Flying with Food Allergies

Hannah Wild

September 25, 2019

Flying can be a stressful experience, particularly for those with food allergies. Allergy sufferers know that there is no such thing as an allergen-free environment and understand that they need to take precautions when travelling, especially with a baby or young child.

When boarding a flight with a food allergy you are able to pre-board with most airlines, this allows time to ensure where you’re sat is safe; this includes wiping down the seat, the tray table and surrounding areas. This can help to prevent an allergic reaction happening during the flight. An allergic reaction or an anaphylactic shock would not only affect the allergy sufferer but could affect a whole flight, as this could result in stopping at the next closest airport. Taking every precaution possible before and during the flight is the best for everyone; the individual but also the other passengers on the plane.

Allergy Lifestyle (2018) “suggests that around 9% of people with peanut allergies have experienced a form of allergic reaction during a flight and also that 4% of medical emergencies on board commercial flights are allergic reactions”.

Some airlines will prevent nuts being served on board if they are notified beforehand.  Last month EasyJet banned the sale of nuts on all of its planes and will prevent passengers bringing pre-purchased nuts on board if a fellow traveller has informed the airline of their allergy in advance.

From an #insideNT perspective, I have a peanut allergy and travelling is something I worry about, especially when in restricted areas such as trains, buses and planes. I can feel very claustrophobic as soon as I smell nuts and have to try and move away from the area. My allergy isn’t severe however it seems to be affecting me more in recent years, especially when I am travelling to other countries.