An Emirates passenger who suffers from celiac disease and has to abide by a strictly gluten-free diet says she experienced the worst flight of her life after a flight attendant accidentally gave her a gluten-laden croissant during a 15 hours flight from Dubai to Los Angeles.
Chloë Chapdelaine, who is a photographer, content creator and ‘luxury stay reviewer’, had just wrapped up a trip to Nepal and was travelling back to Los Angeles when she accidentally ate half of the croissant at the start of the flight.
In a now-viral video posted to TikTok, Chloë says she had to lock herself in an airplane lavatory as she tried to vomit out the gluten and prevent herself from having a panic attack.
“This is the reality for a lot of people living with celiac disease”,” Chloe says in the video which was captioned ‘worst flight of my life’.
“So I’ve been gluten-free for almost 10 years, and I haven’t eaten any, but I was told I was given a gluten-free croissant with my gluten-free airplane meal and it turns out it wasn’t, and I’ve eaten half it”, Chloe explained.
Chloe had ordered a gluten-free and received a meal which had gluten-free stickers on various food items except for the croissant. In the video, Chloe says she regrets not double-checking that the croissant wasn’t gluten-free, but she only did so after eating half of the croissant and realising it tasted too good.
A flight attendant then went to confirm that the croissant was gluten-free but discovered that they had given out the wrong food.
“So anyways, I’m in the bathroom right now trying to make myself sick so I can mitigate the symptoms, and I’m trying not to have a panic attack,” a visibly distraught Chloe continued in the video.
Chloe says she is hypersensitive to gluten and can react even to trace amounts.
She later said that she spent the rest of the flight with stomach cramps and felt nauseous. Chloe fears that she’ll suffer from depression and brain fog for the next two weeks due to consuming gluten.
In response to the complaint, Emirates confirmed it was investigating exactly what had happened.
“We are disappointed to hear Ms. Chapdelaine’s complaint,” a spokesperson for the Dubai-based airline said. “Emirates aims to cater to all passenger-specific needs by offering a number of special meals that cover as many medical, dietary and religious requirements as possible.”
“The safety and health of our customers is taken very seriously. Ms. Chapdelaine has reached out to our Customer Affairs team, and we are investigating the issue,” the statement continued.
Celiac disease is a lifelong autoimmune disorder that damages the small intestine when gluten is eaten. Consuming gluten can cause a variety of symptoms for Celiac sufferers, including diarrhea, bloating, weight loss, and fatigue.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.