My parents are allergic to wheat and milk, something that has involved frequent trips to the hospital from time to time. Neither them nor I have any issues with this, as onboard service can't really be taken for granted anymore - and the fact that all proper modern airports have a bunch of shops selling meals to bring onboard in the airport has pretty much made onboard and/or special meals unnecessary.
While I don't have any objections towards an airline deciding not to offer special meals anymore, I am however a bit bewildered by the specifics of this decision. They say they are going to offer a selection of "hot sandwiches".
Actual allergy or not, gluten is one of the most widespread and fastest growing allergies out there. I know several airlines (primarily charter airlines) that are making a change towards only offering gluten (and milk) free meals only, often going organic at the same time. The alternatives have never been more widespread, cheap and of a better quality. The stone-age food craze has opened up even more alternatives. Even McDonalds has begun offering gluten free burger buns! It is obvious that many people want it, regardless of allergies or not. Surely they could have gone for something else (and more interesting too), other than completely normal sandwiches?
I am old enough to tell you that I never heard of a gluten allergy until the mid 90s. Now a day doesnt go by that I dont come across someone that gets viciously sick if they have any gluten at all.
The food we eat has changed, especially processed food. Manufacturers constantly try to lower the price of their products by filling them with cheap alternatives such as wheat-flour and milk products. Try living as a gluten and milk allergic for just one day. Every single time you buy a product you need to squint through the miniscule text on the rear of the packaging, to read the ingredients list.
Marinated meat? Nope, typically contains gluten of some kind.
A tasty sandwich? Better make sure they didn't use butter.
Sausages? The manufacturer decided to go cheap and mixed the meat with flour.
All those E-numbers? Some of them might contain gluten products.
Potato chips/crisps? Only the plain sea salt variants, and no dips.
Co-worker brought a cake to celebrate his/her birthday? Not for you, you will just have to make do with an apple. Every single ******* time.
It's not exactly an easy or convenient way to live, and I wouldn't have done it if I had a choice
Thankfully, things are changing for the better where I am living.