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Japan Airlines passenger served single banana for vegan breakfast on business class flight

Lunch was "barely seasoned" spaghetti, according to the passenger. 

Japan Airlines passenger served single banana for vegan breakfast on business class flight

A banana served on a Japan Airlines flight. (Image: Screengrab from FlyerTalk)

In-flight meals are rarely considered culinary masterpieces. 

Sensory scientists have found that the combination of dry cabin air, lower pressure and high-altitude environment dulls our perception of smell and taste, and is a big part of why many consider airplane food to be bland. 

However, a recent Japan Airlines (JAL) passenger found that despite flying in business class, the vegan breakfast that was served was rather "underwhelming", even for in-flight meals. 

“Before take-off today, my flight attendant confirmed that I ordered VGML (Vegetarian Vegan Meal) and that my breakfast was a banana, by which I mistakenly assumed she meant that breakfast included a banana,” netizen Kris_Chari said in a post on aviation forum FlyerTalk on Tuesday (Feb 21).

"When she served the banana after takeoff, I thought it was just an underwhelming appetizer, but it was in fact the entire meal service!

"It was a really good banana - one of the best I've had recently - but it still seems more appropriate as a snack. Is catering out of CGK typically this underwhelming?" 

This happened on a flight from Jakarta's Soekarno-Hatta International Airport (CGK) to Tokyo's Narita Airport.

To the passenger's bemusement, cutlery and chopsticks were provided along with the banana, and lunch did not get any better.

"Lunch was barely seasoned spaghetti and my meals on other Japan Airlines flights were also bad, but nothing was quite as insubstantial as this. It was cute of the crew to serve the banana with chopsticks, though," the passenger added.

CNA has contacted JAL for comment.

This is the second time the airline has made the news in recent days. On Sunday, a JAL flight bound for Fukuoka was forced to return to Tokyo's Haneda Airport after it missed a 10pm cutoff time to land. 

Denied permission to land, the plane was forced to turn around and had to reroute to Kansai International Airport, 45km south of Osaka.

A replacement flight departed on Monday at 10.20am and successfully landed in Fukuoka around lunchtime - 16 hours after its original take-off the night before.


There have been similar incidents of passengers being served meals that failed to meet the standard.

Last year, an Air Canada passenger shared on TikTok how her request for a vegan meal ended up being a bottle of water, with the video going viral.

Miriam Porter, a travel blogger, was later offered a makeshift meal that a flight attendant put together from leftover business class meal trays.

Source: CNA/sn


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