Celiac Passenger Experiences “Worst Flight Of Her Life” On Emirates After Meal Mix-Up

by | Jun 19, 2023

Chloë Chapdelaine, a 25-year-old content creator from Calgary, Alberta, Canada, had what she’s describing as the “worst flight of her life” on Emirates from Dubai to Los Angeles after the airline mistakenly served her a standard croissant as part of her gluten-free meal.

@chloe.chapdelaine I’m feeling defeated today. I often share about gluten free travel, but not the struggles. This stuff happens too often 🥺 did you spot the outlier? 🥐 @Emirates #glutenfreetravel #glutenfreelife #airplanefail #celiacdisease ♬ apathy (Sped Up) – Øneheart

Emirates Serves Celiac Passenger Gluten

Chloë Chapdelaine’s flight from Dubai to Los Angeles with Emirates on June 5 turned into quite an ordeal after airline incorrectly served her gluten as part of a gluten-free meal.

The 25-year-old content creator spent over an hour trying to vomit after the airline served her a standard croissant as part of her gluten-free meal, leading to severe health consequences.

Living with celiac disease, an autoimmune condition where the immune system attacks the body’s own tissues in response to ingesting gluten, Chloë selected a gluten-free meal for her flight.

Unfortunately, despite the fact that she did everything right, a mistake by Emirates led to severe health consequences for her. She experienced severe abdominal pain, diarrhea, itchy skin, and anticipates the onset of mental effects, like brain fog and depression, that typically last several weeks after gluten exposure.

This came after she spent time in the airplane lavatory trying to vomit to prevent further damage to her body.

Chloë shared her experience on TikTok, highlighting the serious health risks posed by gluten exposure for people with celiac disease noting that this is the second time she has been served gluten on a plane despite selecting a gluten-free option.

The Airline’s Response and Responsibility

Emirates issued a statement expressing disappointment, claiming that the airline takes the safety and health of its customers very seriously.

They confirmed that they are investigating the issue which, while helpful, does little to resolve what Chloë went through.

This incident is not an isolated one in the air where meal mixups happen somewhat frequently.

While not nearly as serious, I’ve experienced this as a vegetarian most recently on Singapore Airlines which failed to load my vegetarian meal entirely on a flight from Singapore to Europe. Luckily, the crew lived up to their “Singapore Girls” reputation and were able to find food to accommodate me during the flight despite the mix-up.

The issue has even ended up in court. Last year, a court in Brazil fined an airline more than $2,800 after it failed to serve Kosher meals to two Jewish passengers who requested the specialty foods on flights.

What Chloë experienced is obviously far more significant since her dietary selection is a health concern and resulted in actual health effects onboard.

She is using her experience and platform to highlight the challenges that people with food allergies and sensitivities face when traveling. She believes that airlines need to be more diligent about catering to passengers with medical dietary restrictions and take their needs seriously so others don’t go through the ordeal she did.

Bottom Line

Chloë Chapdelaine, a Canadian content creator, suffered severe health consequences after Emirates mistakenly served her a standard croissant as part of her gluten-free meal during a long-haul flight from Dubai to Los Angeles. She’s using the incident to underscore the serious health risks for people with celiac disease and raise awareness of the need for airlines to be more diligent with dietary restrictions.

Giovanni Hashimoto

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Giovanni Hashimoto is editor of Travel Spill. He's a growth hacking consultant and an expert in maximizing credit card rewards and loyalty programs. Giovanni grew up as a third-culture kid and is a citizen of the United States, Japan, and Italy. He's now a digital nomad who's visited over 65 countries, often leveraging points and miles to improve his travel experience.

Giovanni Hashimoto is editor of Travel Spill. He's a growth hacking consultant and an expert in maximizing credit card rewards and loyalty programs. Giovanni grew up as a third-culture kid and is a citizen of the United States, Japan, and Italy. He's now a digital nomad who's visited over 65 countries, often leveraging points and miles to improve his travel experience.
All posts by Giovanni Hashimoto

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