Tips for Safe Flying with Food Allergies

Updated on Monday, August 22, 2016

Last week Delta announced that they were testing new in-flight snack options. One of those options included offering cashews instead of peanuts. We discussed why this change is not a significant improvement for their customers with a peanut allergy, but we also wanted to provide you with some tips for flying with food allergies:

  • Inform the airline in advance of your food allergy.
  • Request a buffer zone. (How large that zone needs to be should be determined by nut allergic passenger and flight crew)
  • Allow affected travelers time to pre-board flights for wiping down seats, seat belts, tray tables, and surrounding areas.
  • Request an announcement from flight staff. Let other passengers know that there is a customer on board that has a life-threatening food allergy. The announcement should include a request that no other passengers consume peanut/tree nut containing foods in your buffer zone.
  • Request a peanut/tree nut free meal/snack from the airline.
  • Bring safe food/snacks from home, especially for children.
  • Avoid using airline provided pillow and blanket.

    Those affected by serious food allergies can also advocate that all airlines carry epinephrine auto-injectors on board and train their crews how to administer properly.

    A bit of advance planning can make flying safer and less stressful for those at risk for a serious reaction to a food, particularly nuts.