Delta Airlines - Peanut Allergy Information

Delta Airlines

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I just got back from a trip to Salt Lake City on Delta Airlines. I had called them a few nights before the flight to verify about not serving peanuts on the plane. I was informed that they would serve cookies and pretzels instead of trail mix, but that food was for sale. The food for sale included some items that had peanuts. Delta said they would make a note on my file that they would not serve peanuts to anyone within 2 rows in front, behind, or on the side of me, which is their policy.

The flight out to Utah went well, I spoke to the flight attendants when I got on the plane, and they made sure no one ate peanuts.

However, the way back to NY was horrible. I told the flight attendants once again when I got on the plane. Then, a child wanted a peanut butter sandwich who was sitting 2 rows in front of me. The flight attendant told him that he couldn't eat it there because I was allergic. She then asked me to move into the back of the plane where there was one extra seat since she didn't want to move the child by himself in the back. I was traveling with my family as well-so what if I am 21. I didn't want to move, I didn't want to be treated differently since I had an allergy. I stood up for myself and said I rather not move, and the flight attendant and a passenger next to me got upset. The passenger especically harrassed me. She was yelling saying how I am making a child move from his family because I won't move. But my standpoint was why does he have to eat a peanut butter sandwich? It was total harrassment the whole plane ride.

What would you have done? Should I have moved being 21 and older than the child? Or should the situation have been handled differently? Im curious for input.

On Nov 2, 2004

Hi - I'm sorry you had such a rough time on your flight. I've had the same info from Delta about the two rows policy, and think this is just ridiculous and refuse to fly with them. I know sometimes there's little choice tho.

It would have been a wonderful lesson if the family had explained to their child what was going on and helped him/her switch foods - and the flight attendants helping out as well. I can't imagine the stress you must have had just trying to avoid a reaction. I'm glad you made it home safely.

On Jan 17, 2005

Just wondering --

Did anyone fly DELTA over the Christmas/New Year holiday and have a different sort of experience? Would just like to know if they are still doing the no-peanuts-in-surrounding-rows-only thing, or if they will accomodate in a more thorough manner as other airlines are beginning to?


On Feb 1, 2005

Hi there. We just flew with Delta and had a wonderful experience with them. I talked to the flight attendants as we were boarding about DS severe allergy. They all seemed very sympathetic and one even announced about DS's allergy to inform everyone to please refrain from eating anything nut related brought on board. They gave out pretzels and cookies instead. We flew on 6 different flights by the time we got back home and I felt DS was as safe as he could be. So we did have a good experience with Delta but definitely sorry for anyone who didn't. It would be very frightening. Hopefully they will join with other airlines and make it policy.


On Feb 1, 2005

have to ask this question, why would you think that someone eating a peanutbutter sandwich would cause you harm??

you are 21 yrs old, unless i have read that incorrectly and you are really 21 months!!

One child eating a peanut butter sandwich on a plane is not a risk.

If you considered it a risk, then move your seat. you are the adult in this situation.

you are as safe in an aeroplane, in the air, sitting next to this child with a sandwich as you are in a restuarant.

do some real research, air travel is not that dangerous if you bring your own food, and take care where you put your hands, bring baby wipes. Ask for an anouncement on board to ask people to refrain from eating peanuts, but accept that people will, at the end of the day, eat what they want. And, as for protection, all the peanut free flights that you go on, does not mean that the previous flight, on the same plane did not have peanuts on board. So what will really save your life, is not making enemies on a flight, but a simple common sense attitude to your own care and safety. Anaphylaxis on a plane is very, very rare. Panic attacks are common. I am not saying that the risk is non exsistant, I am just saying that your approach is an over reaction . Do some research , ring the allergy charites for there opinons on the flight risks.


[This message has been edited by williamsmummy (edited February 01, 2005).]

On Feb 2, 2005

I don't agree Sarah. Obviously the severity of allergies vary. Some will react to the smell especially in a closed in space such as an aeroplane. The risk is far too great and should have been minimized as much as it could be and serving a peanut butter sandwich during a flight isn't doing that. There are alternatives to peanut butter (we all know that).

Just my opinion. Annshel

[This message has been edited by Annshel (edited February 02, 2005).]

On Feb 2, 2005


I think Sarah is a bit confused. It appears that she is responding to the original poster when it was originally posted back in November 2004.

Sometimes that happens when topics are just skimmed quickly.

FWIW, I think what you suggested for your Delta flights was completely fine.

