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Virgin Atlantic

posts: 2
reviews: 43
Virgin Atlantic

Flew on VS1 with my son yesterday (26th Nov 2013) and he was taken ill about an hour after eating the butter chicken in-flight meal. I had a different option and was fine. Anybody else affected?

Sydney, Australia
Destination Expert
for Sydney, Bargain Travel, Food and Travel
posts: 19,405
reviews: 58
1. Re: Virgin Atlantic


We occasionally get threads like this, and all it does is merely open a discussion about how long it takes before *potential' food poisoning takes effect etc etc.

I don't think the chances of you getting responses here is very high.

An hour into a how long a flight? And has he seen a doctor?

Cardiff, United...
posts: 232
reviews: 20
2. Re: Virgin Atlantic

if you write to the airline they can investigate and see if anybody else was affected by it... but i'm sure food poisoning takes longer than just an hour to show?

Edited: 6:10 am, November 27, 2013
posts: 45,265
reviews: 89
3. Re: Virgin Atlantic

Anybody else affected?


Did you notice if any of the other hundred or so on the flight who likely had it were taken ill?

essex england
posts: 210
reviews: 57
4. Re: Virgin Atlantic

I was ill after a return flight from the Caribbean with Virgin Atlantic about three years ago - it was the in-flight meal for sure and I started to feel bad the next day with cramps and nausea. I filled in a form and two weeks later after having had no complaints from any passengers on that flight VA dismissed my claim and that was that.

Leyland, United...
Destination Expert
for Playa Blanca
posts: 23,413
reviews: 44
5. Re: Virgin Atlantic

Highly unlikely to be the inflight meal if symptons occurred an hour after eating. Food poisoning usually takes between 1 - 3 days for symptons to develop, or in some cases even longer. He can write to Virgin about it, but it would need a doctor to take samples and have then tested to find out if it was food poisoning.

posts: 2
reviews: 43
6. Re: Virgin Atlantic

Update on my original posting. My son started having stomach cramps and felt sick about 1-1/2 hours before landing (so about 3-4 hours after eating the meal). He was then actually sick about a hour after that. He was quite bad the following day so took him to a medical centre who gave him medication and told us it did look like food poisoning. It took just over 3 days for him to be back to normal. I have contacted customer services, but as yet no response.

Destination Expert
for London
posts: 15,707
reviews: 73
7. Re: Virgin Atlantic

Unless you can provide a stool sample to Customer Services I doubt you'll get anywhere. 3 -4 hours doesn't sound enough for the incubation period for an airline meal to have done the damage. More likely to be something eaten before getting anywhere near the plane.

Worthing, United...
posts: 5,967
reviews: 11
8. Re: Virgin Atlantic


When my husband and I both got food poisoning we went to the doctor after the symptoms had persisted for about a week, then the doctor took samples and sent them off to be analysed. We then had to tell them where we had eaten and what before we got sick. On finding out it was in Wroclaw the medical authorities contacted the relevant Polish medical authorities with the information. Food poisoning is that serious, and our symptoms started about twenty four hours after the meal which was contaminated.

If there was any chance that an airline was carrying contaminated food I am sure the doctor would have done far more than just say it was a vague possibility.

Also at the time your son was vomiting how many others on the plane were doing the same? Chicken is a popular choice so if there was something wrong with it then I would guess at least a third of the plane would have been in the same state as your boy.

It is far more likely that your son suffered from a bug or if it was food poisoning it was something he ingested a few hours before your flight.


9. Re: Virgin Atlantic

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Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for London
posts: 48,849
reviews: 15
10. Re: Virgin Atlantic

'... it is no longer even a priority.' Not necessarily.

Airlines and catering companies *do* care about potential hazards on board, but if you've written to Virgin saying words to the effect of 'I got sick after having eaten the meal on board' then there will be little that VS can do.

No casualty officer or infectious disease specialist is going to be able to look at a patient, ask a few questions and then say 'yes, you've got food poisoning, how awful'. Specimens must be collected and cultured, which usually takes 72h. If a specific organism is identified then one could write to the airline with supporting details; if symptoms persist and after having seen your GP (with appropriate workup) the differential is determined, again it would be worthwhile writing to VS to say 'this happened, and it is a suspected result of that'.

Anecdotal evidence of a queue for the washroom is just that, anecdotal. Without a causative organism, all is conjecture. Should you still feel poorly in a day or two then you should see your GP for further assessment.