On my return flight to Washington, DC the flight attendant made an announcement prior to our departure notifying all of the passengers on board that one passenger had a peanut allergy and therefore peanuts would not be served on the flight.
- Props to the airline crew for being adequately equipped to handle food allergy situations.
- It was fascinating – one set of flight attendants forgot all about the peanut allergy and began handing out bags of peanuts to passengers. It actually took me turning down pita chips and the gluten-containing peanuts with the explanation of a gluten allergy for her to remember about the Peanut Person and collect the bags of peanuts from the handful of folks who received them.
- All of the passengers complied (as far as I know) keeping the one passenger safe and healthy which again makes flying this particular airline such a unique study in humanity and community.
- What would it look like if all flights were Top 8 Allergen friendly and anyone allergic to the smell or ingestion of the Top 8 were able to fly safely without worry? (As I type this, the woman across the aisle from me is eating seafood for dinner making me extremely glad I do not react simply to the smell of fish or seafood!)
The alternative snack offered on our flight was pretzels. No big deal – they are kosher, kid-friendly, and easy to eat unless you are gluten intolerant or Celiac. The lack of peanuts made 0 feasible snack options for folks like me on board our flight (which is why having emergency snacks on hand is so crucial for folks with any food allergy!).
Since I had just eaten dinner I wasn’t too worried about a snack anyways but I thought that the whole situation was fascinating and it of course got my wheels spinning about situations like these, when one type of snack isn’t okay to accommodate an allergy, it would be really nice for an alternative to meet the needs of all folks (if it’s carb-based also having a gluten free substitute) and make worrying about safe food less of a regular experience.
What do you think in this situation – deal with it and let the 1 person fend for them self, expect anyone with a food allergy to pack their own snacks and not accommodate them on-board, or have a variety of options that can cater to multiple ways of eating?