A reply from Air Malta

This morning I received a reply from Air Malta regarding the fact that they are no longer offering special meals except a vegetarian option. If you would like to read my original post click here:

https://candiesglutenfreeland.wordpress.com/2014/01/24/if-you-have-any-special-dietary-requirements-then-please-ask-one-of-our-cabin-crew-for-a-vegetarian-option-excuse-me/

This is the reply I received.

Good Morning Ms Borg Cardona,

In reference to your email below, please be advised we have duly noted the contents and would like to advise as follows.

Whilst we understand yours and other passengers dietary requirement when travelling in economy class, two meal types are made available – One for any dietary needs and a second is a vegetarian option. Whilst we understand that these said meals do not cover your dietary needs, Air Malta is fully aware and does not stop anyone from bring their own food  on board.

We would like to advise that there is a second option. You can purchase a business class ticket and you will benefit from a full meal service, prior to your departure date you can contact us and order you special dietary required meal.

We thank you for taking the time to send us your email, and do hope that we have the pleasure to welcome you on board in the near future.

Kind Regards,

Customer Care Representative

Air Malta plc

Customer Care

I have  removed the customer care representative’s name from this post because I feel that she is not at fault. She is only obeying orders and represents Air Malta.

And this is my reply.

Dear Customer Care Representative,

Thank you for taking the time to reply to my email and for explaining what meal types are available.

 Unfortunately, I feel that this was a courtesy reply and my complaint was not addressed. These are the reasons why:

 1. On your website http://www.airmalta.com/information/services-by-air-malta/on-board-experience, it still states ”If you have any special dietary requirements, then please ask one of our cabin crew for a vegetarian option, which is available on all flights”. Please note that it does not state that you do not cater to special diets. It implies that if you follow a special diet a vegetarian option is available. One would understand that this vegetarian option covers all special meals- so it would have to be vegetarian and made without gluten, nuts, lactose, and added sugar and salt. This is misleading, especially when your vegetarian option is a cheese sandwich made with wheat bread.

 

2. If you do not offer special meals, why offer a vegetarian option? Is it because they cited discrimination on the Times of Malta, claiming that they would be forced to eat meat? As I stated in my blog, vegetarianism is a choice. Coeliac disease is not. You are still discriminating against people with a medical condition.

 

3. Air Malta continues to insult us by stating that we can bring our own food on board. So can everybody else. 

 

4. You can make people severely ill by offering a vegetarian meal for all special diets. You did not even comment about this fact.

 

Finally, your last statement saying that we can travel buisness class to be able to get a special meal is utterly dismissive and insensitive. So you expect us to pay an extra 200 Euro on top of our flight to have a 5 Euro meal?

Is it so difficult to make one special meal that fits all? 

 Yours truly,

 Candie Borg Cardona

What are your thoughts about this? Do you feel that Air Malta’s reply was satisfactory?

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9 thoughts on “A reply from Air Malta

  1. Well said Candy! Shame on you Airmalta! I am so disappointed.. Did not get any satisfactory reply myself neither when I complained, and saying that this reply is ridiculous is an understatement! I just hope more cealiacs and people who suffer from any intollerance would voice their opinions too.

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  2. Unbelievable Candy! I have always felt more comfortable travelling with our National Airline but now I will surely give it a miss! What about the British Airways? Do they offer any gf food? I hear that they will soon be operating again from Malta!

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  3. Whilst I agree entirely with the sentiment, the veggie option could be there to cover religious requirements, more than vegetarianism.
    I don’t want to start the debate over whether religion is a choice or not, but you get the idea.
    Maybe they’re more interested in that than the choice of vegetarian.

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    • Thanks for your comment Mike. I do agree with you and I understand your point. I am also respectful towards vegetarians and I an not debating that a vegetarian meal should be included. But as I said, Air Malta are misleading people with special diets by stating that if a special diet is required a veggie option is available.

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  4. Pingback: Air Malta- you can do better than that! | Candie's Adventures in Gluten-Free Land

    • Yes, they did. I had shared the response on a few facebook groups. This was the reply:

      Thank you for your email. We can assure you we fully understand your complaint regarding the absence of gluten free inflight meal options for our passengers. We have similar problems with other diets, including diabetes, nut allergies, lactose-intolerance and other special diets related to health problems.

      We will be looking into changing our meal cycles in the coming months and will put all requests forward for due consideration. Although there is no guarantee that we will be able to accommodate meal requests for all diets, we assure you of Air Malta’s best intentions to make all its passengers happy with the services provided.

      Thank you for your patience and understanding.

      And my answer to this was:

      Dear Mr …,

      Thank you for your reply.

      My complaint was in fact not about gluten free meals only but about all special meals. Air Malta chose to include one special meal that was vegetarian, but stopped serving all other special meals. If you do truly understand the complaint, I urge you to rectify this situation when you change your meal cycles in the coming months.

      In your email you stated that there is no guarantee that all special meals will be catered to. I hope that you will truly take the complaints into consideration because leaving one special meal only is truly discriminatory.

      Another option that other airlines already employ is to allow passengers with medical conditions that require a special diet an extra carry on allowance to be able to bring their own food on board, and enough food for the return journey. This allowance is usually of 5kg and the passenger requests this advance by providing a medical certificate.

      Thank you for understanding.

      Candie Borg Cardona

      I never got another reply. I think it is about time that I contact them again about the issue…..

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