Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek.

When flying, it's best not have great expectations.

That way, anything pleasant that happens -- anything at all -- will be a lovely surprise.

Imagine, though, the feelings of Brit Martin Pavelka.

He was flying All Nippon Airways from Tokyo to Sydney and, given that he suffers from celiac disease, he ordered a gluten-free meal.

When it arrived, he must have wondered about the meaning of life. He also wondered who had been sufficiently bent out of shape to play such a prank.

The meal was a banana. Yes, one.

Helpfully, though, it was marked GF. It was also accompanied by condiments, because you never know when you might want to enhance your banana with a little salt and pepper.

There was a knife and fork too, so that he could really make a meal of it.

Pavelka told the Telegraph: "All other passengers were served a full breakfast meal consisting of eggs, sausage, mushrooms, bread, and yogurt."

Sadly -- and rather obviously -- the banana didn't quite satiate.

I contacted All Nippon Airways to ask whether some passengers should think of it as Not Quite All Nippon Airways.

An airline spokeswoman told me: "ANA takes great pride in providing an exemplary customer experience for all passengers, and for this one passenger we did not meet his expectations. We have apologized to him personally and as a result of his experience we are reviewing our policy on gluten-free options and how they are served."

However, the airline seemed to slightly contradict itself by adding: "We make every effort to meet our passengers' needs and in this situation felt we accommodated our guest's additional food requests inflight by providing an additional regular meal as well as an entrée from the regular menu for his snack. To imply that ANA only serves a banana for a flight of this length is incorrect."

Naturally, Pavelka said he complained to the flight attendant.

"I asked, 'Is this a joke?'" he told the Standard. "She just said, 'I'm really sorry--that's the gluten-free meal.'"

It seems there wasn't even another banana available with which to feed him.

Worse, he said other passengers chuckled at his predicament. Which does venture to the margins of mean.

Though his story offers a painful glimpse into the angst of flying -- even when, like Pavelka, you've paid $1,200 for your ticket -- I prefer to see hope in all things. I'm uplifted, therefore, that it isn't just U.S. airlines that treat their passengers like convicts on an Australia-bound ship, there to just row with the flow.

Published on: May 3, 2017
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.