Alaska Airlines

Posted on: Tue, 01/09/2001 - 7:12am
Frances's picture
Joined: 11/28/2000 - 09:00

Just when I thought I had experienced it all! On our flight last weekend home from CA our original flight was delayed (with us on board) for two hours. This flight was "peanut-free." They were supposed to serve dinner but because of the delay--and their stupid rules--they didn't. After our two hour captivity--they requested all passengers get off the plane and they would assist us in making other arrangements. We managed to get on another flight, supposedly 30 minutes later (which was also delayed--but I won't get in to that). We got on the flight and were awaiting some movement of the plane when I overheard a flight attendant say they (Alaska) forgot to make the announcement that this flight was not serving dinner. This wasn't a problem for us because we don't count on airline food! Especially since Alaska is unable to provide ingredient info or meal specifics anyway. Knowing that at least 80% of the people from the previous flight hadn't probably eaten--they would be looking for some food. I went and asked what they would be serving. Of course it was PEANUTS. I calmly informed them about my son's allergy--although since it had been noted on his previous ticket--I wrongly assumed it was noted on this one. The flight attendants had no clue what to do. They (there were three of them) stated they didn't know the airlines peanut policy and began perusing their airline manuals. While they were doing this, my son was subjected to ignorant and not very nice comments from people in the row in front of us and people behind us! This was the last straw. Knowing that at best we would would only get a few rows buffer from peanuts, my husband and I decided to get off the plane. So with carry-on luggage and our three children, the youngest who was near sleeping by this time, we got off the plane. We did end up getting on a third flight--which was peanut free (if you don't count the garbage peanuts which seem always to be visible on planes). We got home eight hours later than planned (at 3:00 a.m.). Unfortunately we can't take back the unkind comments our son was subjected to nor can we change the ignorance of airline personnel. The best we can do is use this to further the education of our son about PA and all the related issues he will encounter for the rest of his life!

Posted on: Tue, 01/09/2001 - 9:45am
PattyR's picture
Joined: 04/12/2002 - 09:00

Frances, I am so sorry for your experience. I am sure it was hard on your family. Luckily for us, kids are quicker to get over these things than we as adults are. I am glad you were able to finally get on a peanut free flight.

Posted on: Tue, 02/25/2003 - 8:03am
Jana R's picture
Joined: 02/09/1999 - 09:00

Yep - we flew Alaska in December - for some reason I mistakenly thought there would be an effort on their part to substitute pretzels (or even almonds) before our flight. But apparently while the information "goes in their computer" no one in catering checks on it. I wrote my experience in the thread here "Alaska Airline nightmare" [url=""][/url]
I think they have a process or follow-through set up for alternate meals but nothing official in place for snacks.

Posted on: Fri, 02/13/2004 - 11:49am
cynde's picture
Joined: 12/10/2002 - 09:00

Hi, we just got back from Maui, and had to fly two short legs of our journey on Alaska airlines. I called ahead of time and was told they had no idea what would be served on the plane, and they had no way of finding out or controlling it (apparently all the food just magically appears [img][/img] ). I even spoke to a supervisor, and got the same BU!!SH!7 response.
When we got to the gate, I asked the person who takes the tickets as you board, and he made an announcement before anyone boarded, and the flight crew was notified. They made an announcement on the plane also (in case anyone had brought their own food). Unfortunately they served a "protein" bar which contained peanuts. I'm not sure many people (if any) ate the bar. Luckily it was a very short flight an our son did not have any reactions.
When I spoke to the supervisor on the phone ahead of time, she said they used to have a no PN policy, but since they could not guarantee all the food was absolutely safe they would get rid of the policy and now serve nut products again. My DH compared this to car company saying that since they can't guarantee that you will never crash in your car, they don't put in seat belts. I tried to explain to the person I was not looking for a reassurance that their food was safe for DS, I just didn't want 200 little bags of PN opened in a confined space (DS had a minor reaction to 1 bag of PN being opened in his K classroom). She didn't seem to get it, but I tried and suggested that her and her superiors needed some education.
They also lost our luggage, and trying to track it down was a nightmare, so when DH submitted our claim for reimbursement, he mentioned their lack of a safe policy, at the same time praising the ground and flight crews for going the extra mile to try and keep our DS safe.
Bottom line, we will never fly Alaskan again. United Airlines on the other hand (the rest of our journey) was wonderful and does not serve PN or PN products on their airlines. They cannot guarantee all the food is 100% PN free, which is of course fine since I took food for DS for the whole trip.
[This message has been edited by cynde (edited February 13, 2004).]

