The Odd Response An Airline Gave To Its Passengers’ Severe Food Allergies

by SharonKurheg

We were on our way home from London and once everyone had boarded, one of the first announcements the flight attendants made was, “Ladies and gentlemen, there are two people on the plane who have severe nut allergies so we ask that you kindly refrain from eating nuts during this flight.” (the 8-month-old directly in front of us proceeded to burst out in screaming and crying. Joe’s response was, “I guess she really likes nuts.”)

But seriously, I totally get it and understand the need for precaution. Some people have very severe allergies and the last thing anyone wants is for someone to go into anaphylaxis (or even just be uncomfortable) because someone else on the plane broke out a Kind bar or a bag of mixed nuts. But with that in mind, this just confused the crap out of me…

This was part of our lunch on the flight:

If a person (or in this case, more than one person) is/are allergic to nuts that they made an announcement for no one to eat nuts on the plane, why are they serving a dessert that contains nuts to everyone on the plane???

Of course, I’m not suggesting that everyone’s dessert should have been removed. And granted, you can never guarantee that any flight will be 100% allergen free because you can’t really control what other passengers are going to bring onto the plane. But nut allergy is one of the eight most common food allergies and puts sufferers at risk of dying of anaphylaxis. So why are airlines serving anything with nuts, to begin with?  I mean, even Southwest stopped serving peanuts on their flights (and yes, I know that peanuts are legumes and aren’t the same as tree nuts like pecans, walnuts, etc. – but their proteins are similar).

I dunno, it just struck me as odd to ask us to not eat nuts on the flight and then serve a dessert that contained nuts.

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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary


Marie LaPerna April 16, 2019 - 2:22 pm

If the afflicted persons did not notify the airline at the time reservations were made about the need for a nut-free environment, the airline could not notify the caterer that the particular flight required a nut-free menu.

SharonKurheg April 16, 2019 - 2:52 pm

Good point and one I hadn’t thought of. And, of course, we have no idea if they made the airline aware ahead of time or not. But that only intensifies my point…if tree nuts (and peanuts and anything else that could potentially harm people just from the dust from them being airborne, that could be easily abolished from the menu) are such a big trigger for allergies, why serves things with nuts in the first place? Like, ever?

Tohung wong April 16, 2019 - 10:03 pm

Hi, wanna just say my son has peanut allergy, but he can still eat different kinds of nuts.. just not peanuts…

SharonKurheg April 17, 2019 - 12:04 am

Some people are allergic to one, some to the other, some both. Either way, enough people have an allergy that’s bad enough where just the dust could harm them, so I don’t understand why nuts and legumes are still on their menus.


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