The relatively new airline to the US, Virgin America is adding a twist to air travel food – by offering new menus on flights – including some with gluten-free options.

Officials with the airline say they’ve hired world-renowned chef, Luke Mangan to create a menu using “an assortment of nutritious ingredients, including fresh fruits and vegetables…designed to give travelers more healthy and satisfying options to choose from for their in-flight meals and snacks.” While First Class and the main cabin have different options, all of the options appear to revolve around the idea of healthy snacks.

The two snacks I found that are gluten free are available in the main cabin (but — just a hunch — if a First Class passenger on a gluten-free diet wanted one of these, my guess is a flight attendant would get one for them). Here’s what they’re called and what’s included:

Sweetriot All-Natural Dark Chocolate: Antioxidant packed 65% dark chocolate with crunchy cacao nibs low in calories, low in sugar, dairy-free, gluten-free, and high in flavor. Virgin America is the first to offer sweetriot’s brand new product, the unBar, as part of an effort to bring passengers the coolest new products before anyone else.
Hippie Chips – Jalapeno Flavor: These ultra-light, low fat chips are only 90 calories and made with all-natural, gluten-free ingredients for a superlative taste and exceptional texture. Guests who purchase a bag of Haight-AshBerry Jalapeno Hippie Chips have a chance to win a free roundtrip on Virgin America.

What I like about these options is that you don’t have to request anything be removed or made special to get the gluten-free snack. You may, however, need to arrange ahead to make sure the crew has this option on your particular flight. I know many times the flights only have certain snack options for a particular flight.

The only bummer for me is that Virgin America doesn’t fly to Minneapolis, but it is in other big cities: San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, Washington D.C., Seattle, Las Vegas, San Diego, Boston and starting April 29 – Orange County.

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