What You Need To Know About Gluten Free Airline Travel


Airline travel is one thing, but airline travel while gluten free can be extra stressful. Considering what gluten free options there are at the airport, on the plane, and at the destination is just the start of the concerns.

When traveling by plane and requiring a gluten free diet, always plan ahead of time for your options and reconfirm with the airline that they have your dietary need noted. Have a backup plan in case there is a mistake made. At your destination, ensure you have a plan for safe food including preparation.

Traveling by air is likely the most stressful way to travel while needing to eat gluten free. We aren’t eating gluten free because we like it better, our entire vacation or business trip could be ruined by making mistakes in our plans. Traveling with kids who need to be gluten free adds another layer of difficulty as well.

What You Need To Know About Gluten Free Airline Travel

When Gluten Free And Traveling By Airplane…

One of the first questions I hear about is what airline is the best to fly with or what options do each of the airlines have? I have attempted to put together a resource for those looking to fly and require a gluten free diet whether it is due to Celiac Disease, Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity, or the myriad of other reasons someone may need to be strictly gluten free.

The answer to this question is usually dependent on the location and destination rather than the airline itself.

I’ve compiled a list of the common commercial airlines and the information that pertains to gluten free. If you are deciding between two airlines for your flights or looking at what to expect from the flight you already booked, scroll down to the airline and you will find the basic information.

I have compiled this information from the airlines’ websites, talking to the airline directly, and some information may have been gathered from personal experiences of myself or from reviews. This information may change over time and I can’t guarantee the accuracy in future times although I do strive to keep my posts as updated as possible.

Scroll to the airline in question for the basic information you may want to know including whether gluten free meals or snacks are offered, how far before your trip you may need to request them, and whether a carry-on bag is included. For further information, you should visit the airlines’ websites.

Please note that I do not recommend relying on the airline to provide food that does not have cross-contamination. All airlines I looked into had disclaimers to this effect.

Gluten Free Travel Information Hub

For more information on traveling while gluten free, see the below links for additional information.

Gluten Free Travel Guide – For general information on all types of travel when you need to maintain a gluten free diet.

Gluten Free Airlines – A list of airlines with information on airlines that offer gluten free options, carry-on allowances, and more.

Gluten Free Travel By Air – Essential tips, packing advice, and food ideas for successful gluten free plane trips.

When You Can’t Pack Your Food – How to stay gluten free in a new place when you can’t bring your own supplies.

What To Consider For Gluten Free Accommodations – A list of questions to ask when staying somewhere related to gluten free and the pros and cons of different types of accommodations.

Traveling Gluten Free With

Aer Lingus

Meals Served Most Flights
Gluten Free Options
Yes
Special Meal Request Deadline
48 Hours
Carry On
For A Fee

Additional Information
The airline states “Excludes wheat, barley, oats and rye. Accordingly, we don’t offer bread and pastries/cakes (unless wheat free) or any flour-based products.”


Traveling Gluten Free With

Air Asia

Meals Served Some Flights
Gluten Free Options
No
Special Meal Request Deadline

Carry On
Included

Additional Information
All meals served are at an additional cost, but there are no gluten free options.


Traveling Gluten Free With

Air Canada

Meals Served Some Flights
Gluten Free Options
Yes
Special Meal Request Deadline
24 Hours
Carry On
Included

Additional Information
Special Meals are available on international flights, or for premium economy and business class in North America. No Special Meals are available on flights that serve “Air Canada Bistro.”


Traveling Gluten Free With

Air China

Meals Served Some Flights
Gluten Free Options
Yes
Special Meal Request Deadline
24 Hours
Carry On
Included

Additional Information


Traveling Gluten Free With

Air France

Meals Served Most Flights
Gluten Free Options
Yes
Special Meal Request Deadline
24 Hours
Carry On
Included

Additional Information
From the airline “This meal does not contain gluten-based food products or products that may contain gluten.”


Traveling Gluten Free With

AirTran Airways

Meals Served Not Offered
Gluten Free Options
Yes
Special Meal Request Deadline
No Requests
Carry On
Included

Additional Information
No meals are served, but there are gluten free snack options. They do not take gluten free requests.


Traveling Gluten Free With

Alaska Airlines

Meals Served On Flights Over 1,100 Miles
Gluten Free Options
No
Special Meal Request Deadline

Carry On
Included

Additional Information
Some snacks may be gluten free, but no gluten free meals or information on cross contamination.


Traveling Gluten Free With

Allegiant Air

Meals Served Not Offered
Gluten Free Options
Maybe
Special Meal Request Deadline

Carry On
For A Fee

Additional Information
Some snacks may be gluten free, but they are only available to order once onboard. There is nothing listed as specifically gluten free.


Traveling Gluten Free With

American Airlines

Meals Served On Flights Over 2200 Miles
Gluten Free Options
Yes
Special Meal Request Deadline
24 Hours
Carry On
Included

Additional Information
From the airline’s website: “Gluten-intolerant This meal eliminates all foods prepared with wheat, rye, barley and oats.”


