Southwest Airlines Announces It Will No Longer Serve Peanuts
Starting August 1, Southwest Airlines will no longer serve peanuts. Its decision follows an incident in March, where a Southwest Airlines employee served peanuts on a flight, causing a 9-year-old boy to have a severe allergic reaction. Flight attendants were made aware of the boy’s peanut allergy prior to the flight, but the attendant who served peanuts said she forgot.
Southwest, which is known for giving out peanuts on its flights, explained its decision in a statement:
As of August 1, Southwest Airlines will no longer serve peanuts onboard and will instead serve pretzels on all flights. This decision wasn’t made lightly, but in the interest of providing the best Hospitality and a welcoming and safe onboard environment for Customers with peanut or peanut-dust allergies, we felt it was the right thing to do.
The airline’s decision has gotten mixed reactions from the public. Some praised Southwest for taking steps to ensure the safety and well-being of those with peanut allergies. Others said they feel the new policy is unfair.
The key here is the use of the word welcome- makes such a difference
This is a game changer because Southwest is the airline that was associated specifically with serving peanuts. IMHO: As #foodallergies continue to skyrocket, this is a sign of the times. https://t.co/TyjtfXjhlP
— Lianne Mandelbaum (@NoNutTraveler) July 10, 2018
I just heard that @SouthwestAir is going to discontinue serving peanuts. I love peanuts and it's been great to have them on all my flights….and I am not surprised. Southwest takes care of people, and this is the right thing to do. Cheers.
— Kurt Podeszwa (@KurtPodeszwa) July 9, 2018
#SouthwestAirlines Thank you soo very much for your plan to stop handing out peanuts on the planes! It makes a world of a difference to those whose kids sufer from allergies. To those parents, it's like having poison everywhere. Thank you!
— Lila Fox (@LilaFox1978) July 10, 2018
Ugh…no bueno…we all don’t have peanut allergies…there has been no concern for those of us that have dog allergies and now people with huge dogs are on flights…and now no peanuts something is wrong with this picture #SouthwestAirlines
— ItsBevie (@bevie925) July 11, 2018
When you learn #SouthwestAirlines will no longer be serving peanuts. ???? @BoosCruise fix this #honeyroasted #heartbroken #heartbroken???? @Southwestair ???? Credit: @abc7marccr pic.twitter.com/mvywt7LNcO
— Leslie Lopez (@abc7leslielopez) July 10, 2018
With its recent decision to stop serving peanuts on flights,.@SouthwestAir is creating an environment where all customers, including those with peanut-related #allergies, can feel safe and welcome on flights. Read more from @ABC: https://t.co/qHoPL7EO0W #SouthwestAirlines pic.twitter.com/jF0iqNPO54
— Allergy & Asthma (@DenverAllergy) July 11, 2018
I wish everyone felt this way????- seeing lots of talk of "SUFFERING" due to peanuts being removed as a snack- unfortunate some people are myopically selfish-IMHO: no snack should ever trump a child or adult's safety in the air- where is #compassion– #foodallergy not a choice https://t.co/Q5q1Jo2yAE
— Lianne Mandelbaum (@NoNutTraveler) July 11, 2018
Most airlines have a policy of no peanuts on flights when passengers declare a peanut-allergy, which passengers have to prove with a letter from a doctor. However, some people refuse to refrain from eating peanuts on board, which could result in a deadly reaction for those with severe allergies.
Southwest will continue to let passengers with food allergies to pre-board the plane so they can wipe down seats and surrounding area for safety reasons. While the airline will not serve peanuts, it cannot control who brings peanut products onto its flights.
This is the SECOND flight I have been on in 4 days where the flight attendant asked everyone on the plane to refrain from eating ANYTHING with nuts because one person on board has a peanut allergy.
As a society, we have become soft as shit.
My peanut M&Ms WILL BE consumed.
— Rob Madelmayer (@RMadelmayer) June 25, 2018
The guy sitting across from me at the airport complained that someone on our flight has a peanut allergy and they will not serve peanuts. So I looked him in the eye and asked “what if that was me?” Embarrassed, he mumbled something and backtracked. #everyoneisyourneighbordude
— Jen Wright Berryman (@jenlwberry) June 14, 2018
Mighty contributor, Lianne Mandelbaum, who runs the site The No Nut Traveler, told The Mighty she wants to see policies that are fair for people with food allergies. “Airlines are consistently inconsistent in the way they deal with food allergy passengers,” she told The Mighty. “Every flight is different and you never know what you will get.”
Mandelbaum also collects testimonies from families who’ve flown with food allergies and said several families with peanut allergies have not been allowed to board their plane or been asked to leave a flight. “A flight attendant went as far as following a family out the plane telling them they should not fly if their allergies were so severe,” she said.
While Mandelbaum and other advocates are celebrating Southwest’s new policy, she said she’d like to see them go a step further and offer auto-injectors. According to Mandelbaum, Southwest flights only have epinephrine vials in case of anaphylactic reactions. However, these vials can only be administered by physicians. Mandelbaum, along with Food Allergy Research and Education, worked on a bill that mandated planes carry auto-injectors. Unfortunately, the bill did not pass.
“People don’t understand how severe an allergy can get and that it can be potentially fatal,” she said. “Even with an Epipen, kids might not survive. These allergies can be fatal.”
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