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How to Order a Special Meal on an Air Canada Flight

In-flight meals have been badly affected by the efforts of airline companies to cut their costs and offer low-priced tickets to their passengers. Other factors, such as intense competition for the same routes and the advent of low-cost and chartered airline operators have also played a major role in decreasing in-flight menu options or, in the case of short-distance flights, not offering them at all, apart from a basic soft drink, coffee or tea and/or light, cold snack.

Airline operators quickly realized that, although passengers were always looking for the best-priced tickets and they seemed not to bother for extras such as in-flight meals, they had to keep running their existing air catering service and even improve it, in order to offer their customers a better flying experience or simply fill their flight time and keep them engaged so that they do not get bored with the service. What a better way to cater for each passenger’s individual nutritional needs and tastes, than providing a selection of special gourmet dishes and beverages. Air Canada offers the option to book a special meal and if they wish to do so, they should follow the procedure below, according to the company’s website:

  • A special meal request should be placed at least 18 hours prior to the flight’s time of departure (the first flight, in case of a multiple-flights ticket).
  • The request can be easily placed through the on-line booking form. It is one of the options passengers may choose through the use of drop-down menus.
  • In case a passenger requests a special meal after the on-line booking process has finished, this can only be done by contacting directly the Air Canada customer care service. This means that it is not possible for a passenger to go back and retrieve the special meal options in the on-line booking form, after he/she has completed the reservation.
  • In case your flight is a codeshare one (i.e. a flight jointly operated by Air Canada and another airline company), you should also contact Air Canada reservations department directly, since it is not possible to book your special meal through the on-line form.
  • You are offered a menu of 17 special meals to choose from.

What flights, destinations and classes qualify for an Air Canada special meal request?

Passengers may request a special meal if they fly to any international destination served by Air Canada and in any class of service. Eligible passengers include those flying to Bogota and Caracas, in both classes of service. In regards to North American destinations, the special meal service is also offered to Executive class passengers.

When a passenger may not book a special meal through Air Canada?

The special meals service is not available on flights where an Onboard café facility is available.

How can an Air Canada passenger with allergy problems request a nut-free meal?

As stated by the company, a nut-free special meal may not be ordered on any of its flights. Although Air Canada has excluded all peanut/nut-free products on its menus, it may not guarantee the absence of those products in complimentary drinks etc.

Further sources:

Air Canada special meal choices

Air Canada special meals

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