celiacCeliac disease can be tough. Flying can be a pain. Combine the two and it can be a whole lot of joy.

I flew twice in July and was reminded of how difficult flying with celiac disease can be. Luckily, this time, I didn’t have any peanut free flights and was able to enjoy the free peanuts (and my trail mix). I have been on flights with a peanut allergy, which limits what I can eat even more. Most of my snacks involve nuts or nut butter because they are portable and have protein but I also have to make sure to bring something without nuts.

I am glad the airlines take nut allergies so seriously. I wish they could do a bit more for those of us that require a gluten-free diet.

Besides the peanuts, there is little I can get on a plane. Most airlines don’t have a meal I can purchase. They are all wraps or sandwiches.  The snack packs have some gluten-free items in them but no pack can I eat ALL the treats. Why would I pay $8.99 when I can’t eat everything?

Then there are the airports. I had a layover in Minneapolis. I tried to find options for lunch before I left. I got nowhere on the airport’s website or google. Maybe if I had more time I could have researched more. I walked from one gate to another (no shuttle or moving sidewalk) in order to look for something I could eat. I stopped a few times to check out some restaurants. I saw a Pei Wei but they had a limited menu and none of their gluten-free dishes.

And then…

A Chik-Fil-A just before my departure gate. I was never so happy to see a Chik-Fil-A.

There were almost tears of joy.

Whenever I fly as a celiac, I take snacks with me. It seems every other time I fly, my bag gets flagged by TSA. Food apparently sets off the red flags because people use food to sneak in things. The agent didn’t specify but I would assume drugs mostly. Maybe some weapons. It’s always fun to hear, “Is this your bag ma’am?”

You can’t help but laugh about it. I talked with the agent while she checked my bad and let her know that traveling with food intolerances was always exciting.

What is your biggest hassle when traveling?

Categories: Gluten Free


Jenna Volden has a degree in business and has spent the last 10 plus years working for others. She believes it is time to start her own photography and writing business. She enjoys running, coffee and helping others achieve their goals. Gluten-free foods are a lifestyle, not a choice, for her due to celiac disease. She is currently based in Phoenix, Arizona.