In the past when we fly to Europe, we’ve flown American Airlines. It’s just been easier. We live in Charlotte, and since that is an American hub, we generally can get better deals than with the other airlines. This time, we found a deal to Frankfurt through Delta and decided to switch it up.

delta gluten free

Requesting a Gluten Free Meal

Previously, I haven’t requested a special meal on the plane. I always forgot to call, didn’t want to be a bother, and just decided to make do. It doesn’t do me any favors, and the past two times we’ve flown to Europe, I’ve gotten there with a belly ache.

This time, I was perusing around in our Delta reservation, saw how easy it was to request a gluten free meal, and decided to jump on it. You can still request meals by calling Delta customer service at 1-800-221-1212. But, I found it much easier just to add it to our Special Service Requests under “My Trips” on the app and once you’re logged into your account on the website.

I could obviously only request a gluten free meal for the legs of our flight that provided a meal. For us, that was the flights from JFK to Frankfurt and from Frankfurt to Atlanta on the way back. On our other two legs to and from Charlotte, only a snack was offered. For us, it was Cheez Its which are not gluten free. No other option was available.

cheez its

My Experience During the Flight

Once onboard for both flights, the flight attendant confirmed my request with me and then put a sticker on my chair so the other attendants would know who to deliver the special meal to. They did hand out these menus to everyone onboard (including me), but it didn’t apply to me other than the scheduling.

delta food menu
delta food menu
delta food menu



On the flight there, our pre-arrival meal was breakfast. I was served an Udi’s gluten free bagel (no cream cheese or butter) with a banana and orange juice. Again, I’ve had Udi’s bread and bagels in the past, but it was so dry (especially without any condiments) it was almost impossible to eat.

delta gluten free breakfast
delta gluten free breakfast


Our pre-arrival meal on the flight from Frankfurt to Atlanta was a small lunch. I was served a roasted tomato and cheese frittata. It was pretty good. No complaints.


My entree for both flights was a chicken dish. I wish I had remembered to take a picture of what I got, but I was starving and completely forgot. On the way there, it was barbecue chicken with sweet potato mash and (I think) carrots. I was also served a salad with raspberry vinaigrette dressing and fruit for dessert. I also received a gluten free roll and butter. It was the hardest, driest bread I’ve ever eaten in my life. On the way back, it was chicken again with mashed potatoes and a vegetable (that I don’t recall what it was). Again, I got a salad with ranch dressing and fruit. This time, I didn’t get any bread. No big loss.


Like I said before, the snack service was always a drink and Cheez Its. No other option was available. On other flights, Delta has offered a gluten free snack mix or gluten free pretzels, but I’ve been told that Delta is no longer offering that option.

gluten free delta snack mix

On the flight from Frankfurt to Atlanta, there were two other opportunities to get snacks. During the time when the other passengers were receiving a warm cookie service, I was served gluten free crispy breadsticks with a Nutella-like dipping sauce and an apple. The ice cream that was served later was a chocolate Magnum mini bar which are gluten free and I was able to eat with everyone else. I was definitely relieved! Who wants to miss out on the ice cream service?!? I actually ate two bars, because right before we landed and the bars were starting to melt, the flight attendants were asking people to eat them. Don’t mind if I do. 😉

magnum mini bar
Photo by Deanne Revel

So that was my experience eating gluten free on a couple of Delta flights. I appreciated being able to get a gluten free meal. And, I especially appreciated getting to my destination without feeling sick!

Have you ever eaten gluten free on Delta or another airline? I’d love to hear about your experience in the comments below!