Isabelle Rozenbaum/Getty Images/PhotoAlto [edited]
May 03, 2017

Very few people board an airplane and expect a luxury meal while flying to their destination. But few people expect a single banana.

On his recent nine-hour flight from Tokyo to Sydney, Londoner Martin Pavelka requested a gluten-free meal. He got a banana, as well as cutlery with which to eat the banana.

“All other passengers were served full breakfast meal consisting of eggs, sausage, mushrooms, bread, and yogurt,” Pavelka told the Evening Standard. “This was a nine-hour flight. Although definitely gluten free, the banana did not keep me full for very long.”

Although Pavelka paid about $1,500 for his flight aboard All Nippon Airways, he said it felt more like a budget airline experience.

Pavelka has coeliac disease. If he eats gluten, he’ll experience something similar to food poisoning. So on every flight, he requests a gluten-free meal. He has learned that each airline has a different interpretation of gluten free: “Sometimes they are bland, sometimes they are actually much better than the ordinary meal service,” he told the newspaper.

And although earlier in the flight, Pavelka received a full meal for dinner, his breakfast left him “speechless.”

Pavelka also said that the stewardess was sympathetic and “realised something wasn’t right too.” He imagined that the problem lies somewhere in management.

Pavelka filed a complaint with the airline about his April 20 flight but has yet to hear back.

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