According to its website, the Canadian airline Westjet can provide eight special meals that have been designed to accommodate its passengers’ assorted dietary restrictions. If one of its flyers requests a diabetic-friendly meal, they’re supposed to get a low-sugar, low-salt combination of complex carbs that is “suitable for those who need to manage blood sugar levels.”
But when James Boyle asked for a diabetic-friendly meal, he says that the airline gave him a soggy box filled with potatoes. There were mashed potatoes on the left, red potatoes on the right, and it was served with a dinner roll, a chocolate breakfast bar, and a side of what the actual fuck.
Global News reported that Boyle, a British DJ and music producer who performs under the name Breakage, was on a flight from Canada to the United Kingdom when he was given that weird box of carbs on carbs. “I’m not one for being a diva, but when I have a diabetic meal request, the last thing I expect is this,” he tweeted to Westjet. “Both legs of my return trip to Canada, the meals were literally solely based on carbohydrates and sugar, which are the two most dangerous foods to a diabetic.”
He also posted a photo of the potatoes and potatoes, and told the airline that, as far as allegedly diabetic-friendly meals go, this one was “not cool and very dangerous.” The other passengers, he told the Toronto Sun, were all given scrambled eggs. “I don’t know what would’ve happened [if he’d eaten the meal], and I dread to know what would have happened,” he said. “I didn’t choose to have this, I don’t enjoy having this […] It’s a kick in the face.”
Westjet sent a couple of tweets in response, and they didn’t read as sympathetic. “We apologize, but we’re working on rebuilding the inflight meal service, and we encourage guests to bring food from home on board if they like,” the airline wrote. It then posted a second reply under Boyle’s photo of his meal, telling him that the company had “yet to see the food served on board be a real point of concern for our guests.”
Maybe someone else logged into the @Westjet account, but the airline tried again, finally admitting that its previous responses “missed the mark.” (Boyle asked for an “actual apology,” and suggested that the airline needed to accept responsibility for what it had done, maybe so it wouldn’t give another diabetic passenger a giant pile of potatoes.)
“This is not the level of service or onboard experience we strive to deliver and we sincerely apologize for our initial response to this guest’s serious concerns,” a Westjet spokesperson told VICE. “We take the safety of all guests and crew seriously and are investigating the situation with our catering team and suppliers to determine what occurred and how this can be avoided in the future.”
A good start would be maybe not serving potatoes with potatoes as a “meal,” to anyone.
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