Do you request a peanut-free flight? - Peanut Allergy Information

Do you request a peanut-free flight?

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I know this should probably be posted under TRAVEL or AIRLINES, but I'm asking these questions specifically of PA adults.

I'm trying to make a decision about flying with Southwest. Hope you don't mind the inquisition!

1. Do you fly only on peanut-free airlines?

2. If not, do you request a peanut-free flight or make arrangements to fly only early morning flights?

3. Did your allergist tell you NOT to fly on peanut airlines? If not, what does your allergist advise?

4. If you fly when peanuts are served, do you react?

5. If so, what happens?

6. If you don't react, do you still avoid peanuts when you fly?

7. I know there's no such thing as a 'mild peanut allergy' but do you consider your PA to be moderate or severe?

Thanks so much for your time!

[This message has been edited by Adele (edited October 09, 2006).]

On Oct 9, 2006

I don't react to inhalation. I don't react to peanut contact, but I react to soy that way. Almost all airplane snacks contain soy, so that's a problem.

I don't eat airplane food, I bring my own (well, I used to, but I haven't flown lately).

I wipe down my seat with a safe-for-me wipe or a washrag. I also request a laundered blanket (if it's winter, I just put my coat across the seat).

Once, on southwest, I was offered soynuts, peanuts, and pretzels. I declined, saying I was allergic to all of them. My seatmate (a stranger) turned and asked which snack would be least offensive to me (very nicely, not at all rude). I suggested the pretzels, which turned out to be his favorite. I noticed that he got up and washed his hands after eating. We didn't talk, so I don't know if he has allergic family members, but it was nice.

I usually have gloves (nitrile, cotton, winter) on hand, just in case.

I carry epi-pens, oral epi, and chlorphenirmine. I also generally carry hydrocortizone for skin reactions.

I've had contact reactions (hives, eczema) from soy residue. I frequently have asthma problems and brain fog from folks who insist on wearing perfume or using lavender travel sickness aids. I sometimes break out in hives and have mild airway swelling from those, too.

I avoid flying when at all possible. People are just too stinky.


On Oct 9, 2006


Are you ok in a bar where peanuts are served?


On Oct 10, 2006

Hiya Daisy, I haven't been in a bar where peanuts are served in a long time, so I wouldn't know.

I know how I react on an aircraft, I'm just wondering how the other adults here deal with it. Thanks!

On Oct 10, 2006

When I fly, I always call the airline ahead of time and let them know I have a severe peanut allergy and request a peanut-free flight.

This all depends on their actual policy, but most airlines either dont have peanuts or have a policy where they can't serve peanuts within 5-10 rows around you.

I always talk to the flight attendant right when I get onboard and let him/her know of my situation. I also always bring my own food.

I never had a problem, but always have my epi-pen and clartin meltaways with me (my doctor told me to take those first if I feel a reaction).

However, I did react to peanuts at a bar about a month or 2 ago. Since then, I think I will only fly on airlines that do not serve peanuts at all.

On Oct 11, 2006

Thanks (edited) and others who replied.

I'm trying to decide if I should ask for a peanut-free flight.

I cough and get hoarse, but if this is ALL that happens on a flight with peanuts, then I can live with it. But my main concern is: Is this considered an 'exposure' and will each exposure make my PA worse'?

I've googled 'flying with peanut allergy' , etc. and still haven't come up with enough facts to make up my mind.

I guess, what it boils down to, is there are still too many 'unknowns' with PA.


On Oct 12, 2006

Hi (edited)

That's really funny! hehe Thanks for posting!

I usually fly Air Canada and have flown them on 4 trips (8 flights) in the past 3 years. They are great.. they don't serve any peanuts. [img][/img]

I also flew Cathay Pacific, and they do serve peanut snacks on some of their flights so be aware. I took the flights anyway, although I prefer a peanut-free flight.

On Oct 12, 2006

(edited), I will have to do a search here for ELMO going through security, because I missed your post. I do like the Canadian sense of humor!

(edited), I have a 5 hour flight (RT) from PHX to BWI (Baltimore) - travelling alone....another reason to be careful.

Initially, when I first found out I was PA, I could fly Southwest with no problems, but now it is most definitely worse than even a year ago. But, so I cough. Tons of things make me cough. Same with the itchy eyes and hoarseness.

I flew on peanut-free American from Paris to the U.S. in June, and the man across the aisle from me had a HUGE bag of peanuts that he munched on throughout the flight. But I worry less about one bag - and more about 180 bags opened simultaneously.

I've been doing a lot of googling and not only can't I find any significant information on airborne reactions on flights (though we ALL know it happens!) - I can't even find much on my main question....'does repeated inhalation of peanut dust constitute an exposure and does each exposure further sensitize the person to peanuts?'.

If the answer to this is YES, then I would ask for a peanut-free flight.

With all the information on PA available online, I'm really surprised that there still aren't answers for some pretty basic questions.