Traveling Gluten Free With

ANA Airways

Meals Served Most Flights
Gluten Free Options
Yes
Special Meal Request Deadline
48 Hours
Carry On
Included

Additional Information
There may be gluten free snack options available, but some classes on board must pay for all meals. Please note that bread may be served to all passengers and is not gluten free. Here is what the airline says about their gluten free meal, “Not suitable for those who are allergic to wheat flour. Please note that we cannot completely prevent risks of cross contamination during the production process.”


Traveling Gluten Free With

Avelo Airlines

Meals Served Not Offered
Gluten Free Options
No
Special Meal Request Deadline

Carry On
For A Fee

Additional Information
Water and a cookie is served together in a sealed package to all passengers. No gluten free options are available.


Traveling Gluten Free With

Breeze Airways

Meals Served Not Offered
Gluten Free Options
No
Special Meal Request Deadline

Carry On
For A Fee

Additional Information
Drink and snack options are offered, but there are no gluten free requests.


Traveling Gluten Free With

British Airways

Meals Served Most Flights
Gluten Free Options
Yes
Special Meal Request Deadline
24 Hours
Carry On
Included

Additional Information
From the airline, “Does not contain wheat, wheat flour, barley oats, rye, bread, cakes (unless wheat free), pastry or any flour-based products.”


Traveling Gluten Free With

Cathay Pacific Airways

Meals Served On Long Haul Flights
Gluten Free Options
Yes
Special Meal Request Deadline
24 Hours
Carry On
Included

Additional Information
From the airline, “This meal excludes wheat, buckwheat or wheat flour, rye, oats, barley, bread or any flour-based products.”


Traveling Gluten Free With

China Eastern

Meals Served Most Flights
Gluten Free Options
No
Special Meal Request Deadline

Carry On
Not Allowed

Additional Information
Carry on is not allowed on international flights except in first class. There are reviews that mention gluten free options, but no mention on the airline’s website.


Traveling Gluten Free With

China Southern

Meals Served Some Flights
Gluten Free Options
Yes
Special Meal Request Deadline
24 Hours
Carry On
Included

Additional Information
From the airline, “GLUTEN INTOLERANT MEAL Gluten free diet avoids any form of gluten.”


Traveling Gluten Free With

Delta Airlines

Meals Served On Flights Over 6.5 Hours
Gluten Free Options
Yes
Special Meal Request Deadline
24 Hours
Carry On
Included

Additional Information
Airline recommends notifying staff at the departure gate of gluten free meal request to ensure it makes it onto the flight.


Traveling Gluten Free With

easyJet

Meals Served Most Flights
Gluten Free Options
Yes
Special Meal Request Deadline

Carry On
For A Fee

Additional Information
All meals are available at an additional cost. Gluten free options may be available, but the menu varies by destination. There are no gluten free requests.


Traveling Gluten Free With

Emirates

Meals Served On Flights Over 2 Hours
Gluten Free Options
Yes
Special Meal Request Deadline
24 Hours
Carry On
For A Fee

Additional Information


Traveling Gluten Free With

EVA Air

Meals Served Most Flights
Gluten Free Options
Yes
Special Meal Request Deadline
24 Hours
Carry On
Included

Additional Information
Meals are not available in all classes. From the airline, “Gluten Intolerant Meal (GFML) Ensuring gluten from any source is not present in foods.


Traveling Gluten Free With

Frontier Airlines

Meals Served Not Offered
Gluten Free Options
No
Special Meal Request Deadline

Carry On
For A Fee

Additional Information
Snacks are offered on board for purchase, but there are no gluten free options.


Traveling Gluten Free With

Hainan Airlines

Meals Served Most Flights
Gluten Free Options
Yes
Special Meal Request Deadline
24 Hours
Carry On
Included

Additional Information
From the airline, “GFML Gluten Free Meal: This meal contains no wheat, rye, barley, oats or any flour-based products derived from these grains.”


Traveling Gluten Free With

Hawaiian Airlines

Meals Served On International Flights
Gluten Free Options
Yes
Special Meal Request Deadline
48 Hours
Carry On
Included

Additional Information
No meals are served on domestic flights, although there may be snacks. No gluten free options for snacks.


Traveling Gluten Free With

Japan Airlines

Meals Served On Flights Over 2 Hours
Gluten Free Options
Yes
Special Meal Request Deadline
24 Hours
Carry On
Included

Additional Information
Options vary by destination. From the airline, “Low-Gluten Meal (GFML) This meal is designed for passengers on a gluten-free diet. It is prepared with foods made with low-gluten grains.”


Traveling Gluten Free With

JetBlue

Meals Served On Flights Over 3.5 Hours
Gluten Free Options
Yes
Special Meal Request Deadline
24 Hours
Carry On
Included

Additional Information
Gluten free is only available to and from London.


