Flying with Delta this month

Posted on: Mon, 08/19/2002 - 6:20am
Kimng's picture
Joined: 08/19/2002 - 09:00

pHi, new member posting./p
pI read this section last weekend, but had no time to post then. It had never occured to me before this that peanut residue in the plane could cause a problem to a PA person! I have a lot to learn./p
pI am a single mom with triplets, 4 years old. I have already booked a flight with Delta (supersaver) to fly to visit my very sick brother at the end of August. Now I need to try to get the flight to hold all nuts. Can anyone direct me to the prtocol for requesting that an alreay booked flight be restricted to no nuts?/p
pTwo years ago, had I read the warnings here, I would have been (more of a ) nervous wreck travelling with the children. We took a trip half-way 'round the world with the children, then just 2 yrs. Out bound, we were on the same jumbo jet for thirty hours (yes, 30.) We did disbark for about a half hour in Tokyo and the plane was "cleaned" but we got right back on, same seats, one over-looked cheerio still on the floor. (Don't think that airline clean is the same as your everyday kitchen clean!)/p
pShortly before that trip, my daughter had been diagnosed with asthma, and peanut allergy (and a few others, but it was the peanut thing that was scary.) We got no warnings from the pedi or the allergist about re-circulated air or the possiblity that a contact residue could cause problems. I called the airline (Northwest, most of the way) several times to ask that no peanuts be served us. I asked at the check-in, asked the flight attendants, etc. All the same, peanut packs were tossed to us all, and the kids were served PB and J!/p
pNorthwest was NOT a good line to fly at that time, and certainly not with three two yo's. The flight crew were clueless at best and openly hostile on the return flight. (BTW, Benadryl may cause problems for small children and I recommend that if you plan to use it, you try it out at home a few times first!)/p
pThe good news is that my daughter did not show any signs of distress on the flight (other than out-of-her-mind terror and sleeplessness, as did the other two.) But then I didn't expect any sign of anaphlaxis. I was watching her for signs of raspy breathing and lung distress. She did need her respirator and albuterol (for the asthma) when we finally touched down and for a few nights thereafter, but was fine with prevents after that./p

Posted on: Mon, 08/19/2002 - 11:28am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

I have twin 5 yr. old boys. One is allergic to peanuts. We stopped flying Delta when he was diagnosed, because the only accomodation they were willing to make was to provide a peanut free zone - a few seats rows in front of us and a few behind.
I recently flew to Denver on United which is normally peanut/nutfree and suddenly found that they now serve a mix with almonds at breakfast and for snack later. American is now too.
Anyway, it seems that the only chance anyone has of removing peanuts or nuts from flights now is to speak to the "purser" when you enter the plane. This person is responsible for passenger safety and unusual accomodations, is what my understanding is from a conversation with the purser on the United flight. On our homebound flight the purser was very gracious and readily agreed to eliminate the almond snack. Perhaps you will have a similar situation on Delta.
Seems like nobody but the purser can or will make any accomodations. My doctor also recommended having my son wear an air filter mask, like the kind you can get at the hardware store. It fit one of my sons ok and he liked it. Naturally the one with the allergy did not want to wear it because it was too big for him and pushed up into his eyes. It may be worth seeing if you can get a few small size ones from the hospital. It will at least minimize the chance of an airborne reaction if a lot of peanut packets are opened at once. This is the first time we brought masks, but we always wipe down the seats,etc, and I put a plastic bag in the seat pouch so my son doesn't touch any old snack or anything left in the pouch by accident.
I can't believe you are a single mom with triplets!!! That must be very challenging despite how wonderful they must be!
Good luck and good health on your trip!

Posted on: Tue, 08/20/2002 - 1:17am
Kimng's picture
Joined: 08/19/2002 - 09:00

Thanks, kstreeter. That's brillant, about the masks idea. I have a few on hand and we can try them out before hand. Good thing my little PA girl is the more patient one. I will look to talk w the "purser." I'll ask at the check-in if I can speak to her or him before boarding. I have a plastic lined seat cover and will look for something to drape over the seat back, too.
I am trying to spend a few minutes to contact Delta today. At the very least, the more letters, requests and information that we can give the airlines, the more likely that they will put accomodations in place.
(Thanks for the encouragement. coming from a twin mom means a lot, too. As you can imagine there is never a moment free to sit in shock or worry. We just do what has to be done. I have to say that I am really the lucky one. The children can be challenging, but the joys so out-weigh the work.)

Posted on: Tue, 08/20/2002 - 7:56am
Kimng's picture
Joined: 08/19/2002 - 09:00

I just got the e-mail reply from Delta. It looks like they have not changed their policies re PA allergic accomodation since others have posted here earlier this yr. They do not promise a peanut free flight - but will, if contacted and requested, keep peanuts away from the "immediate area" of the PA passenger. Heh. Her brothers and I can do as much. They will allow early boarding to prepare the seat area. At least I have it in writing. (I think an earlier poster had trouble getting in early to wipe the seat, etc.)

Posted on: Wed, 08/21/2002 - 9:05am
Carefulmom's picture
Joined: 01/03/2002 - 09:00

I emailed Delta in detail about a year ago asking exactly how big is this peanut free zone. It is apparently up to the flight crew. All that Delta will guarantee is the row in front of and behind the pa passenger.

