Let’s face it, the food served on airplanes has never had a five-star reputation. But a passenger on a recent Air India flight from Delhi to London may have been the recipient of a little extra accoutrement from the galley, when a small lizard reportedly made its presence known upon unwrapping a burger.

Air India have vehemently denied the claims, tweeting from their official account that the news of the lizard on the meal tray were “#false” and “#baseless,” while further stating that they had not received any passenger complaints on the matter. Nevertheless, the accusations went viral on social media and (deservedly or not) the airline’s reputation has been negatively affected.

This isn’t the first time Air India has dealt with serious allegations involving their catering services. In 2013, an Air India passenger reportedly found “worms or maggots” in a sandwich served on a flight from New York to Delhi. In 2014, an Air India plane became infested with rats and had to be removed from service. A review of AirlineMeals.net illustrates a range of catering selections served on recent Air India flights. None appear to contain reptiles, grubs or vermin.

Air India is a state-owned airline and a member of Star Alliance. They became the world’s first all-jet airline in 1962 and operate a mixed fleet of 102 Boeing and Airbus aircraft today. They offer meal service in first, business and economy classes during every flight, with first class meals served on fine Royal Doulton bone china.


Many questions remain: Was the lizard even real? If it was real, was it alive or dead at the time it was discovered? If it was alive, was the lizard able to save anyone money on their car insurance?

Image credit: Air India 747 in flight - Adrian Pingstone/Wikicommons, Lizard meal image via Twitter