Traveling Gluten Free With

Lufthansa

Meals Served On Flights Over 185 Minutes
Gluten Free Options
Yes
Special Meal Request Deadline
24 Hours
Carry On
Included

Additional Information
From the airline, “Meal for gluten-intolerant passengers In the case of gluten intolerance (gluten protein): The meal will be prepared without ingredients containing gluten”


Traveling Gluten Free With

Norwegian Air Shuttle

Meals Served On Flights Over 2 Hours 15 Minutes
Gluten Free Options
Yes
Special Meal Request Deadline
36 Hours
Carry On
For A Fee

Additional Information


Traveling Gluten Free With

Qantas Airways

Meals Served Some Flights
Gluten Free Options
Yes
Special Meal Request Deadline
24 Hours
Carry On
Included

Additional Information
Meals are not available on Government facilitated flights, or flights between Auckland and Cairns. Meals are in economy class on flights over 3.5 hours. From the airline, “Gluten and Dairy Friendly meal: Suitable for passengers who require meals that does not contain gluten or dairy. Can contain: Gluten free breads, grains, soy milk. Does not contain: Wheat, rye, oats, barley or malt, any milk or milk products, peanuts, tree nuts or nut products. Also suitable for: Low lactose meals.”


Traveling Gluten Free With

Qatar Airways

Meals Served Most Flights
Gluten Free Options
Yes
Special Meal Request Deadline
24 Hours
Carry On
Included

Additional Information
Gluten free meals are not available on flights to Oman, Kuwait, or other Gulf countries. From the airline, “Gluten-Free Meal (GFML) – This meal is for customers on a gluten-free diet. It may contain: Lean meats, fish, rice, dairy products, fresh vegetables and fruit. Does not contain: Wheat and wheat flour, barley, oat and rye-based sauces, soups, breads, crackers, cakes, pastas, sweets, soups, sausages, starch and gravy.”


Traveling Gluten Free With

Saudi Airlines

Meals Served Most Flights
Gluten Free Options
Yes
Special Meal Request Deadline
Not Offered
Carry On
Included

Additional Information
Special requests are not taken, but any flight that offers meal service has gluten free options available on board.


Traveling Gluten Free With

Scandinavian Airlines

Meals Served On Flights Over 80 Minutes
Gluten Free Options
Yes
Special Meal Request Deadline
24 Hours
Carry On
For A Fee

Additional Information
From the airline, “LACTOSE-FREE & GLUTEN-FREE MEAL Meal adapted to travelers with lactose and gluten intolerance.”


Traveling Gluten Free With

Singapore Airlines

Meals Served Most Flights
Gluten Free Options
Yes
Special Meal Request Deadline
48 Hours
Carry On
For A Fee

Additional Information
From the airline, “Gluten Intolerant Meal (GFML) No wheat, rye, barley and bran in any form (including food items which may contain such ingredients) are served for this meal.”


Traveling Gluten Free With

SkyWest Airlines

Meals Served Not Offered
Gluten Free Options
No
Special Meal Request Deadline

Carry On
Included

Additional Information
No food is served on SkyWest Airlines.


Traveling Gluten Free With

Southwest Airlines

Meals Served Not Offered
Gluten Free Options
No
Special Meal Request Deadline

Carry On
Included

Additional Information
Snacks are offered on flights over 176 miles, but no gluten free options are available.


Traveling Gluten Free With

Spirit Airlines

Meals Served Most Flights
Gluten Free Options
Yes
Special Meal Request Deadline

Carry On
For A Fee

Additional Information
Meals that the airline identifies as “gluten intolerant” are available. There is no complimentary food or drinks on Spirit Airlines, but if you wish to purchase onboard there is at least one option.


Traveling Gluten Free With

Sun Country Airlines

Meals Served Not Offered
Gluten Free Options
No
Special Meal Request Deadline

Carry On
For A Fee

Additional Information
No meals are served on Sun Country Airlines, but snacks may be available. However, there are no gluten free options. Snacks may include soft pretzels or other bread products.


Traveling Gluten Free With

United Airlines

Meals Served On Flights Over 2000 Miles
Gluten Free Options
Yes
Special Meal Request Deadline
24 Hours
Carry On
For A Fee

Additional Information
The gluten free meals they offer are identified by the airline as “gluten intolerant” and may not be appropriate for those with Celiac Disease.


Traveling Gluten Free With

US Airways

Meals Served On Flights Over 2000 Miles
Gluten Free Options
Yes
Special Meal Request Deadline
24 Hours
Carry On
Included

Additional Information
Gluten Free meals are available on domestic flights over 2,000 miles, transcontinental flights, between Hawaii and US mainland, all flights departing the US, and all flights inbound to the US. From the airline, “This meal is available for customers who are gluten-intolerant, and does not contain wheat, barley, rye or oats.”


Traveling Gluten Free With

WestJet

Meals Served On International Flights
Gluten Free Options
Yes
Special Meal Request Deadline
24 Hours
Carry On
Included

Additional Information
Gluten free meals are only available on flights between Canada and Europe, however some gluten free snacks may be offered on all flights.


Fawn

My passion is supporting those who need to be gluten free. After my family had to transition to eating gluten free I realized how difficult it is. It is more than finding a recipe. It is about how to navigate social situations, deal with isolation, and other things that come along with it. I live in Oregon with my family, cats, and chickens.

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