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Order Gluten Free, Non-Lactose & Special Airline Meals

gluten free airline meal

Many global airlines cater to those who need special meals when traveling by air. The selection & quality of these meals significantly varies from airline to airline. When booking your flight, indicate that you would like to order a special meal & provide the standard special meal code.

Note: majority of airline computer systems can only address one meal code as a requirement. A few of the 25 standard meal codes used by the airline industry around the world for special dietary meals are provided below:

GFML (Gluten Free Meal)
Indicates no wheat, rye, barley or their derivatives

NLML (Non-Lactose Meal)
Indicates no milk, cheese, dairy or their derivatives

PFML (Peanut Free Meal)
Indicates no peanuts or its derivatives

FPML (Fruit Plate Meal)
Contains fresh fruits & possible bakery item

DBML (Diabetic Meal)
Indicates no refined sugars, syrups, jams, cakes, chocolates, etc.

VGML (Vegan Meal)
Indicates no meat, fish, seafood, eggs, honey, dairy products or their derivatives

SFML (Seafood Meal)
Contains only seafood items

RVML (Raw-Vegetarian Meal)
Indicates raw vegetables and fruit

For expert gluten and allergy free advice, visit our food & travel blog today!

Some international airline carriers specify on their websites if they offer some of the more commonly requested meals to travelers including: glutenfree meals (GFML), non-lactose meals (NLML), peanut free meals (PFML), fruit plate meals (FPML) and seafood meals (SFML).

The following guidelines will help you to order and receive gluten free, allergy friendly, diabetic, vegan and healthy meals while traveling by air.

  1. gluten free travelAlthough most airline carriers offer special diet meals, it is still necessary to make airline personnel aware of your needs in advance
  2. Airlines that offer healthy special meals typically need advance notification anywhere between 24 to 96 hours to ensure that your desired meal is ready at the time of your departure
  3. Confirm your meal request directly with the airline or with your travel agent prior to your departure
  4. Be sure to pack some snacks as a precautionary measure, just in case your flight is delayed, plans change or an error is made with your meal.
  5. Long haul flights can be particularly difficult if you do not have anything to eat during your travels! For helpful hints on what you can bring, please visit the Snacks page.
  6. Speed up the customs process with Global Entry – a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) program

Find Translation Cards for Gluten and Allergy Free Dining


Global Airline Listing of Special Diet Meals

Below is a chart of global airlines indicating the availability of these five types of meals. Be sure to contact your preferred airline to order your desired special meal aboard your flight.

Airline Name Country Notification Policy
GF
NL
PF
FP
SF
Aer Lingus Ireland 24 hours
Aeroflot Russia 72 hours
Aerolineas Argentina When booking
AeroMexico Mexico 48 hours
Air Canada Canada 24 hours
Air France France 24 – 48 hours for Kosher
Air India India When booking
Air Malta Malta 72 hours
Air New Zealand New Zealand 48 hours
Air Pacific Fiji When booking
Air Tahiti Nui Tahiti When booking
Air Transat Canada 72 hours
Alitalia Italy When booking
American Airlines USA 8-24 hours
America West USA Only in 1st class – 48 hours
Asiana Airlines South Korea When booking
Austrian Airlines Austria 24 hours
Britannia Airways UK 3 days
British Airways UK 24 – 48 hours for Kosher
British Midland UK 24 – 48 hours for Kosher
Cathay Pacific Hong Kong 24 hours
China Airlines China 24 hours
Continental Airlines USA 24 hours
CSA Czech Airlines Czech Republic When booking
Delta Airlines USA 12 hours
El Al Israel 24 hours
Emirates United Arab Emirates 24 hours
Estonian Air Estonia When booking
Eurowings Germany When booking
Eva Airways Taiwan When booking
Far Eastern Air Transport Taiwan When booking
Finnair Finland 24 hours
Gulf Air Bahrain 24 hours
Iberia Spain When booking
Iceland Air Iceland 24 hours
Japan Airlines Japan 24 – 72 hours
Kenya Airways Kenya 24 – 48 hours for Kosher
KLM/Northwest Netherlands / USA 36 hours
Korean Air Korea When booking
LAN Airlines Chile When booking
Lithuanian Airlines Lithuania 24 hours
Lufthansa Germany When booking
Luxair Luxembourg When booking
Malev Hungary When booking
Olympic Airlines Greece When booking
Qantas Australia 48 hours
SAS Sweden 24 hours
SATA Portugal When booking
Saudi Arabian Airlines Saudi Arabia When booking
Singapore Airlines Singapore 24 hours
South African Airlines South Africa 72 hours
Swiss Int’l Airlines Switzerland 72 hours
TAM Airlines Brazil When booking
TAP Air Portugal Portugal 48 hours
Thai Airlines Thailand 48 hours
Turkish Airlines Turkey When booking
United Airlines USA 24 hours
US Air USA 24 hours
Varig Brazil 24 hours
Vietnam Airlines Vietnam 24 hours
Virgin Atlantic UK 72 hours

Hotel Planning for Gluten & Allergy Free Travel

Your comfort level with managing your gluten and allergen-free lifestyle, the severity of your food allergies and your personal preferences are all key influencers in your choice of accommodations when traveling at home or abroad.

gluten free hotels

Various alternatives may include hotels, resorts, bed & breakfasts, hostels, villas, apartments, cottages and even castles! Therefore, we recommend that you:

  1. Research your options to determine the best fit for your dietary needs and travel destinations.
  2. Determine if you need a refrigerator and/or kitchen to prepare some of your meals.
  3. If desired, request a small refrigerator, which may result in an extra fee.
  4. Contact the customer service department to address any unanswered questions prior to book- ing your reservation.
  5. Inform the accommodation when making reservations of your allergen concerns.
  6. Educate yourself on ingredients, food preparation techniques and hidden allergens to determine appropriate meals and restaurants, if applicable.
  7. Discuss meal alternatives with the culinary specialists and order your allergen and gluten-free meals in advance, if appropriate.
  8. Ideally, obtain in writing a mutually agreed upon meal plan and approach to ensure safe eating, especially if your accommodation is at an all- inclusive resort.
  9. Determine what safe snacks you need to pack for excursions away from your accommodation.
  10. Confirm your gluten and allergen-free meals with your accommodation 3- 5 days prior to your departure, if appropriate.
  11. Prepare an emergency plan with medicine, location of closest medical facilities and instructions for others, if needed.
  12. Research grocery stores and supermarkets close to your accommodation for some basic foods, if desired.
  13. Check with your accommodation about restaurants nearby and contact them prior to your departure, if appropriate.
  14. Stay within close proximity of the nearest hospital if at risk to anaphylaxis.
  15. When you arrive, communicate your dietary concerns to the accommodation wait staff as required for safe eating.

Before your embark on your next adventure, we recommend that you also download one of our helpful travel books and/or mobile apps to guide you during your planning process:

 

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