Posted on: Tue, 03/09/2004 - 6:28pm
Scrippsie's picture
Joined: 11/20/2003 - 09:00

Well, Alaska told me today that they won't accomodate for my allergy. Called and asked, as usual, to have a different snack served other than peanuts. The woman danced around it for a few minutes, telling me she hadn't flown on an Alaska flight with peanuts on it in months. I told her I was on one in December. She told me that they don't honor requests to remove peanuts anymore. I told her that my family had peanuts taken off an Alaska flight three weeks ago. She told me she got the note about this in the last two days. YEAH RIGHT. She gave me all the usual excuses, "well if one person sits down next to you with peanuts that they brought, you're sunk!" No, it's easy to explain to one person, not an entire plane full of people. "we don't know what food is coming in because of our distributor." It's never been a problem in the past. "We would advise you to bring your own know, you might want to bring a mask if it's going to irritate your breathing." You have got to be kidding.
She totally tried to make me seem unreasonable, but I was having none of it...finally I told her I would just check at the gate. I hung up and promptly called my parents about it. Dear Daddy is going to call Alaska and raise h***. [img][/img]
This is absolutely the first time I have ever encountered someone who has a problem accomodating my allergy. I'm quite annoyed!
I shall keep you informed!

Posted on: Tue, 03/16/2004 - 10:12am
helenmc's picture
Joined: 05/01/2002 - 09:00

Don't (some) airlines just give you the $hits?
They really have your life in their hands (in many different ways), and unlike a bus or train, they can't just stop and let you out if you get sick on board. It sfunny how they spend untold milions on in flight safety but are prepared to ignore this issue.
Don;t get me started...
Geoff (Helen's hubby, who's flying with Helen to the US in 10 days on Qantas, along with about 500 little bags of peanuts...)

