With our family trip to Florida only a few days away, I’ve been thinking long and hard about how things are going to work out with our two food allergy children on the flights. Luckily, it seems as though Delta Airlines has a pretty fair policy in place which should very helpful. From Delta’s website:
When you notify us that you have a peanut allergy, we’ll refrain from serving peanuts and peanut products onboard your flight. We’ll also advise cabin service to board additional non-peanut snacks, which will allow our flight attendants to serve these snack items to everyone within this area. Gate agents will be notified in case you’d like to pre-board and cleanse the immediate seating area. Unfortunately we still can’t guarantee that the flight will be completely peanut-free. Note that some snack products on board may be processed in plants which also process peanut products.
So we will of course notify them ahead of time and appreciate tremendously that no nuts will be served on our flights to and from Miami. Still, it has me wondering: with the alarming growth of food allergies, why haven’t airline completely stopped serving nuts on all of their flights.
Here are some thoughts as to why it’s nuts for airlines to serve nuts:
- Planes are confined spaces. Air and dust particles get recirculated. Nuts can produce airborne particles that have enough protein to kill. Bad combination.
- Allergic reactions can happen in seconds and prove fatal if not properly treated very quickly. An allergic reaction on a long flight can easily be catastrophic.
- It’s pretty easy to replace nuts with snacks that have no nuts. No one will die from not having nuts for several hours. But someone can die from snacks that have them.
- Compassion/common decency. We have enough stress in our lives. Do people really care if they’re served nuts on a plane? Will they even realize they’re missing it? It means everything to us. Our kids’ lives are at stake.
- Numbers. There are a lot of families that have food allergy children. Millions. And unfortunately the problem is getting worse. We are pretty much at the point that airlines will do well for themselves and draw customers by advertising themselves as nut-free.
Hopefully common sense will soon prevail. In the meantime, we should continue to push the issue by contacting airlines and urging them to update their policies.
BTW, here’s an article about why they serve peanuts on airplanes to begin with (along with some other interesting tidbits).
I’d love your feedback. I’ll repost some of your thoughts.