Airline Top 10
- Before booking your flight, read the airline’s allergy policy. Many airlines post their policy on their website, though it may be difficult to find the exact website page.
- For individuals with peanut/nut allergy, try to choose an airline that does not serve complimentary peanut/nut snacks with the beverage service. This will greatly decrease the risk of exposure to peanuts/nuts during the flight. What is more, never ask an airline to guarantee you a “peanut-free or nut free flight” flight. No airline will ever give you such a guarantee.
- When booking, notify the reservation agent of your food allergy, and ask if your information can be forwarded to the flight crew. For passengers with peanut/nut allergy, ask if a lower-risk snack can be served during the flight (i.e., pretzels instead of packaged peanut/nut snacks).
- For security purposes, keep your adrenaline (epinephrine) injector (such as Anapen®, EpiPen®) in its original packaging and have your emergency plan with your medication. It is also recommended that you have your adrenaline injector prescription, and a travel plan or letter from your doctor confirming your food allergy and indicating you need to carry your medication and food/drinks with you. What is more, always wear medical identification (e.g. a MedicAlert bracelet or necklace) indicating your allergies.
- If possible, ask the gate agent to let you pre-board the plane in order to inspect/clean your seating area. Wipe down the seat to help prevent contact reactions or inadvertent skin contact with food particles or spills. Eating food off a contaminated surface area could lead to accidental ingestion of allergens through contamination.
- Never eat airline food; pack your own food. However, you may want to check with the airline to see if there are any restrictions as to which types of food you are allowed to bring on board or to your destination.
- Always keep your adrenaline injector with you; do not store in the overhead bin. Let others you’re traveling with know about your allergies so they know what to do in case of emergency on the flight and where your adrenaline injector is.
- Consider informing passengers sitting in your area about your food allergy. Keep in mind, however, that the airline will probably not make an announcement to the other passengers, and that passengers can eat food they have brought onto the aircraft.
- Always be courteous and polite with the flight crew. They are there to help you and we need to help educate them without making unrealistic or unnecessary demands.
- Never take a risk, especially when in the air away from access to medical help.
This list was created by the Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Alliance www.foodallergyalliance.org