Posted on: Fri, 08/30/2002 - 2:22pm
Kimberlykelley23's picture
Joined: 08/31/2002 - 09:00

Thank Goodness I found this sight! I have within the last year been diagnosed with a severe peanut allergy. Each and everytime my family cries for my life. Being 23, this has been devastating to my life. No more bars with my friends, no more eating out,no moregrocery stores, and no more fun! My trips to the ER and the ICU have taken over my life. I have been working very hard to stabilize my life. My friend who has been there for me throughout all of this has been kind enough to take me on a trip to West Palm Beach, FL. He booked the flights on Delta. I cried when I talked to the lady at Delta. When she told me they could not guarentee me a peanut free flight, I heard in my head "Your life is not worth it..Peanuts are more important, sure you may DIE, but someone might get upset without there little snack". The mask had occurred me, but of course my allergist said not to go. I cried yet again. I plan on going and making a plea to the purser and if that doesn;t work to the passengers! I will wear a mask and have my EPI pens on my belt. Is there someone in the air who can intubate? Does Delta keep a ventilator handy? I sent them an email making a final plea before I fly out on Sept. 8th.
Delta's new motto should be " ENTER AT YOUR OWN RISK". Thank you for reading, I am just not sure what to do next!?!

Posted on: Fri, 08/30/2002 - 2:37pm
Carefulmom's picture
Joined: 01/03/2002 - 09:00

A ventilator will not solve the problem, because if your reaction is severe enough that you need to be intubated, there is a good chance your blood pressure will be dropping and a ventilator won`t take care of that. If you are thinking ventilator, you are considering a really severe reaction. If you actually think that is a possibility, are you sure you want to take the risk?????

Posted on: Fri, 08/30/2002 - 11:51pm
Chicago's picture
Joined: 04/21/2001 - 09:00

Just a comment - As I understand it NO airline can guarentee a "peanut free" flight. The airline cannot control what the passsengers will bring on with them - even if they are willing to make a gate announcement making it known that consuming peanut products on this flight could be dangerous to another passenger, folks are still able to do as they please. Peanuts are a legal substance.
What the airlines can do is guarentee a "peanut free snack" or "peanut free meal". Since the airline supplies this food, they have the control. This is normally a workable alternative for a peanut allergic person since it avoids the entire plane chomping down on dusty peanuts in unison. Obviously the risk is not gone, but it is greatly reduced.
I know that this sounds like a nit picky terminology thing, but asking an airline to guareentee a peanut free flight would literally require a peanut seach at the gate - which no one is going to do. When you call airlines in making your reservations using the term "peanut free in flight food service / peanut free snack / peanut free meal" may save you some minunderstanding about what exactly will be provided.

Posted on: Sat, 08/31/2002 - 12:51am
Carefulmom's picture
Joined: 01/03/2002 - 09:00

Delta doesn`t give a "peanut free meal" or "peanut free snack" on request. They only give a "peanut free zone". Yes, it is possible that people in the "peanut free zone" will have brought their own peanuts on board, but Delta will refrain from serving peanuts to the zone, and will serve peanuts to all the other passengers.

Posted on: Sat, 08/31/2002 - 7:31am
Chicago's picture
Joined: 04/21/2001 - 09:00

My point about the guarenteed peanut free flight was more generic then the Delta zone discussion.
As I said, it is a terminology thing, but asking an airline for a peanut free flight vs peanut free snack, meal, zone or whatever is very likely to get negative answer. They cannot guarentee what they can't control.
This could be an important point for folks to understand, so that requests and questions can be phrased so that we get the best information and accomidation.
Sounds to me like Delta's zone is not a good option and sticking with a carrier that serves peanut free snack/meal is a better choice.

Posted on: Sun, 09/01/2002 - 8:09am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

If I were you, I would call Delta Customer Service Manager or BETTER YET the president of the company...tell him that your friend surprised you with this wonderful ticket and when you called to find out if it would be safe for you to fly on Delta - you learned it would not be safe. Ask if it would be possible to transfer the ticket to American, United, or USAIR or some other airline that does not serve peanuts.
It is not worth the risk for you. It sounds like you are very sensitive and need to take extra care. It will look bad for DELTA too if you have a serious reaction. So be sure to clearly state how severe your reaction can be! You are doing DELTA a favor by recognizing that it poses a significant risk to your health to fly on an airline that serves peanuts!!! If the person you speak to has enough authority, they will realize that and accomodate your request.
My son had one airborne reaction passing a nut vendor outdoors, so we are not comfortable flying airlines that serve peanuts in the main cabin.
I think that if you talk to the right person and can get across what a difficult and potentially devastating situation this could be, you may be able to get the airlines to swap tickets. Otherwise, you may at least be able to have them re-issue the ticket in your friend's name so it can be used at a later date and the money won't be lost.
This may be difficult to do, but once you start talking to someone, it will probably come pouring out. If you are too afraid to call then try a FAX, but I think that a phone call will be more effective. You can probably get the phone # and fax # off the Delta web site or straight from information.
I have also read on this board that being upset can accentuate a reaction. Since you seem so upset at this time, it might be another reason to avoid a flight that serves peanuts.
Take care of yourself!
[This message has been edited by kstreeter (edited September 01, 2002).]


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