[This message has been edited by Adele (edited October 12, 2006).]

On Oct 12, 2006

Not an adult with PA here, just a parent (sorry to hijack, just wanted to comment). DH and I flew home from Orlando on SW this past week. Our PA son was not with us. It was the first time I'd flown on a commercial flight since knowing the severity of DS's PA. I did not request a peanut-free flight although i was traveling with our infant DS#3 (nursing and avoiding peanut). We declined the snacks. I have to say that both DH and I were STUNNED at the STRONG peanut smell that filled the air after the snack was opened. It was very intense and lingered for several minutes. We both looked at each other and said, "I guess that answers THAT question."

Something you all already know, of course...I just wanted to add my story and say thanks for all that adults with PA do to pave the way for our kids with PA. Best wishes.


On Oct 13, 2006

(quote removed)

Diabetes ring a bell? Hypoglycemia?

If my husband goes more than a few hours without food, he's not functional. He can't drive, he can't think, he can't communicate well. Sure, he will probably live, but he'll get very, very ill, the rest of the week will be ruined, and he will likely remain under the weather for a few weeks.

He doesn't bring peanuts on planes, but he certainly has to eat during an all day trip.

Most normal folks will also start to suffer from low blood sugar after sustained activity/awake time with no food. Do we really want crankier people on flights?


On Oct 13, 2006

Gads, no! We don't need any more cranky people on flights. A lot of people that are afraid of flying, particularly men, use crankiness to cover up the fear.

(name edited out).....if you develop ana during a flight, there are medical kits onboard that include epi. I THINK (but am not 100% sure) this is standard for all U.S. airlines. The Captain gives the authority to open the sealed medical kit, which may be a problem if there is no doctor on board.

However, domestic airlines can use EMSCOM or something similar, where the flight crew can talk to a physician in an ER (often in PHX). Generally, the Captain will only approve opening the medical kit for an onboard licensed doctor, but I'm assuming the ER doc via EMSCOM will tell the Captain to open the kit to access epi, if needed.

If it happened to me, I would sure as heck be telling the flight attendants to ASK THE CAPTAIN to get approval from the doc for more epi.

I volunteeered for 10 years as an ALS EMT (IEMT) for the fire department where I live. Once, on a Southwest flight, a passenger collapsed. The only people onboard that could help was a fourth-year medical student and me.

I asked for a BP cuff and stethoscope and was told that they were locked in the medical kit and the Captain needed to see the doctor's credentials in order to open the kit. The medical student obviously didn't have a license though he did have his cardiology text book with him!

I asked the F/A to tell the Captain what we needed, and why, and he authorized it. So, some Captains might be willing to bend the rules if you beg.

If it is a true medical emergency, a plane can land within about 30 minutes, depending on where you are. But if the aircraft is fully loaded with fuel and this happens at the beginning of a flight, it might take longer. Landing an aircraft heavy with fuel can cause other problems.

On Oct 14, 2006

(quote removed)

Yes.. I flew Air Canada to and from Las Vegas in September... didn't see any peanuts anywhere. The snacks were not free.. $1 each and choices included Cadbury Caramilk, etc.. didn't notice any peanuts at all [img][/img]

On Oct 14, 2006

Erik, When you flew Cathay Pacific where peanuts were served, do you cough or have any sort of reaction? Thanks, Adele

On Oct 16, 2006


Originally posted by Adele: [b]Erik, When you flew Cathay Pacific where peanuts were served, do you cough or have any sort of reaction? Thanks, Adele[/b]

Hi Adele,

I had no reaction at all. It seems that airborne peanut dust only causes me to react if I am exposed for 20 minutes or more....

I noticed on the Cathay flight that people finished eating the peanuts in a few minutes..

Although I really do prefer Air Canada peanut-free flights... less nervous. But flying the Cathay Pacific Airbus 340 from Toronto to HK we did get two seats with no one next to us (seat layout: 2-4-2) which was good (chose those seats on purpose). I ate the fresh fruit meal on Cathay.. and brought my own food as well. Lots of Dare cookies [img][/img]

I think the peanut dust concentration is higher in bars where everyone eats peanuts as there are barrels of peanuts there too.. that's the place I would react.

[This message has been edited by erik (edited October 17, 2006).]

On Oct 17, 2006


.. that's so true. The breaking apart of the peanut shell/peanuts must cause extra dust.. [img][/img]

I react in bars as I really think the peanut dust concentration is very high.

I have taken 6 flights on Cathay Pacific and no reactions at all.

On Oct 17, 2006

I haven't been into a bar with peanuts-in-the-shell for years. Gads, does this mean I'm an OF? (ol' fart)

On Apr 14, 2007

Just another data point - I recently booked a flight from the UK to NZ via Singapore Airlines and contacted them about my nut allergy.

They said that on production of a doctor's letter confirming that the allergy was life-threatening, they would ensure the entire flight would be nut-free! Good service or what?

-- A.

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