[I will preface saying this information may change by the time you read this on the blog! I have high hopes that Delta Airlines will remove their peanuts served on flights again, and remove all nuts being served as snacks, such as almonds, so as of August 2018 this post is current. In the past, Delta has been the only airline that has offered to make announcements on my behalf for passengers to refrain from eating anything with peanuts that passengers may have brought on the flight, and they do allow me to pre-board and will not serve peanuts on my flights when I tell them in advance, so them bringing back peanuts on their flights took me majorly by surprise.]
Many of my followers remember the petition I did a few years ago that I sent to Southwest urging them to remove peanuts from their flights. If you signed it, thank you so much, because people like us made the Southwest decision happen! As of July 2018, Southwest stated, “Southwest will stop serving peanuts on all flights to protect people with allergies.” What a win for the allergy community! However, yesterday I heard some unsettling news. In the midst of Southwest finally no longer serving peanuts, Delta is now bringing theirs back! WHAT?!
This act by Delta I took as an offensive attack on the food allergy community. It’s statistically backed that food and peanut allergies are more common than ever before, so this decision really seems unethical. I hope Delta receives a ton of backlash and decide to retract this decision. Here is a recent article on it.
I expelled a lot of energy writing them as soon as I heard the news, to let them know how I’m perceiving this new action as a peanut allergic individual. I urge anyone in the allergy community to write them as well! There’s no reason to bring peanuts back on all Delta flights, or any nut for that matter! Additionally, I’ve expressed tremendous thanks to Southwest numerous times already and urge everyone to THANK Southwest for their action if you haven’t already, and acknowledge they are getting a lot of negative feedback but that the action is deeply appreciated.
I’ve read many online comments in response to Southwest’s new policy saying things like, “well now I can’t eat my favorite snack” or “I can’t eat the pretzels because they contain gluten and I have an intolerance” and the reality is most individuals allergic to peanuts (or with any severe food allergy!!) can’t ever partake in ANY snacks or meals offered on the flight. A lot of the time, there’s a limited variety in terms of safe snacks and hardly ever safe hot meals at the airport. Even the new pretzels being offered are made in a shared facility with peanuts! So it’s not that I want to eat those, it’s just it is less harmful to be around than peanut dust on every surface and in the recycled air.
The short amount of time others are inconvenienced is nothing compared to the inconvenience of living with a life threatening allergy, and that is the message I want to spread and get across.
I work hard to have empathy and try to meet others where they’re coming from and acknowledge that everyone has their hardships and not have a pity party, and hearing these impulsive comments without thinking can be tough. For example, passengers can still eat peanuts on the flight, which is why I wear a mask to help protect myself from the particles in the air from igniting a reaction. I usually let the few rows around me know about my allergy and politely ask they refrain from eating peanut products on my own (without the permission of the airline), I’ll either do this verbally or with pieces of paper I’ve printed and I’ll pre-board and then leave those slips of paper in the seats around me. A few times, mostly when abroad, the airline has made an announcement that someone on the flight has a severe peanut allergy and to please refrain from eating anything with peanuts they brought on, and this is excellent.
A few hours before I learned this news about Delta bringing back peanuts, I booked a Southwest flight with my mom and we had a great conversation with the customer service agent about peanut allergies. It was nice that he understood and felt the decision by Southwest was impactful, and he even said that people can go without peanuts for part of their day to eliminate a potentially life threatening reaction for them during that one moment of their day. He then said, “you can’t make everyone happy, and it’s not about happiness, it’s about safety.” That was great to hear, because that’s ultimately what I wish people would focus on and understand. The main goal is for people to be able to travel, right? So then why if there is even a 1% chance that someone may have a severe reaction and die on a flight due to a food preference, something completely avoidable, do people take that chance? I appreciate Southwest airlines for this step in the right direction, but the fact is, it still isn’t the ideal situation, but it is a great improvement.
Unfortunately, I have an upcoming Delta flight this September 2018 and am not sure what this means for me, I’m assuming I will treat it as I did with Southwest before, but I am saddened they have made this decision to revert back.
You can write Delta here.
You can comment on this Southwest post, on their FB, or call and thank them at tel: 1-800-435-9792!
Additionally, the No Nut Traveler, a website dedicated to flying with food allergies, has a tab on their site where you can share your own food allergy airline story. The stories are tracked, because as the No Nut Traveler explains, “if we don’t record our testimonials of traveling with a food allergy, it’s as if they never happened” and I fully agree!
Safe traveling, everybody! XO