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Passenger outraged after airline serves chicken instead of vegetarian meal on flight

Air India asked the traveller to remove social media post detailing the experience

Faiza Saqib
Friday 12 January 2024 12:42 GMT
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Passenger outraged after airline serves her non-veg meal
Passenger outraged after airline serves her non-veg meal (@VeeraJain/X)

A passenger on an Air India flight has slammed the airline after it served her non-vegetarian food – despite the packaging being labelled as meat-free.

Taking to X, formerly known as Twitter, Veera Jain shared images of the in-flight meal she was given on board the Calicut-Mumbai flight.

“On my Air India flight AI582, I was served a vegetarian meal with chicken pieces in it! I boarded the flight from Calicut airport. This was a flight that was supposed to take off at 18.40 but left the airport at 19.40,” Ms Jain wrote.

The post soon started gaining traction, with some users raising concerns about the airline’s food handling practices.

Air India also responded to the post, with a representative asking Ms Jain to contact them via direct message.

“Dear Ms. Jain, we request you delete the asked details from the open tweet (to avoid misuse) and share the same with us via DM...along with your PNR,” the airline account responded.

In one of the photos taken by Ms Jain, the meal packaging reads “veg main meal” – but in the second photo, there is chicken served with the rice dish.

Ms Jain said she informed the cabin supervisor, adding: “[the supervisor] apologised and informed me that there was more than one complaint about the same issue other than me and my friend.

“However, after I informed the crew, there was no action taken to inform other passengers having vegetarian meals."

The AI582 flight Ms Jain was on had also been delayed by one hour.

“First the delay, then the non-veg in my vegetarian meal. This is highly disappointing and it has hurt my sentiments. I ask Air India to take strict action on its catering services and delays,” Ms Jain continued in her post.

Ending the post, Ms Jain issued a warning to other passengers and added: “Please check thoroughly what you consume on a flight. After two extremely delayed flights (Mum-Kozhikode on 4th Jan and return on 8th Jan) and non-veg served I have lost trust in all of the airline food now.”

The Independent has contacted Air India for comment.

According to the Pew Research Center, all of India’s most widely practised religions have dietary laws and traditions. Hindu texts often praise vegetarianism and some people who choose to practice the religion also avoid eating beef because cows are traditionally viewed as sacred. However, only 39 per cent of Indian adults describe themselves as “vegetarian”.

It’s not the first time dietary requirements have caused issues on a flight.

Last year, a business class passenger on a flight to Japan who ordered a vegan breakfast was left bemused when they were presented with a single banana and a pair of chopsticks.

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