An Airline Served A Single Banana For Its Vegan Meal

There are exceptions to every rule, but in general, airline food has earned a less-than-sterling reputation over the years. These days, you're lucky to be fed a complimentary snack of pretzels or a woefully undersized wafer cookie. If you want a meal and you're stuck in coach or comfort, you have to pay extra for it. Then, it's up to you to decide whether you want a bland and flavorless chicken or pasta dish, accompanied by a tiny dinner roll and a salad consisting of iceberg lettuce and a single cucumber. And there are certain foods that you'd probably be wise to just avoid altogether on airplanes out of bacterial precaution such as seafood, deli meats, and dairy (per CNBC).

Compounding the problem, scientific studies have even been conducted demonstrating that our senses of taste and smell are dulled when we fly, with the dry, pressurized air in the cabin adversely affecting our palates (via Science ABC). That being said, some airlines do seem to try harder than others — we ranked U.S. airline food from best to worst if you want to factor it into your future travel plans. However, it's an international airline that has been receiving bad press recently for serving a single banana as its vegan meal.

'Would you like chopsticks with your banana?'

A passenger named Kris Chari was flying on a Japan Airlines flight en route to Jakarta, Indonesia, when they requested a vegan breakfast. Now, when most of us envision a breakfast, we're probably thinking of more than just a single piece of fruit.

But not Japan Airlines. They served Chari a lone banana, and to top it off, they provided a set of chopsticks with which to eat it. Not sure what it's like to try to eat a banana with chopsticks, but it's probably not the easiest way of consuming one. Chari, understandably, mistook the banana at first for an appetizer, but the rest of the "meal" never materialized (per Today). He shared his experience on the forum Flyer Talk, and the world took notice. In response, VegNews even published a list of airlines that are offering real choices in vegan meals that go beyond the banana.

Despite the disappointment, Chari was sardonically complimentary of the banana, describing it as "one of the best I've had recently." Naturally, though, he was expecting a meal with a tad more sustenance. Japan Airlines said in a statement that the banana was standard fare in terms of a snack/refreshment for a "special meal" (via Travel Weekly).