I justed wanted to pop in and write about the absolutely wonderful experience we had flying JetBlue from NJ to Orlando and back.
On our way down to FL, we met the pilot in the waiting area as he passed out "wings" to children just prior to boarding. I mentioned my son's peanut /nut allergy, and he said he would make an announcement. A few moments later, the head flight attendant came over and introduced himself. He asked about the severity of the allergy and then decided that he would not serve the cashews or biscotti. After boarding, he made two announcements that there was a customer with a nut allergy and asked passengers not to consume any nut containing products they may have brought on the airplane.
On our way home, the flight attendants were also extremely helpful and concerned way above and beyond anything I would have dreamed of. Unfortunately, there was a bit of a scene when a woman one row diagonally in front of us insisted that she had to eat something before takeoff or else she would get sick, and the only thing she had brought was nuts. The flight crew offered to bring her a snack, but she continued to make a fuss, saying that she "had to take care of HERSELF even if there was a nut allergic passenger."
The flight attendants came back to me and asked how severe my son's allergy is. I said, "I am travelling with 4 Epipens, a nebulizer, he is wearing a medic alert bracelet and has been hospitalized in respiratory distress due to peanut. His blood test results are off the charts. He is two years old. His reactions are life threatening, etc. We flew Continental last year and he was in respiratory distreess the entire flight."
I offered the woman the snacks that I had packed, but she would not even acknowledge them.
I am embarrassed to say that I was in tears at this point and made a few comments to the flight attendants suggesting where the woman could put her nuts. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/mad.gif[/img] Anyway, the flight crew was very supportive above and beyond anything I ever expected. One flight attendant told me that they would "protect my child and remove the woman from the plane if they had to."
Anyway, it eventually got settled and the woman was able to save herself from vomiting by eating some pretzels that the flight attendants gave her.
I spent the rest of the flight feeling a little bad about the whole incident. I think the woman got embarrassed that they had even brought up removing her from the plane. Of course, at the same time, I think she was being totally unreasonable. I don't know if there was a medical reason for why she HAD to have something to eat before taking off, but even so, I doubt that it HAD to be nuts, and the flight crew kept trying to help her out by listing the snacks that were available and offering to get here one before takeoff. I especially have trouble with the fact that once she knew it was a two year old sitting close by who was the allergic customer, she still did not let up. I feel bad that the crew had to deal with this situation though.
At one point, the flight attendant came back to see if I was ok, and I told her that I was sorry about what had happened, and that while my son might have been perfectly fine if she had eaten the nuts, I did not want to find out 30,000 feet in the air. She told me not to apologize and said it was not worth the risk to try to find out. I appreciated that. She also added that the pilot was furious about the situation and was ready to have the woman removed from the plane. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/redface.gif[/img]
As we got off the plane, I thanked the crew again and apologized for the trouble our nutfree flight request had caused. The pilot very seriously told me not to apologize for anything and that it was not worth the risk to find out what might or might not have happened. I would guess that from the pilot's perspective, it would be better to have a safe, nutfree flight than to risk having to land the plane early with a full tank, putting everyone at risk, for a medical emergency, but that is just guessing on my part.
Anyway, it turns out that my request actually helped another family. I had met them prior to boarding because they also had two boys in a double stroller. We met again after de-planing, and I mentioned the "incident" and that my son was the "nut allergic" customer. They said their son was also allergic and that they were so happy to hear the announcement asking people not to consume nut products. They had no idea that JetBlue would do that. They were actually sitting about a row in front of the "Nutty" passenger.
Wow. Thanks for reading my rambling message. FLY JETBLUE!!!!!!!
On Mar 29, 2006
WOW!! 5 star response or what! We had a similar response from virgin, allthough they didn't ban them from the whole flight (5 rows front/back/sides)
On Mar 29, 2006
I am glad you had such a positive experience. Don't feel bad for one moment. Some people!
On Mar 30, 2006
And I thought for our experience they went over and aboard. It was nothing compared to what you went through. I'm sorry you had the trouble but I'm glad they understand. Makes me wonder if someone in mgmt higher up has a PA loved one. Regardless, it is wonderful they did the right thing. If only other airlines would realize like Jet Blue has that they OWN the planes and they CAN dictate what goes on in them.
