Delta's Disregard of Buffer Zone Policy
As a consultant, I am a frequent flyer, and have flown since I was 3 years old (I am almost 26 years old now). I was a loyal frequent flyer with Delta since age 3. My peanut allergy didn't develop until age 11, and although the reaction occurred from the smell of peanuts, it wasn't life-threatening, until a few months ago, when I flew on Delta Airlines.
I flew Delta a few months ago. I always notified the airline of my peanut allergy at least 24 hours in advance, as recommended by Delta's VP in charge of food. By doing this, it was supposed to ensure a buffer zone. It wasn't ideal because my peanut allergy is triggered by smell and I was usually treated badly by the flight attendants (being forced to move to a crappy seat, was treated rudely, etc). However, I dealt with it, because my reactions weren't life threatening (the roof of my mouth would swell up, but that was about it).
The flight attendant on this flight forgot to check the itinerary for any notes for special needs in his rush to prep the cabin for take off. Unfortunately, I fell asleep when the plane took off, and the flight attendant served peanuts and Snickers while I was still asleep. I woke up a few minutes after the snacks had been passed out, and notified the flight attendant immediately. He took the peanuts away from all the passengers (I had been upgraded to first class, which had 4 rows, and a total of 14 seats), but didn't take the Snickers away. After landing, I was wheezing pretty badly, and went to the hospital for the first time for anaphylaxis.
When I notified Delta about my hospital visit, they flat out ignored it. Mind you, I was a Gold Medallion in Delta's SkyMiles program. Until a relative of mine, who is a Diamond Medallion (the highest status in the SkyMiles program), wrote to corporate, I was ignored. After that, I was bribed with 10,000 skymiles, but basically cast aside. I even wrote to the Dept of Transportation about the violation of the buffer zone rule, but they just routed it to the Delta DOT coordinator's desk, who simply justified the flight attendant's behavior.
As a result, I stopped flying Delta. I know that there has been a thread to not fly Delta, but it is imperative that anyone with a severe peanut allergy not fly Delta, as they have a cavalier attitude towards the issue, and the government does nothing to enforce their regulations.