On Feb 4, 2005

Hi E-mom. I knew what Sarah was responding to and I responded to her response. lol Clear as mud? [img][/img]


On Feb 4, 2005


Originally posted by Annshel: [b]Clear as mud? [img][/img] [/b]

Crystal [img][/img] LOL

On Feb 4, 2005

I have read studies / listened to experts that compare the reaction of someone in a room with the smell of peanuts in the room to the mild symtoms that hay fever sufferers have. Runny eyes, itchy skin and hives. Unpleasant , but not life threatening.

The vast majority of the peanut allergic in this world travel on planes with out incident. I still find the whole situation with the peanut butter sandwich on the plane as a irrational over reaction .


On Feb 5, 2005

Williamsmummy- I am the original person who posted this discussion. And yes, I am 21 years old. I do not think any age matters when you are dealing with a life threatening allergy. Why do you see age as a problem?

Also, does it matter if the smell of peanut butter makes someone sick rather than killing them? After reading your response, it seems like you are against getting rid of peanut butter sandwiches within an area on an airplane. I guess I don't understand why. The smell can make people who are allergic sick to their stomachs, get hives, or have other reactions. Why would I want to get sick? Or risk getting sick? The child was 2 rows in front of me, not far back on the plane.

I understand that I was the adult in the situation. However, I did not want to move because there was only 1 seat in the way back of the plane. I tend to get dizzy in the back of planes, and I was traveling with my family. I am not a frequent flyer and wanted to sit near them. I don't think children should be able to get whatever they want or eat whatever they want when they want it. Spoiling children is not a good way to raise them, in my opinion. Yes there is time for that, but there are also times to teach children to care for others who have disabilities. I think having a peanut allergy is a disability, so would have preferred the parent to teach the child a lesson.

And as for air travel, I do not need to do more research. I never eat anything at airports or on airplanes. I always pack my own food, call the airline ahead of time so that they can make note on my record that I have an allergy, and always have an epi-pen on me.

Annshel-My rationale seems more in line with yours. Thanks for explaining! [img][/img]

On Feb 5, 2005

I have a PA child who I would protect with every ounce of my being. I would outlaw peanuts, if I could. But the fact is, we live in the real world. Whenever I used to travel with my kids (before the days of PA), I used to always bring pb&J for the meal. It was something easy, non-perishable and they loved it.

Ihave to admit that I am still a little confused as to what reaction you were afraid of. I have known people who do get nauseated at the smell of nuts...but I hate certain smells too. I wouldn't consider them to be life threatening. Is your PA to the poin that if you smell nuts, you could have a reaction?

I have never actually heard of someone who became ana over the I mistaken???

On Feb 6, 2005

I would not be bothered about the odd peanut butter sandwich on a flight. As long as my son didnt eat one! If my son started getting the mild symptoms you describe, I would give him an antihistamine.

You didnt move because you get dizzy, but would be happy for a young child to be seperated from his/her family? And yet, you are CONCERNED that this child is being spoilt?

A peanut butter sandwich is a very healthy snack for a young child, and many children need food little and often.

I would never let my son consider or view his multiple food and environmental allergies as a disability. More as a fact of life. Even if i did, it would have no bearing on other parents , their child, and any lessons I consider they should teach that child.

Aeroplanes have hepra filters on board, a peanut butter sandwich eaten two rows ahead is hardly dangerous in any way shape or form to you.


On Feb 6, 2005

My daughter had severe reaction on USAIR flight when she was 18 months old to peanuts. She DID NOT eat them...and we had to emergency land. I know what "research" has said that people are not at risk for anaphylxis from smelling peanuts/nuts but I disagree. I think it depends on the person, individual case by case. My daughter has had reactions from open bins of nuts in the grocery store. Why take the chance that you COULD have an airborne reaction??? Or any reaction for that matter???

Besides that, I think that being annoyed by the peanut butter sandwich is exactly how I would have been. The parent should have explained to that child in simple terms that they could not eat it due to someone being allergic. I am sure that Delta could have provided an alternative snack for the child. I think teaching a non-allergic child about empathy and respecting other people and their allergies is a valuable lesson at any age. I have no tolerance for those who say that their kids "HAVE to have" their peanut butter sandwiches.

I agree with the original person who posted (sorry, forgot her name) and how she felt about the situation. It doesn't matter HOW old she is with allergies, it is about respecting others with special needs, and I would hope that my daughter when she is 21 (15 years from now) that she would act as you did on an airline. I want her to be pro-active and stand up for herself and her allergies. It's not about "making enemies" on an airline, but about educating citizens about allergies and how severe they are.


