In a shocking incident, an airline in Japan served one banana and a pair of chopsticks to a business class passenger who ordered vegan food during the in-flight meal. In the past, there have been instances where passengers ordering vegan meals, have been left feeling underwhelmed as the crew offered them a bottle of water, and even a napkin, to meet their hunger pangs. The most recent incident took place aboard a plane of Japanese airline.

A passenger flying business class on a Japan Airlines flight from Jakarta to Tokyo was surprised to receive only a single banana as his entire inflight vegan meal. Kris Chari, who booked a business class flight on Japan Airlines, ordered a VGML (vegan) meal for the seven-hour journey. However, he was shocked when he was served a single banana as his entire vegan meal. Chari stated that he expected to receive a more substantial meal, equivalent to the non-vegan snack served to other passengers.

“Instead, I was served a single banana…It’s a bit insulting to be served a single banana while others are given a far more substantial and flavorful menu. It seems especially important given the growth in the number of vegans and vegetarians,” he told Insider.

The airline spokesperson has since apologized for not being able to meet the expectations of the passenger.

The Facts of the Matter

Airlines have long struggled to provide vegan options that are on par with their non-vegan counterparts. While airlines have made some progress in offering vegan meals, the offerings are often underwhelming, lacking in flavor, and not as substantial as non-vegan options. This has led to frustration and disappointment among vegan passengers who feel that their dietary requirements are not being taken seriously by airlines.

In one such incident reported, a business class passenger aboard the Japan Airlines, was served one single banana, and a pair of chopsticks, for his in-flight meal.

Business Class Passenger Served Banana in Vegan Meal

A Japan Airlines passenger on a flight from Soekarno-Hatta International Airport (CGK) to Tokyo Narita Airport (NRT) received an unexpected in-flight meal after pre-booking a Vegetarian Vegan Meal (VGML). Instead of a typical vegan meal consisting of several plant-based items, the passenger was served a single banana.

“Bit insulting…” Passenger Shares

Despite the initial surprise, Chari saw the funny side of the situation and even described the banana as “one of the best” he had had in recent times. However, he did question whether the catering out of CGK was typically underwhelming.

In a Business Insider report, Chari gave more insight about the incident, and was quoted saying, “It’s a bit insulting to be served a single banana while others are given a far more substantial and flavorful menu. It’s a bit insulting to be served a single banana while others are given a far more substantial and flavorful menu.”

Chari Expected Snack Equivalent to Meals for Non-Vegan Passengers

According to Kris Chari, the Japan Airlines passenger who received a banana as his in-flight meal, he had expected to receive a snack that was equivalent to what non-vegan passengers were being served. He had expected items like a sandwich, salad, vegan cheese, or a baguette, but was surprised when he received only a single banana.

Hilarity in Chaos – Banana Served with Chopsticks

To add to the humor of the situation, the crew provided Chari with cutlery and chopsticks to consume his banana, which was the only food item served. A picture on Japan Airlines’ special in-flight meals page shows a typical vegan meal consisting of several plant-based items.

A spokesperson for Japan Airlines apologized for the inconvenience and not meeting Chari’s expectations.


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