We flew from Manchester UK to JFK with American Airlines. My daughter and I sat together. That meant two special meals: I am diabetic and she is stridently vegetarian.
My meal arrived as soon as they started serving. Only when the cabin attendant arrived to offer the choice of chilli or chicken did we realise there was a problem. Yes: several vegetarian meals had been ordered but there were none left. The stewardess was apologetic, but the vegetarian meals had all been given out.
To be fair, she did rush off and arrive back within minutes with items cannibalised from several other meals. A better than half-decent meat-free repast was provided after all, so full marks to her for that.
AJ said it happened all the time. At University, whenever a special celebratory meal was organised in Halls of Residence, the vegetarians would order their meals in advance. Then when the time came, some of the meat eaters decided the 'veggie option' looked the most appetising and helped themselves. That left the vegetarians without options.
She thought that had probably just happened again.
It seems very odd to me that diabetic meals are delivered directly to named passengers, whilst vegetarians seem to be served according to some other system.
It is a big deal for vegetarians. If they order the meal, they should get it. Guaranteed!