Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.

No One Should Eat Dinner Because She Has An Allergy.

This is nuts.

Over the years, I have been sympathetic to people who love to travel but have serious allergies — especially to nuts and peanuts — which can prevent them from fully enjoying their trips…

No One Should Eat Dinner Because She Has An Allergy.

American Airlines International Business Class between Bogota and Miami
Photograph ©2019 by Brian Cohen.

…but when a female passenger who was seated in the first class cabin aboard an airplane recently on a flight from Boston to Miami allegedly could not understand why members of the flight crew were still going to serve dinner to other passengers even though she is allergic to nuts, I could not believe what I read — and neither could members of FlyerTalk who read the account of this experience of FlyerTalk member dickinson: “Woman in front of me can’t understand why they are going to serve dinner. She says it could kill her because of her nut allergy. She is never flying AA again because she says all other airlines honor her request.”

Many members of FlyerTalk who do suffer from allergies criticized the behavior of this woman and did not side with her.

“The bottom line is that flying with a peanut allergy and being exposed to potential sources of peanut in the cabin is not likely to represent an increased risk to the peanut allergic flier”, according to this article from the American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology. “There is no evidence to support peanut vapor as a cause of reactions or that peanut dust itself circulates and causes reactions. There is evidence that common surfaces on an airplane may have residual peanut contamination, but there is also evidence that this can be readily cleaned with commercial agents that passengers can bring aboard themselves, and that doing such cleaning has been noted to reduce the risk of reporting an in-flight reaction.“

This is certainly not the first time an incident similar to this one allegedly occurred aboard an airplane. Bethenny Frankel was reportedly shamed in early 2019 for requesting that members of the flight crew aboard the airplane on which she was a passenger not serve fish at all during the flight because she suffers from a rare fish allergy which could result in serious injury to her — or even her death.

Final Boarding Call

American Airlines International Business Class between Bogota and Miami
Photograph ©2019 by Brian Cohen.

I do not believe that people who suffer from serious food allergies should never fly as passengers aboard airplanes which are operated by commercial airlines — they should have access to safe travel for many reasons — but I do believe that some reasonable compromises can be reached with respect to other passengers, if that is possible…

…but people who suffer from serious food allergies — or other serious allergies, for that matter — have absolutely no right to dictate what other people should or should not do. To demand that no one have dinner aboard the airplane — regardless of how much they paid for their tickets — is simply unreasonable and demonstrates a blatant chutzpah and arrogant selfishness, in my opinion, as no one should be unnecessarily inconvenienced from enjoying going about his or her life.

Moreover, such demands tarnish the efforts of attempting to establish any reasonable compromise with respect to people who suffer from serious allergies.

I have written extensively over the years pertaining to food allergies in the form of articles posted here at The Gate — including:

All photographs ©2015 and ©2019 by Brian Cohen.

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