On Feb 6, 2005

Teaching empathy.

[b]Sarcasm Warning[/b] [img][/img]

hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. probably about as easy as teaching others Autism does not make my family Alien. Oh, wait.................... [img][/img]

On Feb 6, 2005

MB, next month will be giving a presentation on IGE allergies to a local support group in my area. This group is one for parents whoose children have autism. I have /and do work with children with Autism, its with great pride that I go by the name of 'BBC2 Robot wars' when I greet a very special person .

as for flying, I never said that airbourne allergies are out of the question, my son has airbourne allergies . I am sure that with other ingredients , such as smoking in the same room with a dog, would eventually push him over the edge. i would worry more about the above situation , than sitting on a plane with a peanut butter sandwich on board.

I do not even question the other poster whos child had a reaction on a plane.It happened. But how do your prove that this was air bourne,?( if that is what you are claiming) when it could equally be the result of your child touching a seat that had peanut residue on it? just because you ask( if you had one!) for a peanut free flight, it does not promise you that the previous flight was peanut free. There are always exceptions to the rules, but for the most part airbounre reactions that go as far as full blown anaphylaxis are RARE.


On Feb 6, 2005

Personally, I wish that airlines would just stop serving nuts period. Some have already but the bottom line is that not all have or will. But even airlines who don't actually serve peanuts will never say that they are "peanut free" since they can not control everything that people bring on board.

I understand that and I can live with that. My son is HIGHLY allergic to peanut however, there is a big difference in one person eating peanuts or a whole plane of people eating peanuts. Also, I think opening several packages of peanuts with peanut dust flying into the air is much more risky than someone eating a PB&J sandwich (oily base that does not as freely enter the atmosphere).

My son sits in a cafeteria at a peanut free table but the table just behind him has kids eating PB&J every day. This does not seem to cause any problems for him or any of the other peanut allergic kids. Not to say that this is the case for everyone but he is highly sensitive and has had MANY reactions from contact in miniscule amounts. My concerns are more that everyone washes hands, faces, etc.

Anyway, bottom line, I agree with Sarah in that a PB&J sandwich a few rows ahead is probably not a serious threat.

We also need to be careful as people who live with peanut allergy (ourselves or our children) in that we need to pick our battles wisely. I think then, we are more likely to have our greatest concerns responded to in a positive way.

On Feb 6, 2005

My question is it rational to be afraid to fly because someone else could eat a peanut product "near" you? I feel that it is more MY anxiety that limits my traveling, then the actual fact that my son could react to the smell of a PBJ.

I understand that the one mother stated her 18 mo old daughter had an airbounre reaction to nuts on an airline. Has anyone else really had a reaction to "nut dust"???

I am not trying to pick a fight, I am honestly trying to understand. We haven't flown anywhere since my son was diagnosed over a yr ago. We want to travel again, but I am not sure where irrational anxiety starts and real caution takes over.

On Feb 6, 2005

Just for the record, M *lost consciousness* last fall, from simply being across a picnic table) from a child wearing a nut-based sunscreen. Facial edema occurred later, in the ER. The swelling could, in fairness, have been attributed to the peanut-butter sandwich-eating EMT who responded to the collapse. Either way -- at least two bodily systems -- and absolutely no ingestion. No contact that we could identify -- the kids had not touched, and the EMT had gloved up.

Only panic attack involved was my own, realizing that I might not be able to reach the party fast enough to see M alive, given what DH was describing as he hung up the phone.

Describing a peanut butter sandwich as "hardly dangerous in any way shape or form" is patronising, and well beyond the appropriate expression of individual opinion/circumstance.

PA is a spectrum - a bell curve - and I'm writing from the side that no one particularly wants to be on -- fierce, fast reactions that certainly give every indication of being airborne. We no longer have the luxury of playing the "pick our battles wisely" game.

For the sake of everyone posting, I hope we never have the pleasure of your company on this side of the fence -- hearing your husband describe a collapsed, *blue* child isn't something I would wish on anyone. But please understand -- we never expected things to reach this point ourselves.


On Feb 6, 2005


Originally posted by Joesmom: [b]My question is it rational to be afraid to fly because someone else could eat a peanut product "near" you? [/b]

In my case, I will still fly even if people do eat peanut products on the plane.


