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No Diabetic Meals On UA/CO  
User currently offlineCoachClass From United States of America, joined Jan 2010, 441 posts, RR: 0
Posted (2 years 8 months 1 week 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 7103 times:

I am surprised that UA/CO doesn't offer a diabetic meal on its international flights. I believe CO stopped serving DBML quite some time ago, but it must be recent for UA because I had a DBML some years ago on UA flying to FCO. The only medical meal for UA/CO now is Gluten free meals. AA, DL, and US still offer DBML. Is a DBML going to be a thing of the past with all the cost cuttings at other US airlines? DBML seems to be no problem for most European airlines.

A DBML meal makes our diabetic lives a little bit easier, especially if you're insulin dependent going through a number of time zones. I can't imagine the issues going to Asia from the East Coast. A vegetarian meal is a poor substitute.

28 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineaerorobnz From Rwanda, joined Feb 2001, 7262 posts, RR: 13
Reply 1, posted (2 years 8 months 1 week 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 6916 times:

Offering meal options is an expensive enterprise believe it or not. Personally I think priority for offering Gluten free and Diabetic meals should be above just a standard special meal. It would not be hard to make a VGML/VLML/LSML or even the standard meal options as GFML or DBML suitable meals.

This is the same ethos as EK making all meals aboard their aircraft Halal as standard regardless of whether a MOML is requested, and offering a vegetarian option inflight as a choice rather than a special meal.


User currently offlinefrmrCapCadet From United States of America, joined May 2008, 1729 posts, RR: 1
Reply 2, posted (2 years 8 months 1 week 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 6829 times:

The last thing many of us who maintain very tight control over our blood sugars would want is a 'diabetic meal' , low fat and high carb, and, God forbid, no red meat. I will take my own food aboard, thanks, and supplement it with whatevery fits my low carb diet - and keep eyes, feet, kidneys, etc.


Buffet: the airline business...has eaten up capital...like..no other (business)
User currently offlineqf002 From Australia, joined Jul 2011, 2987 posts, RR: 2
Reply 3, posted (2 years 8 months 1 week 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 6784 times:

Quoting aerorobnz (Reply 1):
offering a vegetarian option inflight as a choice rather than a special meal.

Not true. On my recent flights with EK, none of the standard options were vegetarian, and crew were passing out vegetarian meals with the special meals (I know because my travel buddy had one   )


User currently offlinecmf From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (2 years 8 months 1 week 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 6666 times:

Quoting qf002 (Reply 3):
Not true. On my recent flights with EK, none of the standard options were vegetarian, and crew were passing out vegetarian meals with the special meals

There was a long time I did JFK-DXB monthly and only a handful of times was one of the standard meals vegetarian. Of course it was the first time so I considered not ordering vegetarian next time but very happy I did. Missed out on a couple of upgrades because of it but... c'est la vie.


User currently offlinedeltadawg From United States of America, joined May 2006, 776 posts, RR: 1
Reply 5, posted (2 years 8 months 1 week 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 6584 times:

As a type 1 daiabetic I can understand the wanting a diabetic meal from the perspective of "having it your way" but the reality is that when you go to Chick Fil A or McDonalds there is no diabetic meal per say so I see no reason why the airlines should have to supply one. Besides with most type 1 diabetics moving towards insulin pumps such as myself I would opt for the hopefully more appetizing non-diabetic meal and adjust my insulin for it. I routinely travel from ATL to CDG and ARN with no problems concerning my insulin or sugars from the onboard meals but I know everyone is different.

As a sidenote, I do remember back in 2002 though when at ATL security being told by security that if I could not prove I was a real diabetic by injecting myself with insulin (I had a vial and syringes in my carry on and did not wear a pump at that time) I was not going to be allowed to pass security and board the plane. I had to get to Chicago so I injected a small amount and grabbed a burger at Concourse B. Do any other diabetics have any strange stories like this while traveling?



GO Dawgs, Sic' em, woof woof woof
User currently offlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15781 posts, RR: 27
Reply 6, posted (2 years 8 months 1 week 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 6566 times:

My thinking is that grocery stores do not have diabetic aisles and restaurants don't usually have diabetic menus so diabetic people tend to learn how to eat "normal" foods in such a way as to meet their needs. There should be no reason why they couldn't do the same while flying, and I'm sure that the flight attendants can dig up a soda or an extra dessert if necessary.


Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently offlineTOMMY767 From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 6663 posts, RR: 9
Reply 7, posted (2 years 8 months 1 week 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 6563 times:

UA offers gluten free meals?? Wow, that's actually pretty impressive..


