Living and travelling gluten free in the UK, Australia & around the world!

Qantas gluten free meals – domestic flights

Travelling with coeliac disease can present extra challenges. On your Qantas booking, you can make a special meal request under ‘manage your booking’ – please see the notes at the bottom of the post for more information on this.  It is a good idea to take emergency snacks with you as there is always a risk that the meal doesn’t get loaded or that you have to switch flights for some reason and your meal can’t follow you (this has happened to me twice).  Click here for some ideas of snacks to take with you.

**Please note, this post was written pre-Covid, so is no longer representative as Rowie’s Cakes ceased as a supplier and flights under 3 1/2 hours no longer get a GF meal**

Qantas gluten free

 

Below documents some of the meals I have had on various routes within Australia in economy (Melbourne to Sydney, Brisbane and Cairns*).

I have enjoyed the meals prepared by Rowie’s Cakes, which is a 100% gluten free kitchen and also caters for multiple food intolerances. Rowie’s offerings have been supplied for lunch and I really enjoyed the chicken toastie.  The burger overall is pretty good but be careful as mine was served extremely hot.  Sadly Rowie’s Cakes closed due to the covid-19 pandemic, so you will no longer see these meals on Qantas flights.

Qantas gluten free lunch

For evening meals, there is often a curry, which suits me fine!  Much better for me than fish, which seems to be the standard gluten free option on international flights.

qantas gluten free meal 

With a main meal you often receive a ‘meal bag’ with a water, cutlery, soy milk for coffee and a cake.

Qantas gluten free snack

I hadn’t heard of Treats by Madhouse before so contacted them to find out how they prepare their gluten free items and found that they follow strict wash down and testing procedures, including testing final products for traces of gluten.

A sample of a cooked breakfast is below.  I’m not a huge fan of a cooked breakfast, but it was OK if you are hungry.

qantas gluten free breakfast

In the past, some flights were also oddly excluded from a GF Meal, but I’m not sure how you find out beforehand. My Melbourne to Sydney booking in May 2019  for QF482 (used to be 1.15pm departure) said a GF meal was not available on this flight. Everybody else got lunch, so that was disappointing.

If you have requested a special meal before, you know you will be served well ahead of everyone else.  This means you don’t get to eat with your travel companions and have usually finished your meal before the drinks trolley comes around (although you usually get a small water wash your meal down with).

Notes for ordering special diet meals via ‘manage your booking’ online:

  • *gluten free meals are now only provided on flights over 3 1/2 hours, so Melbourne to Cairns no longer provides a meal
  • special meal requests cannot be guaranteed and for gluten free, the option is gluten intolerant (i.e. they do not guarantee 100% gluten free, like any commercial kitchen)
  • you cannot request a combination of dietary requirements, e.g. gluten free & vegetarian
  • special meals must be requested at least 24 hours before departure and are only available for Qantas operated flights
  • on some domestic economy routes where only snacks are served, there is no guarantee there will be a gluten free option
  • meals are inclusive of your fare.

If you are flying from Melbourne or Sydney, see the links to airport information below!

Sydney airport

For more gluten free travel ideas, please check the following links:

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About the Author

About the Author: Caroline was diagnosed with Coeliac disease in 2006 and likes to share her gluten free finds around the UK, Australia and the rest of the world! See more on her in the 'About' page. .

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  1. Dee says:

    Qantas does not offer gluten free meals to coeliacs unless the flight is over 3 hours and 30 mins.
    We found this out the hard way travelling to Cairns from Melbourne.
    As coeliac is an autoimmune disease, this shouldn’t be only available on certain flights. We were very disappointed with Qantas and the reception we received during the flight. One cabin crew offered my husband a pack of snacks flavoured with soy (gluten based)

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