Originally posted by Joesmom: [b]I understand that the one mother stated her 18 mo old daughter had an airbounre reaction to nuts on an airline. Has anyone else really had a reaction to "nut dust"??? [/b]

Yes.. when I am in a restaurant when ppl are cracking open peanuts in the bar and eating them, I will start to sneeze and get a runny nose after 15 to 20 minutes ... I avoid these type of siutuations. However, I do not avoid air travel. I consider the risk to be minimal to me especially since I bring my own food on boatrd and wash my hands. [img][/img]

On Feb 7, 2005

Yes, my dd has had a reaction to "nut dust" although not on an airplane. I was standing talking to a friend when dd started frantically pulling my arm telling me that she was having a reaction. Her nose started pouring, she started hiving up, wheezing and she had a sharp pain in her ear (this had happened during another previous reaction and the er doc told us that this indicated that her ear was swelling and that this meant her throat was swelling as well). I looked down at my friends son and he was eating a bag of peanuts. DD had not been touching him...she had been standing at my side. So I honestly believe that this anaphylactic reaction was to peanut dust in the air.

On Feb 8, 2005

We were thinking about flying this summer for the first time with my pa son. I am nervous. He has had a reaction in my bils basement. I thought it was due to dust or feathers, my bil has a zoo down there, and he said he had swept earlier in the day. I thought it was the dust since he is allergic to dust too. However now reading all this and thinking back, I remember seeing a bin of whole peanuts up high on a shelf in his basement. when I questioned him ( he uses it to feed the chinchillas) He said he had not fed them that day. BUT now thinking he swept and maybe there was peanut dust on the floor combined with good ol regular dust and that was in the air after sweeping. My son went in the basement hours after the sweeping btw. His reaction was a sudden onset of cold symptons. Benedryl cleared it up. I dont know if I should fly. HMM, more my nervousness then anything else. I dont know, I just dont know..... Flo

On Feb 10, 2005

[quote]Originally posted by MommaBear: [B]Teaching empathy.

I think these two words say it all--as well as the knowledge that as individuals we have individual reactions and individual opinions. None of us are experts! This board should be a place that all opinions are welcome, disagreed with maybe but not judged.


On Apr 5, 2005

To Sarah, Regardless of what you have read or the people you might know there are people out there who are so severely allergic to peanuts that they cannot be near them. My son walked past a girl at the park who was eating a bag of roasted peanuts and within 10 minutes was covered in hives and his throat was swelling. On an airplane somebody who is eating a peanut butter sandwich two or even five rows away from my son is a problem. Age doesn't matter. Actually the severity of reactions has been proven to increase with each exposure so it makes sense that the older a person is the more severe a reaction might me.

As far as you not thinking a PA is a disability. Thankfully our government understands that it is. PA individuals are protected by The Americans with Disabilities Act. Recent studies have proven that children with life threatening food allergies have more emotional stress because of their disability then do children with diabetes or M.S.

So.. before you go ranting about not spoiling kids or being the adult in the situation.. or allergies not being disabilities. please do a little more research. You thinking you are the authority on a subject that you clearly don't know much about may change the opinion of somebody who doesn't know better. This could put somebodys life in danger.

Of course you are free to your opinion but please don't act like you are presenting facts.

Peace, Christin

On Apr 11, 2005

One other factor about the danger of peanuts on board a plane is that you are no where near medical care. I'm sure everyone on this board carries an epi-pen on the airplane, but what then? I have a friend who is a former flight attendant. She said that they have a procedure to follow that includes getting permission to land at the nearest airport, and having an amulance waiting at the airport. She never told me how long the landing would take, but I know on occasion it has taken me half an hour to get the flight attendant's attention when it was urgent, but not life-threatening.

On Apr 19, 2005

I sent a letter to Delta about a month ago regarding their peanut policy. They cared so much about my concerns that I didn't even get a response.

On Apr 19, 2005

I also wrote to Delta about a month ago. I did get a response but it was their standard form letter. Disappointing.

On Apr 22, 2005

So look at this-

I e-mailed Delta twice about the allergies and a flight tomorrow. No one responded- in the past they have. ANYWAY... I called today---"We no longer serve peanuts on our flights"

Can you believe it???????????????????????? I'll let you knnow how our trip goes, I'm in shock. Patty

On Apr 22, 2005

Ahaa! Must have been that scathing letter I wrote to Delta a month ago!!

Seriously - they may not serve peanuts but if you are on a flight that serves 'meals for purchase' - see if PB&J sandwiches are on the kid's menu. If they've taken it off, then there may be hope for Delta after all!

