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Airline Food

Maggot in a First Class Meal

Maggot in a First Class Meal
Jennifer Billock

A man flying first class on a Delta Air Lines flight recently had an incredibly unappetizing experience when he discovered a maggot crawling out of his meal; he complained and Delta replied quickly, but possibly with a little bit less than they should have offered to compensate him. What do you think?

An anonymous Delta Air Lines passenger from Washington, D.C., was recently flying from Detroit to Seattle and had a rather unfortunate encounter: he found a maggot in his food. The insect was crawling out of his bowl as it sat on his tray table.

The passenger shared a video and complained to Delta about it right away. To the airline’s benefit, they responded fairly quickly with an offer for compensation—in the form of a $50 gift card for a nice meal.

“We’re working hard with our food vendors to offer consistent, quality lunch and dinner portions that appeal to all of our passengers,” Delta wrote in its response to the passenger, reported by Live and Let’s Fly. “However, it’s clear we dropped the ball during this trip. Please know that I’m passing your concerns directly to our In-Flight and Catering Vendor leadership team, in hopes of preventing this type of event from happening again in the future. While I can’t go back and change your experience, I’d like to provide you with a $50 Delta Choice gift so you can have a better meal on us. You will receive a Delta Choice gift code, from [email protected], in a separate email within three business days and you can select the gift card of your choice within 60 days of receipt.”

“Who is really thinking about dining out when you’ve just eaten a tainted meal?” the passenger told Matthew Klint of Live and Let’s Fly.

At least the airline apologized, but is the compensation really enough?

[Source: Shutterstock]

View Comments (20)


  1. Dublin_rfk

    March 13, 2019 at 4:24 am

    Forget the initial cause for the compensation. $50 is an insult to the F class passenger and $50 company gift card is doubly so.

  2. rmcneely

    March 13, 2019 at 8:05 am

    Gross and poor response by DL, not shockingly. I guess inspection prior to eating on DL is required going forward.

  3. alexmyboy

    March 13, 2019 at 8:54 am

    on naked and afraid that’s good protein baby!

  4. brobin

    March 13, 2019 at 10:13 am

    Certainly seeing a maggot crawl out of a meal is disgusting but that doesn’t mean the pax won the lottery. The meal was bad and Delta bought him another. Sounds fair since there was no injury involved. There wouldn’t even had been an injury if it was eaten. Have a look at the allowable levels of insect infestation and rodent hair & poop allowed in food and you may never want to eat again.

  5. milesmilesmiles

    March 13, 2019 at 10:23 am

    But there was no extra fee for the maggot…..

  6. strickerj

    March 13, 2019 at 10:30 am

    It’s just a new “enhancement”. 😉

    But seriously, that’s the same compensation I got for getting booted from a paid exit row seat (prior to boarding), which pales in comparison to this.

  7. hryoung

    March 13, 2019 at 11:14 am

    Delta dropped the ball by not toasting the maggot!

    $50.00 sure doesn’t make you feel like your First Class, $100.00 would have

    been more appropriate.

  8. frostbite

    March 13, 2019 at 11:38 am

    Well, at least the meal was fresh…

  9. sg92

    March 13, 2019 at 11:43 am

    The proper response is to ticket or amount for that particular leg should have been refunded for terrible experience.

  10. nycityny

    March 13, 2019 at 1:11 pm

    “We’re working hard with our food vendors to offer consistent, quality lunch and dinner portions that appeal to all of our passengers” is not a response that is relevant to what happened. I mean, portion size? Consistent? Does that mean 2 maggots per passenger instead of 1?

    It sounds to me like a form letter was dispatched for this unusual situation which required more personalization. Thus I suspect the $50 was part of the canned response as well.

  11. WilliamSlack

    March 13, 2019 at 2:44 pm

    No surprise. I had the second worst First Class meal ever on a Delta transcon – ATL-SAN – second only to a coach meal on Alitalia. On the short early am PBI-ATL jump First offered potato chips and candy bars (6:30 a.m. – not our usual fare – or even snack). and then on he transcon ‘sicky meatballs and rice. Give me a break. No maggots – but my letter got me 25K miles. Of the legacies we find Alaska does best for food in first – although we don’ f fly to eat.]]

  12. Jostgarden

    March 13, 2019 at 3:53 pm

    Even if you want to argue that he got a new meal and the pax didn’t “win the lottery,” $50 is attrocious compensation. How could you trust another meal from Delta? Nope, nope, nope. A 20,000-mile account credit would be far more reasonable than 50 lousy bucks for a live maggot in your food.

  13. zoey59

    March 13, 2019 at 8:03 pm

    Pathetic response by delta – it’s not just the food it’s the after thought flying after a maggot pops out on your tray –

  14. putya669

    March 13, 2019 at 9:02 pm

    It could have been worse, he could have only found half of the maggot …

  15. jrpallante

    March 14, 2019 at 6:29 am

    Any entomologists out there to chime in? I do not think that is a maggot. Maggots do not have legs and do not crawl. They just wiggle around in the food where the mother laid the eggs. It looks like a small caterpillar, or perhaps a beetle larva, which probably came along with the salad greens. If you look at the pre-packaged salads sold at grocery stores, it is very common to find such critters, even in the bags labeled “twice-washed” or “ready to eat.” This little bug is not a big deal. Of course, if this were a flight to New Zealand, the plane and its passengers would be immediately fumigated and quarantined for six months!

  16. Jostgarden

    March 14, 2019 at 11:55 am

    jrpallante –well OK. A little caterpillar in your salad — I could deal with that, but it still tells me someone wasn’t paying attention. Why wasn’t this salad cleaned one more time? You pay for FC you should get a FC meal…that means washed until free of bugs. In any case, I agree with Sg92, this still requires good faith compensation for the flight or leg. It’s a trust issue.

  17. tromboneboss

    March 14, 2019 at 2:36 pm

    Sounds like the rest of the flight was fine. So I think this compensation was fair. $50 should buy a nice meal for one person.

  18. drphun

    March 15, 2019 at 5:49 am

    It’s not a maggot. It is a bug in a salad. A maggot is a fly larvae and is found in rotting meat where flies lay their eggs.

  19. kkua

    March 19, 2019 at 5:32 am

    It sure beats sewing needles in the sandwiches 🙂

    The proper compensation would be a confirmed upgrade certificate for a future domestic flight that includes a meal service. Sending the $50 is a slap on the catering hands and does not absolve the fact the food safety inspectors failed their job. It would also ensure brand loyalty for future fliers and also keep the revenue back to the airline.

  20. redreeper


    March 19, 2019 at 6:28 am

    Both I and the maggot have flown in Delta first the same number of times.

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