A passenger on board a Japan Airlines flight said he was served a banana with chopsticks as part of the vegan in-flight menu.
Kris Chari said he booked to fly business class on Tuesday from Jakarta in Indonesia to Tokyo in Japan. The flight was scheduled to last more than seven hours.
There were two meal services during the flight – the first was a snack and light refreshment served after take-off and the second was lunch, Japan Airlines said in a statement. The snack option for non-vegan passengers consisted of seared tuna with a Moroccan-style aubergine salad, cheese with orange salsa, and a baguette, per the airline’s menu and Chari’s experience.
Chari said he expected to receive the equivalent of what non-vegan passengers were served as a snack, such as a sandwich, salad, vegan cheese, or a baguette.
“Instead, I was served a single banana,” he said. Chari showed reporters a verification confirming he was on the flight.
The flight attendant told Chari before the plane took off that the banana was a catered meal. He said he was “frankly quite shocked”.
“It’s a bit insulting to be served a single banana while others are given a far more substantial and flavourful menu,” he said. “It seems especially important given the growth in the number of vegans and vegetarians.”
“We apologise for not being able to meet expectations,” Japan Airlines said in its statement, further confirming that the snack and refreshment option for all special meals on the flight was a banana.
Some airlines have come under scrutiny for not providing substantial meals to vegan passengers. For example, an Air Canada passenger said flight attendants initially only offered her water during a 10-hour flight from Frankfurt to Toronto.
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