Japan Airlines Serves Single Banana As Vegan Meal For Business Class Passenger

By Shehzad in Travel On 1st March 2023
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A passenger on a Japan Airlines flight ordered vegan food but was disappointed to be given a banana.

Kris Chari, a vegan passenger, was shocked when he received a single banana and chopsticks as his inflight meal on a Japan Airlines flight from Jakarta to Tokyo. This incident has brought attention to the challenges that vegans face while traveling, especially when it comes to inflight meals.

Non-vegan passengers on the same flight were offered a snack of seared tuna with eggplant salad, cheese, and a baguette. This incident has sparked a debate about the adequacy of vegan meals provided by airlines and the importance of catering to the dietary requirements of passengers.

However, Chari said he was served a single banana for the vegan option. He said in a post on aviation forum FlyerTalk:

"Before takeoff today my flight attendant confirmed that I ordered VGML and that my breakfast was a banana, by which I mistakenly assumed she meant that breakfast included a banana. When she served the banana after takeoff I thought it was just an underwhelming appetizer, but it was in fact the entire meal service! It was a really good banana—one of the best I've had recently—but it still seems more appropriate as a snack. Is catering out of CGK typically this underwhelming?"

Japan Airlines apologized for not meeting Chari's expectations and pledged to respond to menus according to the growing needs of customers requesting special meals. The airline also mentioned that valuable feedback from customers would be taken into account while making decisions.

However, the incident has highlighted the need for airlines to provide substantial and fulfilling vegan meal options to meet the needs of the growing number of vegans and vegetarians.

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Chari expressed his disappointment and disbelief when he was told that the banana was the only special meal offering available on the flight.

He had expected to receive a meal equivalent to what non-vegan passengers were served as a snack, such as a sandwich, salad, vegan cheese, or a baguette.

He found the single banana both insulting and belittling, especially given the growth in the number of vegans and vegetarians.

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The incident on Japan Airlines is not an isolated case, as other airlines have also faced scrutiny for their inadequate vegan meal options. For instance, an Air Canada passenger reported that flight attendants initially offered her only water during a 10-hour flight from Frankfurt to Toronto.

Therefore, airlines need to do more to provide substantial vegan meals that cater to the dietary requirements of passengers, and this should be a wake-up call for the industry.

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In recent years, there has been a surge in the number of people adopting veganism and vegetarianism, which has put airlines under pressure to offer a range of plant-based meals.

However, it is not uncommon for vegan passengers to receive inadequate meals that are not in line with their dietary requirements.

Therefore, airlines need to work on providing a balanced and fulfilling vegan meal that does not belittle or insult the passengers.

The incident on Japan Airlines highlights the need for the industry to provide equal options for vegans and non-vegans, as no passenger should be belittled or insulted for their dietary choices. 

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It is essential to cater to the needs of all passengers, and airlines should be more proactive in providing vegan meals that are satisfying and meet the dietary requirements of passengers. Therefore, airlines should continue to work on expanding their vegan meal options to cater to the growing demand.

In conclusion, the incident on Japan Airlines shows that airlines need to do more to provide substantial and fulfilling vegan meals to meet the dietary requirements of passengers.

The industry should work on expanding its vegan meal options to cater to the growing demand for plant-based meals.

This incident should serve as a wake-up call for airlines to step up their game and cater to the needs of all passengers equally.