"KEEP CLIMBING" -- DELTA
User currently offlineBongodog1964 From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2006, 3638 posts, RR: 3
Reply 8, posted (2 years 8 months 1 week 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 6297 times:

Quoting deltadawg (Reply 5):
but the reality is that when you go to Chick Fil A or McDonalds there is no diabetic meal per say so I see no reason why the airlines should have to supply one.

However the diabetic person has a choice at Chick il A or McDonalds of eating somewhere else, that choice isn't available at 37,000 feet.


User currently offlineTWA902fly From United States of America, joined Dec 1999, 3128 posts, RR: 4
Reply 9, posted (2 years 8 months 1 week 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 6246 times:

Quoting Bongodog1964 (Reply 8):
However the diabetic person has a choice at Chick il A or McDonalds of eating somewhere else, that choice isn't available at 37,000 feet.

Sure it is... bring your own food, or fly an airline that does have diabetic meals. From the sounds of it, there's still plenty of airlines offering diabetic meals. Wouldn't be any different than choosing a restaurant based on whether or not it offers diabetic meals.

'902



life wasn't worth the balance, or the crumpled paper it was written on
User currently offlineAR385 From Mexico, joined Nov 2003, 6357 posts, RR: 31
Reply 10, posted (2 years 8 months 1 week 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 6228 times:
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Quoting BMI727 (Reply 6):
My thinking is that grocery stores do not have diabetic aisles and restaurants don't usually have diabetic menus so diabetic people tend to learn how to eat "normal" foods in such a way as to meet their needs. There should be no reason why they couldn't do the same while flying, and I'm sure that the flight attendants can dig up a soda or an extra dessert if necessary.

Grocery stores DO have a diabetic aisle. Or if they don´t, they will have diabetic friendly options alongside the normal options.

I agree that most restaurants do not have a "diabetic menu" but, if you ask, and if it´s a restaurant that´s concerned about keeping their clientele, they will be very happy to make your choices diabetic friendly. Of course, if you ask for a banana split with fudge, caramel and strawberry preserves as toppings, (a treat I gave up a loooooooong time ago) well, then you are either psychotic or suicidal. And if that´s the case, then there´s so much a restaurant can do.

As a type 2 diabetic, I have learned to not depend on anybody for my food. I do fly with carriers that have an option. I vote with my wallet. Thus why Internationally, I mostly fly LH.

However, if I am obliged to fly a carrier that offers no option, then I will adjust my meals accordingly.

But I´m certain once an airline realizes the cost of having a medical emergency that requires a landing in the middle of the night, in winter, in Keflavik, because of a badly informed or badly educated diabetic going into Diabetic Ketoacidosis, will make that airline think twice about not offering these meal options.

My two cents.

[Edited 2012-02-15 23:31:42]

User currently offlineBongodog1964 From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2006, 3638 posts, RR: 3
Reply 11, posted (2 years 8 months 1 week 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 6077 times:

Quoting TWA902fly (Reply 9):
Quoting Bongodog1964 (Reply 8):However the diabetic person has a choice at Chick il A or McDonalds of eating somewhere else, that choice isn't available at 37,000 feet.
Sure it is... bring your own food, or fly an airline that does have diabetic meals. From the sounds of it, there's still plenty of airlines offering diabetic meals. Wouldn't be any different than choosing a restaurant based on whether or not it offers diabetic meals.

If you live in a location where one airline has a monopoly, it can be inconvenient to choose an alternative. As to bring your own food, why when the meals are included in the ticket cost, should a passenger have to pay again for a suitable meal, when the airline is unwilling to to do so ? After all they provide meals for a lot of passengers whose requirements are probably far more expensive to cater for than diabetics.


User currently offlineqf002 From Australia, joined Jul 2011, 2987 posts, RR: 2
Reply 12, posted (2 years 8 months 1 week 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 6033 times:

Would it be acceptable for an airline to stop supporting passengers who are in wheelchairs? Slightly more extreme example, but surely it could be seen as the same situation??

User currently offlineajhYXE From Canada, joined May 2011, 77 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (2 years 8 months 1 week 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 5957 times:

Quoting qf002 (Reply 12):
Would it be acceptable for an airline to stop supporting passengers who are in wheelchairs?

Hasn't FR already done that?



Saskatchewan Roughriders, 2013 Grey Cup Champions! "GO RIDERS GO!"
User currently offlineqf002 From Australia, joined Jul 2011, 2987 posts, RR: 2
Reply 14, posted (2 years 8 months 1 week 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 5862 times:

Quoting ajhYXE (Reply 13):
Hasn't FR already done that?

