Login | Register

Terrified to fly due to poss anaphylactic shock

I have not been on an airplane in 18 years. I am not more aware of my peanut allergy than when I was 16, have children and severe anxiety. Panic attacks are the result of my allergy I'm sure. How can I get through a flight from either Detroit or Toronto to the Bahamas. I have no idea yet who the airline will be. Any suggestions are appreciated

By ddvt on Mon, 11-24-14, 15:14


I have a pa daughter who is 16 and has been flying with me and her father since she was a baby. She doesn't always like to do it, but when she boards a plane, she must wipe down her area - tray table, arm rests, seatbelt buckle, etc. - and also takes a dose of Benadryl 30 minutes prior to flying. It was suggested by her allergist. We have ALWAYS gotten a note from her physician, one or two extra two-packs of epi pens, liquid Benadryl or the fast-dissolving powder, wipes, and even the medication prednisolone (with instructions from our allergist on how to use it, just in case she has a reaction on a flight or during a vacation or ride where there isn't a modern medical facility close by) before every trip so we feel as prepared as possible.
She has even gone on a trip to Peru without me or her dad (and I was a basket case at times) and been safe.
There are no guarantees with these precautions and supplies, but our hope is that they would buy some time until we could get medical attention.
I always call the airline ahead of time, but it seems that many do not do anything any longer to accommodate or help you prepare for travel with allergies. I would not book a flight that serves peanuts, but there are no guarantees - people can bring on board and eat whatever they want. Some airlines now refuse to make any announcement regarding an allergy on board, nor will they make a note in the reservation record. It is frustrating.
Preparation is key!
Hope you can take that trip to the Bahamas! Bon voyage!

Groups: None
By peanutfreenana on Mon, 11-24-14, 00:04

We also have fears about flying. We live in Hawaii and eventually want to move to Oregon. Does anyone have good airline experiences from here? It is 6.5 hours to the mainland and thats a long time to be away from a hospital in case of problems.

Groups: None
By fms98 on Sun, 11-23-14, 18:16

Please please check well with the airline, particularly their web site. We have been rejected from flying on Lufthansa (though they do not serve any peanuts!!) and on AlItalia (does serve peanuts), due to peanut allergy. Turkish Air told us to purchase tickets and then request a peanut free flight - they would consider the request and decide whether to grant it...
We pre-board and wipe down the seats and tray, bring a sheet to cover the whole seat, and bring our own food with a note from our doctor that we must and for the epipens. We travel with an arsenal of meds - epipens, Benadryl, inhalers and oral steroids. So far only sneezing and asthma on a flight that assured us they wouldn't be serving peanuts (even had it on their web site that they don't...) and did in Business Class anyway.

Groups: None
By PeanutAllergy.com on Fri, 11-21-14, 17:40

Question of the Week: Answered!

Every week, PeanutAllergy.com answers one of the questions posted in our community.

Our Answer:

Thank you for your question! Your anxiety is definitely understandable, but hopefully we can alleviate some of it!
Travelling, especially during the holidays, can be very stressful, and you aren’t alone in your concerns. Another community member with similar anxieties started a conversation a while ago, and you can read through that thread here.

Some tips for flying include wiping down the seats, bringing your own safe food, and research on the airline’s website for their policies once you have more information. You can find more tips for flying here.

Many major airlines have No-Nut Policies, so when you do find out your flight information, check out this list for airline tips. Alerting the airline with advanced notice is recommended as well. Some airlines require at least 48-hour notice.

Stay vigilant, bring medications with you, and feel free to discuss your allergy as well as your concerns with employees and managers at restaurants, hotels and airlines. Sometimes the more information you have, the easier it is to calm anxiety.

On the other hand, it may help to speak to a doctor or counselor about panic attacks and anxiety, as they may have advice or be able to help in other ways. Online support groups can also provide encouragement and tips as well as help you find a community of people with similar struggles. Discover how support groups may help to alleviate some anxiety here.

