How a mixed vegetarian meal delayed an Air India flight to London

It has been a tough two weeks for Air India when it comes to in-flight meals. In the past few days, the carrier has twice made the news regarding vegetarian and non-vegetarian meal options on two of its international flights. The last incident is from London Heathrow before the flight departed.

Calculation error

On March 31, Air India flight AI 172 from London to Ahmedabad was delayed for around 20 minutes after the crew realized they were not sufficiently supplied with vegetarian meals. Flight attendants discovered that the catering company miscalculated the order and provided fewer vegetarian meals than needed.

According to a Times of India report, the London-based catering company loaded 28 non-vegetarian meals and four vegetarian options onto the plane, despite the original order being quite the opposite – 28 vegetarian and four non-vegetarian meals.

YOU quote someone familiar with the subject saying,

“The meals were loaded into the lunch oven cage which was in the cooler cart and was intended for the second meal service. The oven cage was covered with a huge piece of paper that had ’28 Veg and 4 Non-Veg’ written on it. “

However, the cabin crew was extra cautious due to a recent meal incident on another AI flight and checked that everything was in order.


Air India has tried to improve its customer service. Photo: Getty Images

flight delay

A precautionary check revealed the confusion and the flight had to be delayed until the catering company could supply the correct number of meals. Fortunately, the flight had few passengers and the caterers did not have to spend too much time correcting the error.

YOU quote the source who said,

“The crew informed the captain, the airline station manager and asked the catering company to deliver the correct order. The flight was delayed about 20 minutes, but that was better than taking off with 28 vegetarian meals.

Indeed, for a flight of almost 8 hours, insufficient meals for passengers would not have been welcomed, especially as the new owners of AI, the Tatas, try to reinvent the image of the carrier.

Previous Incident

The London delay closely followed another incident on an Air India flight from Tokyo Narita to New Delhi. On March 25, cabin crew members of flight AI 307 mistakenly served a non-vegetarian meal to a passenger who had booked a “Jain meal”. A Jain meal is completely lacto-vegetarian and also avoids root vegetables like onions, garlic, potatoes, etc.

Although the passenger acknowledged that the crew did not do this intentionally, he criticized them for not taking the matter seriously. Air India subsequently immobilized the crew members involved and launched an investigation into the incident.

What do you think of Air India’s catering services? What kind of experiences have you had with AI Meals? Share your thoughts in the comments section.

Source: The Times of India


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