Vegan business class passenger shocked after being served single banana

Photo the passenger took of the banana plated on a tray in front of them
In-flight meals are rarely worthy of a Michelin star, but a vegan passenger was perhaps more underwhelmed than usual when they received a banana after takeoff. Photo credit: @Kris_Chari / FlyerTalk

In-flight meals are rarely worthy of a Michelin star, but a vegan passenger was perhaps more underwhelmed than usual when they received a single fruit - with some eating utensils - in business class.

On a Japan Airlines flight that departed from Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in Jakarta, Indonesia, business class passenger Kris Chari was shocked when a lone banana was placed in front of them shortly after takeoff, with a drink and some chopsticks. 

Chari, who had requested vegan meals, was later served a "barely seasoned" spaghetti for their in-flight lunch, they said in a post to FlyerTalk, an online community for aviation aficionados and frequent flyers to discuss the trials and tribulations of air travel. 

"Before takeoff today my flight attendant confirmed that I ordered VGML [Vegetarian Vegan Meal] and that my breakfast was a banana, by which I mistakenly assumed she meant that breakfast included a banana," Chari wrote on the forum. 

"When she served the banana after takeoff I thought it was just an underwhelming appetizer, but it was in fact the entire meal service! It was a really good banana - one of the best I've had recently - but it still seems more appropriate as a snack. Is catering out of CGK typically this underwhelming?"

Chari added: "Lunch was barely seasoned spaghetti and my meals on other Japan Airlines flights were also bad, but nothing was quite as insubstantial as this. It was cute of the crew to serve the banana with chopsticks, though."

A photo shared by Chari showed the banana in all its glory, plated on a white dish alongside a fizzing beverage in a glass, with the pair of chopsticks placed neatly in front. The image was captioned: "Business class breakfast on JAL."

In response to Chari's post, user 'dkc192' did some digging and found the menu for the flight in question hadn't offered a formal breakfast service, instead providing "light snacks" after takeoff. 

"There isn't really a formal breakfast service after takeoff. Instead, there are some light snacks, such as a cheese plate or noodles, which I suspect you could have requested from the general menu in addition to your VGML banana. The main meal service is lunch, probably served 2-3 hours out of NRT, which it appears you got," they said.

Chari replied: "Ah thanks for checking, and I guess a banana isn’t quite as surprising for a snack service. The spaghetti was served before landing, but I'm still confused about why they wouldn’t serve the main meal after takeoff.

"(And yes, when I asked they offered me almonds and a couple [of] watermelon cubes, both of which were great)," they added. 

Last year, a travel blogger went viral after sharing that she'd ordered several vegan meals on an Air Canada flight, but was served nothing more than a bottle of water during meal service.