Traveling to visit family or simply for pleasure can be stressful for those who have peanut allergies. Each airline has its own policies and aren’t required to be enforced consistently. We’ve gathered some tips for how to be proactive before your trip to ensure a safe and joyful journey.
The Best Case Scenario
In an ideal travel situation, an airline will let a nut free traveler preboard to wipe down their seat and immediate area, refrain from serving peanuts on a flight and make an announcement to ask passengers to refrain from opening and eating snacks and meals with peanuts.
Tips for Traveling As Safely As Possible
Consider airline options
As with anything, not all airlines are created equal when it comes to nut policies. Each airline has its own policy, which can change at any time. While it’s best to research their policies online prior to booking, ABC News shares that, anecdotally, Delta Air Lines, JetBlue and Southwest Airlines seem to be the most popular airlines among nut-free travelers. Allergic Living has a more comprehensive comparison for you to review as well.
Call the airline in advance
As soon as you book your ticket, it’s best to alert the airline about the peanut allergy in your party. They will note the allergy and, depending on the airline’s policy, will hopefully ensure peanuts won’t be served on the flight. According to USA Today, requesting to be seated close to the front of the plane can minimize exposure to the rest of the cabin and early morning flights mean you’ll be the first passengers of the day after a deeper evening clean.
Pack wipes and medication
This may go without saying, but making sure you pack wipes to clean your seat and those around you as well as medication in case of a reaction are as important as having your identification and boarding pass. FARE shares some tips for how to go through airport security with medication.
Upon arrival at the gate, FARE recommends speaking to the gate agent to ensure pre-boarding prior to the rest of the passengers. This will allow you to get to your seat(s) and wipe down the tray table, arm rests and immediate area to ensure your seating area is as safe as it can be.
Speak to the flight crew
Once onboard, FARE also recommends to share the peanut allergy with the flight crew to ensure they know. Ideally, depending on the airline’s policy, they will not serve peanuts and also make an announcement asking passengers to refrain from opening and consuming snacks and meals with peanuts. Unfortunately, there is no guarantee that passengers will abide (some may not realize they have peanuts in their meals).
Speak to those seated around you
Regardless of whether the airline will make an announcement, one of the easiest things you can do is speak to those seated around you and let them know of the allergy. Most people want to do their best (and get to their destination without a hitch) so having them as your allies may be the best tip of all.
With any luck, No Nut Traveler’s petition and FARE will be able to create a set of guidelines so that traveling with a nut allergy can be more consistent, easier and far more relaxing. Travel safely this holiday season!
Additional travel resource: How to Fly Safely With Food Allergies