Around the World in 80 Pairs of Shoes


May 15, 2013

Dear British Airways…you may want to read my rant!

Dear British Airways,

Last night I flew with your airline from Hong Kong to London Heathrow on flight number BA26.  I’m writing this blog post as I know that my feedback that I left onboard will probably reach deaf ears however I’m past the caring stage and am going to tell you a few home truths!

I’m a gluten free passenger and I want to show you what you served me up for dinner and breakfast last night and this morning; I will start by saying that I declined the starter as our flight departed well after 2300hrs from Hong Kong and I just wanted my mains and dessert and then to sleep for the remainder of the flight.

This was my dinner…the over cooked rice was wonderfully dry to the point that I almost choked on it but it went wonderfully well with the dry carrots and the sloppy fish….I had a few bites and hoped a barrage of the salt might help the rice but it didn’t.


Poor Ralph whom was looking after our cabin last night apologised and grimaced at the main course, as a grimace is basically what the meal deserved.

Next up was the dessert, ever hopeful for the cheesecake that I ate on the way out to Hong Kong, poor Ralph informed me it was fresh fruit…yes fuck me fresh fruit!  (I’m going to swear for the first time ever in my blog as you seriously have driven me to this point after this flight!).

After my are you kidding me comment, Ralph said could we possibly add ice cream…yes please!  (I should point out I loved Ralph and he was the only reason why I didn’t lose my cool onboard this flight, even though he was getting told off for talking to me – talking to a passenger when things aren’t going right is what customer service is all about and where other cabin crew members should stand up and start helping him out in the cabin; just saying!).


The fresh fruit and ice cream filled a gap.

The cabin service director or what ever fancy pants title you give your head honcho on board the flight came over to discuss my food predicament and told me that if he was aware sooner he would have tried to find me an alternative.  Unfortunately he was a yes man kind of guy and to be honest I don’t want you trying to make a meal for me out of other items on board as this could lead to cross contamination of gluten into my meal.

When I showed the cabin service director the photos of my food he said he would have liked the fruit to be presented in a bigger bowl…yeah that’s what he took away from the conversation…seriously a bigger bowl means diddly squat to me, I’m going to eat it regardless of the size bowl and after my main mean…the dessert was the highlight!

After our chat, the cabin service director came back with my breakfast meal to show me what was on board and fuck me…my heart sunk…scrambled eggs (which I hate but I would have eaten, four little boiled potatoes (that looked dry at even this point), a tomato and a fucking piece of broccoli…sorry but when has broccoli ever being served up as part of a cooked breakfast.  We decided that I didn’t want the tomato or broccoli and that they would find some bacon and mushrooms instead.

I should point out that after two weeks on holiday, I have gained a bit of weight and I’m sure I have an arse bigger than Kim Kardashian so maybe this is your way of helping me lose a bit of weight.

So roll around breakfast time and Ralph said are you ready…it was becoming a joke and to be honest that’s the only way I could face this flight…you could only laugh about the quality of gluten free food.  We started out with fruit…it’s fruit…what can you say.


Then the cooked breakfast came out…honestly I did feel sorry for the lovely chef on board (I’m sorry but I didn’t get his name but he was another good egg just like Ralph) as there isn’t much you can do with food that comes onboard that is dry.  The scrambled eggs were so dry that they could probably be used as a sponge and the potatoes, I want to know how you can possibly get potatoes that dry…it must be a skill!


My highlight of the flight were these food items…popcorn…


…and jelly beans!


Now I should probably point out to you now just in case you haven’t worked it out by the fancy white tablecloth; I was flying first class.

Yes FIRST FUCKING CLASS!  On a £6,000 ticket!  Luckily I didn’t pay that much myself!

Possibly the reason why you have pushed me over the edge to be honest.  I’m not wanting Michelin star food as that’s not who I am but what I want to be served up at meal time is eatable quality food.

I’ve been very tongue in cheek with your company in the past over your gluten free offerings but I’m now going to make it my goal that your meals and what is available to your gluten free and hell any other special diet passengers gets changed; and I’m going to get pushy as you need to make changes and fast.

I should note that this wasn’t the only issues we faced onboard last night – are you ready,

  • The seatbelt on the seat that my other half was flying in, had a huge hole and is a potentially a safety issue; this was pointed out to the cabin crew.
  • You ran out of pjs for your first class passengers…shock horror didn’t you know you had a full plane?!?!  I think my partner and I had the only two pairs that were available.
  • You didn’t have any ladies amenity kits for anyone ladies travelling in First Class; once again shock horror, you knew how many people were flying surely!
  • Apparently the espresso machine was also broken onboard

I think you can safely say we had a terrible experience on board your flight overnight however as G and I were still in holiday mode, we didn’t take this out on your cabin crew and laughed it off as much as possible.  And trust me, a tired hungry Kiwi woman is not something you want to be dealing with at 30,000 feet when things go wrong with food!

As a company, I feel that you are cutting too many costs and then leaving your poor cabin crews to deal with the issues with customers face to face.  My heart goes out to your cabin crew whom have to deal with these issues on a day to day basis.

I’ve been a loyal customer for many years however my loyalty is waning and if you want to continue to have me as a customer then you’re going to have to earn my trust and loyalty as at the moment I don’t want to travel with you ever again after that flight; especially not long haul.

My suggestion would be to change all your top executives profiles to gluten free / diary free for a month so they can see what you are providing to your customers in flight (so they can experience the gluten free magic that your loyal customers are receiving) and hey maybe also discuss with your passengers what could be done better.  As I’ve said in the past, is a gluten free porridge pot in the business lounges not possible as I’m sick of seeing a gluten free brownie at 6am!

G and I popped into the Arrivals Lounge for a meal in the Arrivals Concorde Lounge…let’s just say the quality in there wasn’t really any better than what I received on board and I ordered boiled eggs with soldiers.

I’m sure my gluten free readers who have stayed with me during this rant have had to face many similar issues in Economy, Business and First Class.  If you have please leave me a comment as I think British Airlines needs to understand that this isn’t just a one off case.  I know of one of my readers that has changed from BA to Virgin Atlantic due to the gluten free food alone (losing BA 5 x economy tickets per year from London to New York).

So British Airways, I would love to hear your thoughts on the above or has this fallen onto deaf ears once again?

I’ve also included some of my previous posts on BA including what my gluten free meal was on the way out to Hong Kong, The Concorde Lounge and what it’s like to fly British Airways as a gluten free passenger.

Many thanks


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