So? That doesn't make it an acceptable thing to do. Comparing FR to an airline like UA/CO is ridiculous - I think it's safe to say that UA/CO have a slightly more customer related focus...


User currently offlinegabrielz From United States of America, joined May 2004, 92 posts, RR: 1
Reply 15, posted (2 years 8 months 1 week 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 5812 times:

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 6):

I'm surprised you misunderstand the normal issue for diabetics. It's not usually that they need more sugar, it's that they need to cut out carbs to minimize their insulin dependence.

For airline food: UA was among the first airlines to offer a low carb meal when the Atkins thing was super trendy. I remember that it was basically the plated meal (in C or F) with an extra veg side and no bread/potatoes.

-G


User currently offlineajhYXE From Canada, joined May 2011, 77 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (2 years 8 months 1 week 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 5684 times:

Quoting qf002 (Reply 14):
So? That doesn't make it an acceptable thing to do.

I never said it was.

Quoting qf002 (Reply 14):
Comparing FR to an airline like UA/CO is ridiculous

I wasn't comparing. I was simply asking a question.


Sorry for the miscommunication.



Saskatchewan Roughriders, 2013 Grey Cup Champions! "GO RIDERS GO!"
User currently offlineSkywatcher From Canada, joined Sep 2002, 460 posts, RR: 4
Reply 17, posted (2 years 8 months 1 week 4 days ago) and read 5182 times:

I've been type 1 diabetic for 30 years and have flown dozens of times all over the world during that time.

It may make me sound stupid (I really don't think I am but who knows) but I've never even thought of asking for a diabetic meal. I always bring a snack just in case something goes wrong and as far as the meals go (if there actually is one) I just eat what's healthy, leave the junk and adjust my insulin accordingly.

My big problem when on an aircraft is taking my insulin without anybody seeing, especially if I'm really far away from a restroom. If it's a really long flight doing a glucose test can be bothersome as well.


User currently offlineChimborazo From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2011, 73 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (2 years 8 months 1 week 4 days ago) and read 4995 times:

Quoting Bongodog1964 (Reply 11):
If you live in a location where one airline has a monopoly, it can be inconvenient to choose an alternative. As to bring your own food, why when the meals are included in the ticket cost, should a passenger have to pay again for a suitable meal, when the airline is unwilling to to do so ? After all they provide meals for a lot of passengers whose requirements are probably far more expensive to cater for than diabetics

The airlines cater to the 99.9% of customers that are "the norm". If the cost of offering a diabetic option is a lot more than how much business they think they'll lose by not offering it then... they won't offer it. It's a shame, but airlines are businesses and it's about profit.

Agreed there are a lot of things the airlines do that are more expensive: they would blanch at being in the media for not helping a passenger who needs a wheelchair but someone who is diabetic... bring your own food. Yes, I can imagine they're that cynical.

From just the few comments above I would imagine it's actually very rare for someone to "need" a diabetic meal. Huge person who requires 2 seats? No problem, they just lose out on one seat revenue (or 2 in my experience on BA as they always seemed to get a row). But the logistics of having to get a diabetic meal prepared and ready...


User currently offlinedelta2ual From United States of America, joined Dec 2007, 622 posts, RR: 1
Reply 19, posted (2 years 8 months 1 week 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 4841 times:

I care for many diabetics and I'm always surprised at how many are non-compliant; they eat whatever they want, test their glucose levels, and adjust their insulin accordingly. Having said that, if I have an elderly diabetic patient that wants cake, I'm not going to deprive them. If it makes them happy and we have a sliding scale to treat them with insulin, I say "have at it".
As a flight attendant, we were trained to treat all diabetics the same if they didn't feel well: offer them OJ. I wasn't a nurse then, so I just did what was protocol. I never had a diabetic issue with food onboard, and I flew for >17 years in total.



From the world's largest airline-to the world's largest airline. Delta2ual
User currently offlinejetmatt777 From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 2812 posts, RR: 33
Reply 20, posted (2 years 8 months 1 week 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 4812 times:

I wish this disease wasn't treated as a disability because it really isn't. At least for people who have Type 1, such as myself. I eat pretty normal, I adjust my insulin and cut out as many carbs as I can (but not all of them because your body does need carbs). If you control your insulin, exercise, and diet -- there is absolutely no difference between a "regular" person and a person with diabetes. The people you see who don't take care of themselves unfortunately give those of us who do take care of ourselves a bad reputation of being a burden on society by being overweight, lazy, and chronically sick. They are that way because of their own doing. (At least the majority, because there are some people who happen to have other issues which prevent them from staying active)

It makes me sick that you have to have a disease to have an excuse to eat healthy.....it shows where we are in society.



