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Canada

Questions surround airline’s flippant Twitter response to diabetic passenger

Forty-thousand feet over the Atlantic is the last place you’d want a medical emergency.

But that’s what English DJ and electronic music producer James Boyle faced this week, courtesy of a WestJet’s eyebrow-raising in-flight meal.

Diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes after a recent hospitalization, Boyle — known in the industry as Breakage — arranged for diabetic in-flight meals while planning a two-week series of gigs across Canada.

“It was all a bit shocking,” the 37-year-old told the Sun from his London, U.K., home.

English electronic music artist Breakage Supplied photo

During his Nov. 4 flight to Calgary, he was served white rice and chicken and two sandwiches — one lettuce and the other chicken — as well as raisins, potato chips and a banana.

Accustomed to years of dodgy meals while touring, Boyle ate what he could and snacked on nuts from his carry-on.

His flight home was a different story.

He was handed a box of mashed potato and wedges, grapes, a dinner roll and a chocolate breakfast bar — all food that Boyle, who struggles to maintain his condition through diet, can’t eat.

“I don’t know what would’ve happened, and I dread to know what would have happened,” he said. “Everyone else had scrambled eggs.”

The real shock came Monday upon sharing his experience on Twitter.

“I’m not one for being a diva, but when I have a diabetic meal request, the last thing I expect is this,” he tweeted, sharing a photo and explaining the dangers of serving carbohydrate and sugar-loaded dishes to diabetic passengers.

Westjet’s first reply explained they’re ‘working on rebuilding the in-flight meal service and suggested passengers bring food from home.

That was followed a by a second reply, saying they’ve “… yet to see the food served on board be a real point of concern for our guests, who are travelling for reasons beyond that,” adding their “Dreamliner meal service is really something if you ever get a chance to try it.”

“I just was absolutely blown away by their response,” Boyle said.

“I didn’t choose to have this, I don’t enjoy having this … It’s a kick in the face.”

Contacted by the Sun, WestJet issued a statement apologizing for the Twitter responses, and promised to investigate.

“We take the safety of all guests and crew seriously and are investigating the situation with our catering team and suppliers to determine what occurred and how this can be avoided in the future,” the statement read.

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