches.
“The air hostess said ‘we’ll have to see what we can do’ and then brought me that.” Amber, from Isleworth, London, explained.
“She said ‘we’ve taken food out of the crew food too’ which was basically carrot sticks and celery sticks.”
“I was like, ‘for nine hours you expect me to eat this?’ and she was like, ‘that’s all we have’. It was a pitiful amount of food.”
“I ate the whole lot but it’s like what you’d give a kid while watching a film, it’s not an adult meal that’s going to fill you up.”
“I was on really strong antibiotics and hadn’t eaten in the morning so I was just starving and it was a nightmare.”
“I nearly passed out at the end because I hadn’t eaten and felt really weak because of the antibiotics.”
“I actually started vomiting into a bag as we were coming down – it was just water because my stomach was so empty.”
“It ruined the holiday because it gave me major anxiety for days and I just felt crappy.”
Amber blamed the mix-up on the airline’s “confusing website,” which claims that travellers with food allergies “must inform [the] cabin crew of [their] food allergy upon boarding.”
Customers can, however, order’special meals,’ including a gluten-free alternative, which must be requested ‘at least 24 hours before [their] flight departs,’ according to the website.
Amber claims that flight employees informed her that her dietary restrictions would be noted and that she would receive a gluten-free meal on her return journey, but that this did not happen.
“On the BA website it states that you have to ask when you get on board and when I told the flight attendant she started arguing with me as if I was lying,” she added.
“I showed her what it said on the website and she just said, ‘oh that’s confusing isn’t it’.”
“I emailed and complained and they just said: ‘We’re very sorry about this, this isn’t our usual practice. We hope you have a better flight next time.’ No compensation, no nothing.”
“You’re paying to be on a flight, you don’t expect someone to basically tell you that you’re lying. It’s massively put me off going with them again.”
“The air hostess said, ‘don’t worry we’ll get it registered so every time you come on a BA flight you’ll automatically get it’ but when I got on the flight back they just automatically gave me normal food.”
“So they didn’t even look into what was on my chair or that I’d applied for this meal. I just gave it to my partner.”
“We take all of our customers’ allergies and dietary requirements extremely seriously and our catering teams work extremely hard to ensure everyone has the meal they want, every time they travel,” a British Airways representative said.
“All our customers can pre-request one of 15 special meals free of charge, including gluten-free meals, up to 24 hours before their flight.”