We asked our Facebook community for their feedback, and you can read their responses here.

Travel safely and have a great trip!

Groups: None
By Pamela S Hughes on Tue, 11-18-14, 20:06

I totally understand! This may sound crazy, but we have an elementary age child with a life-threatening peanut allergy who have let fly alone. And I am SO protective of him! Here's how we do it:

* Tell the airline when you reserve your ticket so they can flag it in the system
* Take your emergency kit with Epi-Pens (2) and inhaler, as well as Clorox wipes etc. on board
* Pre-board! Have a friend or flight attendant wipe down the arm rests and all around your area with your Clorox wipes.
* Bring your own snack sack to get through the long flight. Peace of mind helps prevent those awful panic attacks. Remind yourself that people do this every day with the exact same situation you have and you will be safely arriving soon. :) Maybe a tasty drink will help take the edge off too once you're settled and thinking about the great vacation ahead!

I think the key for all of us to be responsible and do all in our power to be safe with PA, and then ... go enjoy the great life God gave you! :) That is what has helped us over the years - I hope this helps you too. Have fun on that trip!

Groups: None
By cantufamily on Tue, 11-18-14, 19:12

Yes, our son has severe peanut allergies and what we did this past summer is inform the airline of his peanut allergy when booking flight and requested a peanut free flight. What they did is present us with preflight boarding pass and we wiped down the seats we were seating at and seat in front and back of us. We took Southwest and the stewardess even announced it was a peanut free flight and asked those who had peanuts not to eat them. They offered Graham crackers and Pretzels to everyone. We also told them that we were carrying a Epi pen. You will be fine enjoy time with your family

Groups: None
By carlhall on Mon, 11-17-14, 08:14

I think you must check your doctor to prevent you from having allergy shock again. In the meantime, airlines say they are forced to keep costs high due to federal demands. In response, they are taking a "too big to fail" attitude with Congress. Business and personal air travel is up, in spite of higher costs. Check out https://personalmoneynetwork.com/

Groups: None
By Cali1530 on Fri, 09-26-14, 21:06

Hi - I understand what you are saying completely! In 2010 I flew from Calgary, Canada to Europe (had to fly around the Iceland volcano ash cloud making the flight even longer!). I called the airline ahead of time (British Airways) who assured me there would be no nuts/peanuts served on the flight. First thing I did when I got on the flight was look at the in flight menu - which had nuts as an option of course. Unfortunately this just seems to be the way it is with airlines (at least 4 years ago), as a precaution I was prepared with medical face masks in case of airborne particles, multiple epi pens, notes from drs in case I had a hard time getting on the flight with my epi pens and asked the captain or flight attendant to make an announcement informing people of a serious allergy on flight (which I've always found they are more than happy to do). Bringing your own food/snacks is also key! I never eat anything on flights I haven't brought on myself.
While nerve racking, flying with allergies is most definitely do-able with the right precautions!

Groups: None
By Mrsdocrse on Thu, 09-18-14, 10:00


It really is safe to fly.... First I would check in with your allergist to get some facts on flying with food allergies. Your risk really isn't as great as I am sure you imagine. You take risks everyday with allergies and you manage to go to the grocery store, restaurants, movies... etc.

The only airline I won't fly on is Southwest. They actually still have bags of peanuts. We have flown on Jet Blue a lot. When you make your reservation tell them you have a food allergy. arrive early at the gate, Ask them to board early to wipe down the seat and tray table. They typically have bags of Lays products chips, Dorito, pretzels ect so no peanuts. We don't eat the snack we bring our own. They have on some occasions announced that there was an allergy on board and asked people to refrain from eating peanuts. We have also flown on Delta and US air. We have had no problems. IF you are really concerned you could wear a mask so that you breath filtered air. you can fly safe!

Groups: None
By rl_byrne on Tue, 09-16-14, 03:34

* now

Groups: None

Peanut Free and Nut Free Directory

Our directory is highlights our favorite products for people with peanut and nut allergies.