[This message has been edited by Adele (edited April 22, 2005).]

On Apr 26, 2005

Well, I finally got a reply to my email about Delta's decision to start serving peanuts again next month (May 2005). Frankly, I would have preferred them to not respond at all than with the following:

Thank you for your e-mail to Delta Air Lines. We regret your disappointment with our onboard snack changes.

These changes are a part of Delta's overall transformation plan to offer a simplified, value-driven customer experience, which also includes offering more affordable air travel with SimpliFares. Our new onboard service offerings were implemented to provide our customers more choices, consistency, and convenience, while also gaining operational efficiencies. Along with these changes, we've implemented other improvements to make it easier to do business with Delta including simplifying many service fees for most travel services to $50, adding more self-service technology to and at the airport and new aircraft interiors.

You can read more about our new onboard experience at [url=""][/url] As we move forward, we are designing the passenger experience based on customer feedback to be comfortable, simpler and more inviting, while also offering value to our customers. Your comments are appreciated and will be forwarded to the appropriate leadership team so they may be aware of your concerns.

Please accept our apology for the poor impression, and we welcome further opportunities to be of service.


Patti Anderson Manager Customer Care

Original Message Follows: ------------------------ My family and I traveled last week to Orlando on Delta and were very pleased with the accomodations made for my 6-year old son, who is severely allergic to peanuts. As a precaution, I informed the head flight attendent at each stage of the journey about his allergy, and was reassured that peanuts are not served on Delta flights.

You can imagine my dismay when I learned that next month Delta is planning to revise the snack menu to include honey-roasted peanuts. Given the growing prevelence of peanut allergies, and how quickly a reaction can become fatal, I hope you will reconsider this decision.

Yes, I realize Delta cannot guarantee a peanut-free flight - nor can any other airline. However, you can choose to reduce the risk of an in-flight medical emergency by not deliberately introducing a food that can prove fatal to over 1,000,000 Americans. Yes, I know I can ask ahead of time that the surrounding rows be peanut-free, and that I can come aboard ahead of time to clean the seating area. However, this does not work well when faced with last-minute flight changes or close connections. Nor does it help with the fact than peanut dust has been known to provoke a reaction in sensitive individuals in confined areas.

If for no other reason, this seems like a poor business decision. There must be many other peanut-allergic families that like mine make their airline choices based on their children's saftey. It is hard to imagine an equal number of passengers choosing an airline because they serve peanuts instead of pretzels. Nor would anyone benefit by an increased number of diverted flights due to medical emergencies.

If you are unwilling to consider such a policy change, then I regret to say that Delta will not be my choice for future flights. Thank you for your attention in this matter.

On May 3, 2005

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Well, we just returned from florida saturday. took 2 delta flights. When I called prior to leaving home, I was told that "Delta no longer serves nuts". Well- that's aload of you-know-what. Although they flagged our reservation and we had "special handling" as with our 3 previous annual flights with them, the stewardess on flight 2 told me that they would be serving honey-roasted peanuts to the front half of the plane. I told her that Em has never been in a sealed area with nuts before and she would need an Epi-pen if she had a reaction. Well, she did not serve the nuts and did come back twice to see if we were okay. Flight one went well, no nuts were even mentioned. I always e-mail before the flight, then notify the person at check-in and again at the gate. I also board the plane and say" Hi -this is Emily, she has the peanut allergy" Everyone is friendly and they respond as if they were aware of our arrival. So, I can't complain except for the person who told me that nuts are no longer served. Seriously- when on a plane , we never know who is carrying their own bag of nuts, so you always have to be cautious. No airline can prevent people from eating nuts. Good Luck ------------------ Patty

By ash_c on Mar 24, 2011

Delta Air, among other air travel services, has reduced the number of flights the airline is conducting in and out of Japan because of the disasters that have taken place there. Falling demand in the wake of the events that took place have cost airlines a lot of revenue. The situation is compounded by the increasing cost of jet fuel. Jet fuel prices have been steadily rising for a while, which is putting a squeeze on the air travel industry.

By snugglecat on Jun 12, 2011

I just took 3 Delta flights. All 3 served peanuts, preztels, and cookies as their free snacks. The peanuts and preztles were in Delta labeled bags. Even if you let them know you are allergic, if you have an airborne allergy, they could be there from the people that just got off. They were everywhere! The preztels also say on the package they are not safe for peanut allergy suffers. Thankfully, I am ingestion only. Use care when travelling Delta.