Posted on: Thu, 04/22/2004 - 6:49am
Hazel's picture
Joined: 04/22/2004 - 09:00

Hi everyone - We just returned from a trip to Disneyland. We flew Alaska and it was extremely stressful.
They have "peanut flights" and "snack flights". It appears that the snack flights occur around meal times and they are typically something like pita chips and cream cheese for example. At all other times they are "peanut flights". Although one attendant said on our return flight that serving pretzels was special because all their flights are "peanut flights" now.
This was all news to us as we boarded our first flight down to Orange County. I had checked everything out back in Nov. 03 when I booked the flight - it seemed like a safe way to fly at the time. If you check their peanut policy (on-line) it says that their snacks "may contain nut-related ingredients". Their policy starts off by saying that they realize the seriousness of food allergies like peanuts . . ." They ask you to bring your own food.
We found out the flight before ours had been a "peanut flight". We asked to board early and we wiped things down and had to pick up several peanuts up from the floor. Ours was to be a "snack flight".
Aside from checking it out before booking, I called twice closer to our departure date and no one had a clue what would be on our flights - I specifically asked about peanuts and they said "we have no idea what will be on your flight". They should have come right out and said "we serve peanuts" but they never did.
When we checked into the gate on flight number two enroute to Orange County the person at the gate said "I should have arranged special diet requests ahead of time". Explained I tried and she did apologize. It is a very long story and we were really worried about our son. I just sent off a five page letter to their CEO about it.
It was hard to enjoy our holiday because we were worried sick about the return flights. We had to spend an entire morning in our hotel room calling Alaska to make sure peanuts wouldn't be on the return flights spending $50.00 U.S. on these calls. They did not serve peanuts on our return, however, we needed to take a smaller plane - Horizon Air which is connected to Alaska - the flight attendant had them out ready to serve - I asked her not to and she didn't - nevertheless - when we went to all the time and money - it was really annoying.
There is no way I can tell you everything - it took five pages - I documented everything.
Our holiday is over now but I wanted others to know - not to book Alaska - you can't trust what they say or their policy. At one point we were told they started to serve peanuts again because diabetic people requested them for quick protein. Also that the other airlines are starting to serve them too as a cost saving measure.
I'm hoping to hear back from the CEO - if I do I will update you. I explained that a passenger could feed their child a peanut for the first time, not realizing this child has a peanut allergy, and this child could die - no epipen - not near a hospital etc.
We found the majority of people at Alaska to not be educated regarding a peanut allergy - a few were very helpful and we discovered that these people had close friends or family with this allergy.
The strange thing is that this "new" policy went into effect March 1 '04. We were told prior to this date they didnt' serve peanuts. Had we officially registered our son as having a peanut allergy they would have advised us of their "new" policy. It wouldn't have done any good as it doesn't state they serve peanuts. We were told originally they didn't serve peanuts - so why pursue it any further.
My husband said it will be a very long time before he flys with out son again. Regardless of airline - if and when we fly again I will request for the CEO's signature on their letterhead assuring us there will not be peanuts on our flights. We asked the right questions, we checked their policy - but it didn't help us at all.
It was really upsetting. I had just had our son's blood work checked too before we left on holidays. I have never had it done and I was hoping that maybe he had outgrown this darned thing. The range is 1 - 17.5 and he's 68! The next time he ingests peanuts - we've been told it's going to be a very serious and dangerous reaction.
If I hear back from Alaska I will update you.
All the best and safe travels.

Posted on: Tue, 07/06/2004 - 8:43am
Matthew's picture
Joined: 06/15/2004 - 09:00

Hello Hazel-
How infuriating! My family has had parallel experiences on America West, which would rather kill my PA son than keep packs of peanuts in their apron pockets.
If you still have a copy of your letter, I'd love to have a copy. I am trying to collect as large a file as possible which I then intend to copy and send certified mail, with proof of delivery, to every major airline that serves peanuts.
Best of luck in your future travels,

Posted on: Sat, 01/08/2005 - 1:39pm
Hazel's picture
Joined: 04/22/2004 - 09:00

Hi Matthew - sorry I don't have the letter. I was disgusted with the situation and just threw it out knowing we would never fly Alaska again. They did reimburse me for the $50.00 we spent on long distance calls from our hotel room in L.A. up to Seattle to try to ensure a peanut free flight home.

Posted on: Sun, 01/09/2005 - 11:14am
Idahomom's picture
Joined: 01/09/2005 - 09:00

We had booked a flight through Travelocity rd trip from Spokane to Orlando. Outbound we're going to be on Frontier but coming home they had us on Alaska (I have to admit I didn't really do my homework on airlines before booking). Anyways, after calling Frontier they told me they don't serve peanuts. Whew. Next I called Alaska. I have never dealt with such rude people. They absolutely refused to serve an alternate snack. I was told by them (and I'm quoting!) "maybe you shouldn't be flying if you daughter is so allergic" and "well, when they come around serving peanuts you can just refuse them". Oh really-I thought we had to eat them! I spent 4 days on the phone between Travelocity (never will I use them again!) and Alaska. I even drove to the airport twice( 1.5 hrs each way from my house)trying to get this resolved. I have to say that Frontier was great about it and once I got Travelocity to release the tickets over to Frontier they exchanged my Alaska tickets over to Frontier.
Alaska Airlines just does care about its passengers with food allergies. Sorry about the rant, but I would really suggest anyone with peanut/tree nut allergies never fly Alaska.
Mom to Kerri allergic to Pn/Tn/shrimp
flying for the 1st time Jan, 26!

Posted on: Thu, 01/24/2008 - 3:01pm
HLB's picture
Joined: 01/24/2008 - 21:49

Very helpful to know! Thank You!


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