You can find plenty of people who dislike airplane meals. Many will say that they’re bland or just taste funny. A subset of that group can complain about foreign objects in the meal. Well one passenger, on a flight from Wellington to Melbourne, found something that just about ruined the meal for him.
According to the passenger, Mr. Bradley Button, the object was a tooth. Judging by the image, the object does indeed seem to resemble a tooth– probably a molar– in shape, size, and color.
The story goes that Mr. Button was eating the rice in his meal when he felt something hard and heard a crunch. After spitting out the object, he saw it was a tooth. When he brought it to the attention of the flight attendant, according to Mr. Button, she said she had to take the object away for testing and tried to pass it off as a small rock. Mr. Button also said he conferred with the passenger next to him who believed it was a tooth.
Mr. Button then reported the incident to Singapore Airlines who will investigate the situation and have testing done on the object Mr. Button found in his meal. In addition, Mr. Button received a voucher for $75AUD to use on inflight duty-free with Singapore Airlines.
Singapore Airlines said the following in response:
“We are currently investigating this incident and have sent the object for analysis. Once the results of the analysis are known, we will determine what the most appropriate course of action to take is. We expect all of our meals to meet a consistently high standard and we are disappointed in this discovery.”
Singapore Airlines Press Statement
Singapore Airlines is well known for their catering and onboard service. This is definitely not something one would expect from Singapore Airlines, or any airline for that matter. There are significant sanitary concerns that come up with this kind of discovery. Passengers should expect to receive a quality meal regardless of class of service. However, there are a few factors that should be noted for this flight.
SQ248 operates the Wellington to Melbourne segment before continuing on to Singapore from Melbourne. Mr. Button was on the fifth-freedom route from Wellington to Melbourne when he discovered this in his meal. Information released to the public indicates that the catering on this route had been loaded in Melbourne. Therefore, this was a more satellite destination for Singapore Airlines’ catering.
In these non-hub catering sites, this can lead to some wondering about the quality of the food that is loaded on those flights. On flights from Singapore, Singapore Airlines works hard to maintain the quality they are known for as it is their hub airport. When it comes to Melbourne, however, there is not always the strictest measure of quality as can be found in a hub airport.
That being said, it is not unreasonable to expect a similar quality of service regardless of airport when flying on the same carrier. Someone needs to be held responsible for this, regardless of whether or not this is a human tooth. While everyone may not pay for a first class ticket, it is expected that passengers receive a meal free from foreign objects.
We do hope that this is a fluke and not indicative of Singapore Airlines’ catering out of Melbourne. Mr. Button did the right thing by photographing the incident, alerting the crew, and informing Singapore Airlines directly.
How would you feel if this happened to you? Let us know in the comments below!