Transcon First Class with Food Allergy

 
Old Nov 20, 12, 5:18 pm
  #1  
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Transcon First Class with Food Allergy

Hi kind and friendly FlyerTalk folks,

First-time posting, long-time reader. I’ll start off by saying that, yes, I have done a search already of the forums and was unable to find the appropriate answer. I called American Airlines and, well, I didn’t get the best answer, but I also don’t fault the phone representative.

I am flying in First Class, transcontinental from SFO to MIA in Dec. The person accompanying me, also in First Class, has a food allergy: mushrooms. According to AA’s website, the meal options in first class are as follows:

(1) Grilled salmon with lemon caper sauce served over orzo with a side of grilled root vegetables
(2) Flat iron steak topped with a rich sauce of mushrooms and pearl onions served with broccolini

Unfortunately, fish is not an option for this traveler. (Please be nice, folks. I understand everyone has specific taste in food, and I respect that). The issue here is the “sauce of mushrooms.”

Is the “sauce of mushrooms” already poured on to the flat iron steak? Or does it come separate, such that it never comes into contact with the plate containing the flat iron steak? I’m inclined to think it is the latter, but I can’t get confirmation from American phone representatives on this. Ideally (with similar in experience on United), the main portion containing the flat iron steak is separate, and then the FA pours on the “sauce of mushrooms.” To avoid this traveler’s food allergy, the FA could simply not pour it on. But I was hoping to find out from others, or maybe an American FA?

Thank you so very much!
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Old Nov 20, 12, 5:24 pm
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I would say with 95% certainty that the sauce is separate. That's how I've always seen food served in premium classes, though I haven't had this exact meal on AA.

But, if it's really going to be an issue, your companion might want to bring something as backup.
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Old Nov 20, 12, 5:28 pm
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I would simply assume that the sauce has been applied to the steak prior to loading it onto the aircraft. Even if it hasn't, they might run out of the steak before serving your companion.

I suggest your companion bring his/her own food, as it seems there are multitudinous food issues for that passenger, and the only way to be sure is to bring his/her own.

The other option is to pre-order a special meal which has neither mushrooms nor fish nor anything else noxious. http://www.aa.com/i18n/travelInforma...ecialMeals.jsp

Last edited by Doc Savage; Nov 20, 12 at 5:34 pm
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Old Nov 20, 12, 5:51 pm
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If this is a 2 class configuration, the entree will come preplated.
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Old Nov 20, 12, 5:53 pm
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Originally Posted by ijgordon View Post
I would say with 95% certainty that the sauce is separate.
Originally Posted by Doc Savage View Post
I would simply assume that the sauce has been applied to the steak prior to loading it onto the aircraft.
Originally Posted by skylady View Post
If this is a 2 class configuration, the entree will come preplated.
Amusing. Two suppositions, and the real answer.

Cheers.
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Old Nov 20, 12, 5:59 pm
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Cool

Originally Posted by brp View Post
Amusing. Two suppositions, and the real answer.

Cheers.
If the sauce has to be avoided, you have to assume it will be pre-added in order to make adequate preparations. If it comes without the sauce, fine, the pax can eat it - assuming adequate supply.

For extraordinarily picky eaters, I would always recommend that they bring something palatable with them to avoid a growling stomach.
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Old Nov 20, 12, 6:08 pm
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The advise to bring your own meal or buy one prior to departure is prduent, not just for the OP's fellow traveler, but anyone period. If someone has a food allergy, especially a severe one, there is no way to easily verify the contents. In this case, it's entirely possible both meals have mushrooms, even though the menu, online description, and even flight attendants would say only one does. So the solution here is to only eat food that you know how it was prepared. Don't trust the health of one individual to others.
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Old Nov 20, 12, 6:33 pm
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If AA is serving penne pasta (!!) as the gluten-free snack, I wouldn't necessarily trust them to cater to passengers with food allergies. I agree with the others, have your traveling companion pack their own food for the flight.
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Old Nov 20, 12, 7:45 pm
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I am allergic to shellfish and absolutely never assume that any food served on planes is safe for me to eat. Yes, my allergy is listed in my passenger records but I always bring along enough food to survive on for the duration of the flights.

If, it happens that something offered to me on the flight is obviously completely safe, I will eat it but those items are usually entirely pre-packaged such as crackers or a dessert.

It is much better to be safe than sorry.
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Old Nov 20, 12, 9:13 pm
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Originally Posted by skylady View Post
If this is a 2 class configuration, the entree will come preplated.
Even so, the sauce is often, if not usually, on the side, particularly in the galley. The FAs may or may not serve it that way.

But as I already said, if it's going to be a serious issue, then don't chance it and the passenger should bring his/her own food.
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Old Nov 20, 12, 10:02 pm
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The filet on transcons has often been accompanied by a sauce, generally in a very small ramekin on the side. I haven't had the flatiron steak, but my guess is that it will be smothered in mushroom sauce as it leaves the caterer. Flatiron steaks are generally thinner with a lot more surface area, and the gravy may be to help prevent it from drying out as it's warmed.
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Old Nov 21, 12, 12:16 am
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Originally Posted by FWAAA View Post
The filet on transcons has often been accompanied by a sauce, generally in a very small ramekin on the side. I haven't had the flatiron steak, but my guess is that it will be smothered in mushroom sauce as it leaves the caterer. Flatiron steaks are generally thinner with a lot more surface area, and the gravy may be to help prevent it from drying out as it's warmed.
I had the beef today on my JFK-SAN flight. The sauce was in a ramekin. No mushrooms to be seen on the plate. The veggies were french green beans and a grilled shallot (the purplish onion thing). However, I really am getting tired of these transcon flights where everything is plated at once. So you have the appetizer, salad, and entree at the same time. But thankfully the sundae is served afterwards. However, it is still much better that buyonboard in coach.
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Old Nov 21, 12, 12:37 am
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Originally Posted by AeroWesty View Post
If AA is serving penne pasta (!!) as the gluten-free snack, I wouldn't necessarily trust them to cater to passengers with food allergies.
Presumably they're serving gluten-free pasta. There's lots of it out there, usually based on rice, corn, or both.
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Old Nov 21, 12, 1:40 am
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Originally Posted by Giggleswick View Post
Presumably they're serving gluten-free pasta.
I did consider that, but the exact same meal is listed for gluten-free, vegetarian and Muslim snack services. It could be a simple matter of an error on the web, but anyone with a severe allergy should be safe than sorry.

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Old Nov 21, 12, 6:55 am
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Originally Posted by AeroWesty View Post
I did consider that, but the exact same meal is listed for gluten-free, vegetarian and Muslim snack services. It could be a simple matter of an error on the web, but anyone with a severe allergy should be safe than sorry.

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Why would it be an error? Pasta could be halal, vegetarian, and gluten-free. Seems prudent to use the same food to meat different dietary requirements when possible.
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