Why I refuse to fly BA again. Or “when travel goes really wrong”…

This happened a few months ago for the record. But I think it warrants another discussion.

BA deserves an award…For “how many times can you f**k up the catering with someone’s special meal on a single itinerary?

Qantas, Cathay and Singapore Airlines manage to get me something suitable. Usually pretty bland and uninspiring, admittedly, but at least something that won’t make me sick.

On this trip, I had 4 BA flights and I had specified a vegan meal the whole way through. Catering f**ked up on all 4.

Flight 1: I got given butter.
Flight 2: I got given a falafel wrap with cheese and a yogurt dressing.
Flight 3: I got a wrap with cheese, egg and mayo.

Luckily I managed to pick up on all of this before eating any of it. It meant going hungry a couple of times, but at least I wasn’t sick. Then…

Flight 4: …I checked. Seriously. I made sure it was a vegan meal and not simply vegetarian when I saw it. But something had dairy in it. You can probably guess where this is going…2 minutes after finishing eating, I could feel my throat closing up and had to get up and find my epi-pen. I then spent the next hour being violently ill. And the following 10 hours on the plane feeling like crap. I still had a rash 12 hours later. Everything on the tray looked ok: the entree was a bean salad without dressing, main was veggies and cous cous (I just ate the veggies), and dessert was coconut rice. So the only thing I can figure is that they accidentally put butter in the veggies, or the coconut rice used actual dairy and not just coconut milk.

When I brought it up with the BA cabin crew, they just shrugged their shoulders at me and said “what do you want us to do about it?“.

Somehow BA managed not to f**k up breakfast, although I didn’t eat it cos I still felt like crap. And the tray having “fresh orange juice – from concentrate” amused me no end.

I wrote BA a nice long letter when I got home. I appreciate that a lot of people make special meal requests because they’ve made a lifestyle choice to eat a certain way (religion, fad diets, just wanting their meal served earlier…). But some of us do it for genuine medical reasons. The response I got from BA was totally unacceptable, basically “not our fault, we outsource our catering“.

I’m fairly sure I would have grounds to take legal action in this case, but honestly, I just don’t have the time to go through with it.

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