No info
User currently onlineJAGflyer From Canada, joined Aug 2004, 3548 posts, RR: 4
Reply 21, posted (2 years 8 months 1 week 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 4600 times:

Pardon my ignorance but what exactly makes a meal specifically "diabetic"? With all the choices available, you'd think it would be so much easier to just simplify the meal options. Kosher, Halal, Vegetarian/Vegan and Gluten-free. None of this low/high sodium, protein, fish, dish, mish, mash. Unless you require a meal which is distinctly different (ie. Kosher, Halal, or without a specific major ingredient such as gluten) you should be able to find something to eat out of the regular meal choice.


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User currently offlineAirCanada787 From Canada, joined Nov 2010, 285 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (2 years 8 months 1 week 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 4569 times:

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 6):

My thinking is that grocery stores do not have diabetic aisles and restaurants don't usually have diabetic menus so diabetic people tend to learn how to eat "normal" foods in such a way as to meet their needs. There should be no reason why they couldn't do the same while flying, and I'm sure that the flight attendants can dig up a soda or an extra dessert if necessary.
Quoting AR385 (Reply 10):
Grocery stores DO have a diabetic aisle. Or if they don´t, they will have diabetic friendly options alongside the normal options.

I wouldn't guess that every grocery store has a section for diabetics but most where I live do. Its often included in a 'natural health' section. When you go grocery shopping its easy to pick and choose what you want. When your way up in the air you have fewer choices. That said, it would seem from some of the comments on here and I would guess its a common practice for many diabetics to come prepared with some snacks to have on-board.

Quoting Bongodog1964 (Reply 8):
However the diabetic person has a choice at Chick il A or McDonalds of eating somewhere else, that choice isn't available at 37,000 feet.

  

Quoting Chimborazo (Reply 18):
The airlines cater to the 99.9% of customers that are "the norm".

A lot more than 0.1% of the population is diabetic. Numbers will of course vary from place to place. I recently same from stats from Canada that said 8.3% of the population is afflicted with the condition. That said maybe there should be a small surcharge for providing special meals? Since you can usually request them when booking online they could add perhaps a $5 fee to 'offset' the extra cost of providing special meals. After all we seem to be adding fees for all the other extras these days.



The mind, like a parachute, functions only when open.
User currently offlineMortyman From Norway, joined Aug 2006, 3989 posts, RR: 1
Reply 23, posted (2 years 8 months 1 week 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 4540 times:

Diabetics can eat everything others do. Just don't it 5 burges , 5 times a day. Have varity in you meals. Eat meat, chicken, fish, vegetables, fruit etc , eat regularly, smaller portions ( yes, I know, highly un american ) and adjust your insulin doze accordingly.

[Edited 2012-02-16 09:41:10]

[Edited 2012-02-16 09:41:42]

User currently offlinemcg From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 821 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (2 years 8 months 1 week 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 4496 times:

Quoting Skywatcher (Reply 17):
I've been type 1 diabetic for 30 years and have flown dozens of times all over the world during that time.

It may make me sound stupid (I really don't think I am but who knows) but I've never even thought of asking for a diabetic meal. I always bring a snack just in case something goes wrong and as far as the meals go (if there actually is one) I just eat what's healthy, leave the junk and adjust my insulin accordingly.

My big problem when on an aircraft is taking my insulin without anybody seeing, especially if I'm really far away from a restroom. If it's a really long flight doing a glucose test can be bothersome as well.

I've been type 1 diabetic for 30 years as well. I've never used a 'diabetic meal'. Your advice to 'eat what's healthy' is perfect. I couldn't care less if someone sees me injecting insulin. That shot is life, I figure it's someone else's problem if they see me and don't like it.


25 hrc773 : I'm not a diabetic but I am a former flight attendant and I was always amazed at how so many passengers trusted their dietary needs on us. From what I
26 mcg : I was giving an injection in a restaurant recently and I heard a young man a couple tables over say "what's that guy doing!!".
27 FWAERJ : So does AA. I had a gluten-free meal on AA from DFW-CDG in 2009, and not for dietary reasons. I learned from a friend that AA serves the special meal
28 nzrich : I think Diabetic is a pretty standard special meal . Even US Airways allows you to have a diabetic meal .
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