Flying Virgin LHR to BOS
The next trip to the United States was a visit to the New England City of Boston. Flying to the East Coast was approximately a 7 hour trip, which is extremely shorter than a journey to the West Coast. For these travels, Virgin was the Airline provider and this blog will highlight how they handled travelling with allergies.
This was an evening trip and after a relatively short amount of time into the flight, the attendants handed out menus to each of the passengers. These menus set out the food options, which the following was available:
- For Starters; a Japanese Cucumber Salad
- For a Main Meal; Chicken in Mushroom Sauce, Chilli Con Carne or Pesto Pasta
- For Pudding; a Gu Pot
- For a treat; a Mile High Tea
These menu items were supported with easily identifiable icons, which highlighted whether the food was Lacto-ovo Vegetarian, Vegan, had no gluten ingredients or had no dairy ingredients. In terms of travelling with allergies, there was a note to refer to a member of crew for allergen information.
When the meals were handed out, I discussed my allergy requirements with a member of staff who was completely understanding and went to collect a copy of their allergen menu. The attendant then went through, with me, whether any of the menu items contained any relevant allergens. This was a very detailed allergen guide and I was impressed with the manner in which it was handled.
In addition, each of the food items were individually packaged and labelled except for the green salad (although this was covered in the allergen menu provided). The Chicken in Mushroom Sauce had an allergen label listing Soya, Sulphites, Celery and Milk, however my only criticism here is that there was another sentence that said that this may also contain traces of all other allergens (which, owing to the generic nature of that statement seemed like more like a disclaimer).
In summary I feel that the flight from London to Boston provided by Virgin Airlines catered very well for those travelling with allergies and I was certainly impressed with the allergen menu and the way in which the flight attendant read through this with me before enabling me to make an informed food choice. The only criticism was the disclaimer of traces of all allergens on the Chicken in Mushroom Sauce meal.