Have you consider writing a big fat thank you to the airline (and include names/flight #/date travelled, etc) to offset the letter they're probably going to get from this woman? You know, I had said I was going to write one after our wonderful experience and I'm ashamed to say I never got around to it. Now that I read this, I'm going to make sure mine gets out by the weekend.
On Mar 30, 2006
Oh yes--Big fat thank you note was sent as soon as we got home. I would have written one even without the "incident" that occurred.
On Apr 4, 2006
I am in my 30s and have both PA and TNA. I have flown many times. This isn't medical advice and your kids may be different, but I have never had a problem with being around 1-2 people in a large space (like a plane or large room) if just one person is eating something with tree nuts in it. Even peanuts.
I completely understand keeping your kids safe, as I strive to keep myself alive every day. But I have learned over the years and surviving different experiences that certain situations are more dangerous than others. For instance, I would never fly Southwest because, even if your flight is "peanut-free", other flights all day were not. Don't want to risk that. However, flying on other airlines where they serve a "party mix" that has cashews in it or almonds, doesn't phase me. Each pack has maybe 2-3 of the nuts in it (poor disappointed people). It's been my experience that peanut is the worst for smell and having people reaction from the inhalation. Other nuts, to my knowledge, have not elicited anaphylactic reactions. I could be wrong, but that's been my experience for what it's worth.
On Apr 5, 2006
I have no idea what kind of nuts or peanuts the woman wanted to eat. I was not going to get into a conversation about what nuts might be safe or not. My son is anaphylactic to peanut. He spent three days in the hospital in respiratory distress after eating a penaut. He is also allergic to some, but not all, tree nuts. He is 2.5 years old. When he is an adult, he can decide for himself what he is comfortable with when flying.
I agree that he most likely would have been fine had the woman eaten the nuts, as long as they were not peanuts (I also was not going to get into an extended conversation about nuts vs legumes), but as I stated earlier, I don't think this was the time or place to test that theory.
Had we not been in an airplane, I simply would have moved elsewhere. When he goes to school, I am sure there will be kids eating peanut products all over the cafeteria. The difference is that he won't be 30,000 feet in the air should a reaction occur at school.
[This message has been edited by Nutforce (edited April 05, 2006).]
On Apr 16, 2006
im really glad to hear about this-- i'm supposed to fly jetblue this winter because they have a direct flight into ponte, puerto rico (where my grandfather and his family are from-- it is the first time im actually going down) and i dont really have the means to get from a different airport to ponte. so, this is good to hear! i hope my luck is the same as yours (minus the obnoxious nut lady)
On Apr 25, 2006
If only every airline could get it dont this way.
Thank you for your email regarding peanut allergies. We appreciate you checking with JetBlue ahead of time.
When traveling on JetBlue, please be aware of the following information regarding peanuts and peanut products on our flights:
*JetBlue does not serve peanuts and has no immediate plans to serve peanuts; however, JetBlue cannot guarantee that our aircraft or snacks will be 100% free of peanuts, peanut material or peanut products. *"Tree nuts" such as almonds, cashews, pistachios, walnuts, etc., may be served on JetBlue flights. *There is a possibility that some food items served come from facilities that also manufacture products that may contain peanuts, peanut material or peanut products. *Food allergic customers should see the ingredient list on JetBlue snacks before consuming. *We cannot prevent other customers from bringing their own peanuts or peanut products onboard and consuming these items in-flight; however, upon request, JetBlue will make an announcement during the flight asking customers to refrain from eating or opening nut products. *JetBlue encourages customers who are allergic to peanuts to bring along their own food items for travel. *JetBlue will offer a full refund to customers whom these conditions make it impossible to travel.
We ask that you inform the head flight attendant upon boarding the aircraft of your severe nut allergy. Please ask for an announcement to be made asking all passengers to refrain from eating or opening nut products.
We look forward to welcoming you onboard JetBlue.
Carolyn Customer Commitment Crew JetBlue Airways Crewmember 92321