Woman in tears on 'worst flight ever' after croissant left her battling diarrhoea and depression for 15-hour flight
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A woman was left in tears on the ‘worst flight ever’ after a croissant left her battling diarrhoea for the 15-hour journey.
Chloë Chapdelaine, 25, suffers from coeliac disease, so ordered a gluten-free in-flight meal for her flight from Dubai to Los Angeles on Monday 5 June.
An hour into the flight, the Canadian content creator was served what appeared to be a gluten-free continental breakfast, which arrived on a tray labelled ‘gluten free’.
However, after cleaning off half of the croissant – which didn’t have a gluten-free sticker – Chapdelaine found herself wondering if it tasted too good to be true.
After checking with a flight attendant, the Emirates worker returned and confirmed the product wasn’t gluten-free.
Chapdelaine later took to TikTok, explaining in a video from inside the aeroplane bathroom what had happened, saying she suffered from nausea, stomach cramps, diarrhoea and itchy skin.
She also said she’ll have to cope with the 'mental repercussions' of what happened for two weeks, which include brain fog and feeling depressed.
Chapdelaine, from Calgary, Alberta, said she had a ‘really bad feeling’ as soon as she started eating the croissant.
"I then questioned why they would have such a good gluten-free brand on a flight and this is when I questioned whether it was actually gluten-free to a flight attendant,” she said.
"She [the air hostess] went pale and went to check and she came back and told me it wasn't meant to be on my plate and it wasn't gluten-free.
"Immediately I went into shock and started to panic.
"I am very highly sensitive and my coeliac disease will react to a trace amount or cross-contamination.
"To be told I had eaten half a non-gluten-free croissant, which is quite a large amount and bigger than what I have reacted to in the past, was really scary for me.
"I didn't know how I was going to react.”
Chapdelaine said she was upset as she knew there would be ‘a lot of symptoms’ she’d have to deal with ‘probably for the next couple of weeks or so’, adding it was a ‘moment of panic’.
"I went to the bathroom and made myself physically sick and was in there for about an hour throwing up, which was horrible,” she continued.
"I knew if I didn't do this it would cause my body a lot more damage.
"I could feel the other symptoms starting straight away as well and it just got worse from there.
"I started getting really bad stomach cramping, I got diarrhoea, I felt nauseous and my skin started itching - when I eat gluten I break out in hives or a rash.
"The initial symptoms for me are the stomach issues but after that the rash and hives follow.
"Then I have to deal with the mental effects like brain fog or I get depressed for the next couple of weeks."
Chapdelaine said she had not eaten gluten for almost nine years after being diagnosed with coeliac disease.
"For me this isn't the first time I have been exposed to gluten on a plane,” she said.
"Fortunately, last time I realised before I ate it but had I not, I would have eaten it and the same thing would have happened.
"It's not a one-time thing and also on half of the flights I have taken - I travel all the time - gluten-free meals are forgotten.
"I feel like a lot of people are quick to question why people with coeliac disease don't bring their own food on a flight.
"Firstly, this isn't always possible as when you're travelling and in a hotel room you don't have access to a kitchen to do so.
"Also, a lot of border security doesn't allow you to bring food items over the border.
"A lot of the time you can't bring meat, dairy or seeds or nuts, which eliminates a lot of products and makes it very difficult for me to bring on my own food onto the plane."
Chapdelaine is calling for airlines to take allergies and intolerances on flights more seriously, believing coeliac disease is not ‘taken as seriously’ as nut allergies sometimes.
"I just hope the airlines specifically take allergies or just medical conditions seriously when it comes to serving people food on planes because it can have lasting effects for lots of people,” she said, adding that while the Emirates flight attendants were sympathetic, after filing a formal complaint she is yet to hear back from the airline.
Tyla contacted Emirates for comment who said: “We are disappointed to hear Ms. Chapdelaine’s complaint. 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.”