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Flying Southwest Airlines?

I will be taking my 4 year old PA son on a direct flight on Southwest Airlines in January. We called to make the reservations, and they flagged his ticket with a peanut allergy. They also said we need to bring a "peanut allergy declaration form" and talk to the gate agent before boarding that day. I know that Southwest has some different boarding procedures with their open-seating concept. I'd like to ensure that I can board in advance and wipe down the seats and tray and also ensure they make an announcement about no peanuts and do not serve. Has anyone had experience with this airline and can you please offer suggestions? Thanks!

By jedwards on Wed, 07-08-15, 16:03

I fly Southwest frequently. I've never been asked for a card. You should check into your flight early (earliest is 1 hour before) at the gate and remind the gate agent of the peanut allergy. They will give you a preboarding authorization card and a card (peforated with two parts) that says peanut allergy to give to the flight attendants. You will preboard the plane. Tear the perforated peanut allergy card in two and give the large part to the flight attendant in the front of the plane. Also tell them verbally, "We have a peanut allergy". Get confirmation that they heard you. Take the small part of the card and give to the flight attendant in the back of the plane. Tell them and make sure that they hear you "We have a peanut allergy". Then tell the flight attendant who will be guarding the exit row as well. I've learned the hard way that you must tell each flight attendant. They may or may not be willing to make an announcement for you. They usually are not willing to do so. I would recommend earliest flight as possible as they are cleaner and I breathe easier. Also people on the plan are less likely to eat snacks or demand peanuts in the a.m. I also just always tell the people next to me and ask them if they can refrain from eating nuts. The majority of people are nice, but some people are real jerks about it. I frequently hear people being jerks to the flight attendants about it as well. Just returned from Canada after they had an intense allergy awareness month and have never had people be so kind. I think we should try that in the U.S.

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By PAEA Mom on Tue, 07-07-15, 17:40

I am the original poster of this question and I have to comment back that our experience was fantastic with Southwest. Just as someone mentioned above, we were allowed to board ahead of time (just my son and I, not our entire party) and I was able to wipe down everything. They made an announcement about the allergy on the flight and they even let me save a few extra seats around me so that we could create a safe perimeter. I felt very safe.

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By jedwards on Wed, 07-08-15, 16:05

Wow...better than any experience I have had! I'm so glad.

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By OBX on Tue, 07-07-15, 17:31

Southwest Airlines is one of my favorite airlines to fly. My daughter is 13 and she has peanut, tree nut and sesame seed allergies. We just returned from a trip to Hawaii and used Southwest for a portion of our trip. I contact the airline 24 hours prior to boarding the flight so they can flag my daughter's ticket as "peanut dust allergen". This process also allows the airline to pack the correct snack items on the plane. At check-in, we are given a pre-boarding priority pass so that you can board the plan, inform the flight attendant and also wipe down your seats. They are also good about making an announcement they have some guests with PA, so they will not be serving peanut snacks. We have flown with Southwest a few times and I always try to use this airline if possible. They suggest you book early AM flights as the plane is used throughout the day and they are more than likely serving peanuts as a snack. Make sure to also pack Epipens and Benadryl in your carry on bag. I hope this helps! Southwest goes above and beyond for travelers with PA, I can not say this for all airlines though.

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By kmn24 on Mon, 06-29-15, 13:31

The allergy declaration form is something that you request when you alert them to your allergy. It used to be like one of their boarding pass cards.
This is the link to SA's website regarding traveling with peanut allergies.
https://www.southwest.com/html/customer-service/unique-travel-needs/index-pol.html

Obviously traveling on an early flight is a better idea because they clean the plane thoroughly at night versus a quick change.

They let us on the plane early on in the boarding process. I brought antibacterial cleaning wipes and a plastic bag and when we sat down neither of my kids touched anything (we called it hands up) while I wiped down the entire area..tray table, seatbelt, arm rests, seat pocket, etc. Then I cleaned my hands and cleaned their hands.

We had a great experience and no issues. My PA son is now 12 and is still doing well with his Class 6 allergy...just keep being vigilant and careful :) Enjoy your trip!

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By Sensitive Girl on Sat, 06-27-15, 23:54

Hi, is almost a year from this post but I wanted to ask for more info about traveling with my PA daughter. She's 5yrs old, we carry our epi penJr all the time, I was wondering if there's something that I should do about this before boarding? Also I would like to ask about the "PA declaration form" What is it? Do I need it? and How do I get it? I have never used it before!!

This will be her first big girl trip and this time it will be only me with her, the last airplane trip was 3yrs ago. There was no epi pen or allergy concerns before.... I would appreciate every idea, suggestions or any help with this matter!! I have read a lot of scary stories about PA in airplanes, so I would like to avoid it as much as I can.

I read the past suggestions and they were amazing, so I figured out there is more for me to learn!!! Please feel free to explain, suggest or advice me with anything that might help with southwest airline.

Thank you :)

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By kmn24 on Mon, 11-24-14, 20:44

We have flown Southwest successfully with our peanut allergies. Before the flight (at least 1 hr I think) you need to report to the gate and indicate that you have a severe peanut allergy and get your allergy declaration form- this gets you on the plane as one of the first boarders and also should trigger them taking the peanuts off the flight and offering a different snack if they even do that anymore.

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By kmn24 on Mon, 11-24-14, 20:44

We have flown Southwest successfully with our peanut allergies. Before the flight (at least 1 hr I think) you need to report to the gate and indicate that you have a severe peanut allergy and get your allergy declaration form- this gets you on the plane as one of the first boarders and also should trigger them taking the peanuts off the flight and offering a different snack if they even do that anymore.

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By PAEA Mom on Mon, 11-24-14, 20:46

Thank you!!

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