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Flying with Nut Allergies

Flying with Nut Allergies

I was amazed by a story written by one of our Guest Contributors – Gina Clowes.

Gina was going to take a flight to Dallas to visit family and was making enquiries about the presence of nuts on the flight as her son has an extremely severe nut allergy.

The airlines serve nuts in first class, this is not the problem,  it turns out the heating of the nuts is the problem. Gina was simply asking that they not heat the nuts during their flight in case this caused her son to have a reaction.

The response by the American airlines respresentative I think is quite the standard reaction of any uninformed person.  For Gina’s son, his nut allergy is actually classed as a disability it is so severe.  Read the response below…

I talked with two American Airlines “Disability Representatives” and both told me that I should talk to the flight attendant on the day of our flight and ask him/her not to roast the nuts. (I told them I don’t have a problem with them serving them in first class, just roasting them.)

First, I don’t want to wait until the day of the flight to find out if we can travel safely.

Next, I asked one of the representatives: “Does the flight attendant have the authority to decide whether or not to roast nuts?” One rep said “Probably not.” The supervisor answered “I don’t know .”

So why recommend this course?

The supervisor suggested we take a morning flight. I asked “If I take a morning flight, can you make sure that they won’t roast nuts on the flight?”

He said no, he could not.

The only direct flight that was available is mid-day anyway.

So the nuts will be served, they will be heated, and American Airlines will not honor this simple request even for a child who has a Section 504 plan and is considered disabled because of life-threatening food allergies.

When I explained that I wasn’t asking for them not to serve cashews in first class, just that they not roast/heat them. His answer really stuck with me. This is the quote that I wrote down: “We’re still gonna do it.”

To read more of Gina’s story here…


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