Southwest Airlines

Posted on: Sun, 04/09/2000 - 12:30am
DMB's picture
Joined: 02/22/2001 - 09:00

Just wanted to share some good news with all of you. We just got back from a family vacation to Florida and things couldn't have worked out better for our PA son. We made our plane reservations last Dec. with Southwest. My mother-in-law (who is a travel agent) made the arrangements for us and informed them at the time that we needed a "peanut-free" flight. They were upfront with her that they would not serve peanuts but could not be held responsible for what other people brought aboard. They did require a letter from the allergist be presented at the time we checked in. I called a week before departure and they were still showing in their computers that both flights (depature and arrival) were to be "peanut-free." On both flights, I reminded the person at check in and at the gate that we had requested peanuts not be served. They called while I was there to remind "whoever" that peanuts were not to be served. As we boarded (just for peace of mind) I asked the stewardess about the peanuts and was informed that all peanut snacks had been taken off the airplane. What a relief! I now plan to write a letter to the airline expressing how pleased we were with the way it was handled. We did not encounter any kind of opposition whatsoever. I also thought this was kind of interesting--after the snacks were served on the flight from Chicago down to Florida, the captain got on the intercom to say that there had been several questions as to why peanuts were not being served. He said, "Several passengers have questioned why peanuts are not being served. Believe it or not, there are several children on board today with peanut allergies." It was nice to know that my son was not alone!

Posted on: Wed, 02/20/2002 - 1:33pm
Suz-a-loo's picture
Joined: 10/19/2001 - 09:00

I'm glad your flight went well. I have posted before on this subject about Southwest, but feel the need to respond again. We, too, flew Southwest and went through the same procedure you went through. However, they DO NOT vacuum between flights. When we boarded the plane, there were peanuts on the floor everywhere that people had dropped from previous flights. We did not have an early morning flight, however, I was under the impression that when they said peanut free, they meant peanut-free (i.e., no peanut products being served and the plane would be clean of peanuts). I was wrong and very disappointed. Fortunately, everything turned out okay and my son flew reaction free. However, it was a very stressful flight.

Posted on: Thu, 02/21/2002 - 1:15am
shannon's picture
Joined: 05/15/2000 - 09:00

Thank you for posting this we are flying SWA to a wedding in april, your post has been very helpful.

Posted on: Mon, 05/13/2002 - 12:48pm
triciaGA's picture
Joined: 05/12/2002 - 09:00

Even if not serving on your flight I would be very concerned about residue.

Posted on: Mon, 05/13/2002 - 3:43pm
ajas_folks's picture
Joined: 04/28/2000 - 09:00

To all who travel on airlines: PLEASE take some time to read the report I posted link to earlier on this board regarding air quality on airplanes!! You can read the report online for free.
Southwest Airlines and the Texas peanut industry have a buddy-buddy, lengthy history. As long as Southwest has been flying, they have served peanuts. Do you really want to fly on a 15 + year-old airplane that has flown umpteen flights with peanuts being served?
Vacumed or not, there is NO WAY that the residue can be truly reduced to any acceptable level for our family.
I just think a lot of the fliers on this board are in denial when it comes to "safety" and peanut exposure in flight.
Sorry if this seems harsh. But it's a long way down to emergency personnel when you begin an anaphylactic reaction at 30,000 feet.

Posted on: Wed, 09/25/2002 - 11:38am
BlueDiamonds's picture
Joined: 05/02/2002 - 09:00

Just wanted to share our recent experience with Southwest. We traveled RT from Orlando to Manchester, NH, a three hour trip. (Southwest offers a more substantial snack on longer trips.)
The reservation agent urged us to fly on the first flight of the day, but it wasn't practical for us and I wasn't terribly worried since my 3.5 yo DS only reacts to ingestion, not touch or smell. (We made plane trips before DS was diagnosed and never had a problem -- I didn't let him have peanuts because of the choking danger, so I knew he would be ok if a lot of people around him were eating peanuts.) I requested peanut free snacks for our family, although the agent said they could ban peanuts completely. This info was entered in the system, which I double checked right before we left and it was still noted.
I asked about bringing an EpiPen on board and she said it would be fine, but I should bring a doctor's note and make sure the EpiPen had a prescription label. She also said that if I had to use the EpiPen I should tell the flight attendant what I did with the used needle. This made me laugh because the pilot would be making an emergency landing if we had to use it!
Our actual trip went smoothly, but there were some problems with the snack, which included some kind of fruit chewy thing, Oreos, and Cheese Nip sandwiches. The label on the Cheese Nip sandwiches said the last ingredient was peanuts. Yikes! I was a little surprised, but didn't let it bother me. Since we were traveling midday, I had packed lunches for my kids (sandwiches, fruit, cheese, etc.) so nobody was going to go hungry anyway.
Anyway, I just wanted to provide a heads up, especially for those PA individuals who are extremely sensitive.

Posted on: Thu, 04/17/2003 - 7:50am
Ldyinrd's picture
Joined: 04/17/2003 - 09:00

I recenly flew on Southwest Airlines from Chicago to LA. 4 hours before the flight i requested someone at the Southwest Customer Service for a 'peanut-free' flight. I witnessed the lady pick up the phone and inform the dispatcher for a peanut-free flight.
Somewhere along the lines, someone did not do their job. The Peanuts were served and it was too late. 15 minutes into a 4 hour flight, I already had trouble breathing due to the peanut allergens.
The trouble with Southwest Airlines is that they insist on serving peanuts, when in fact, another snack could be served just as easily! With 2% of the population allergic to peanuts, it is a big risk they're taking. That means 4 passengers of 200 could be allergic to peanuts. If one of those four is severely allergic, encountering an emergency situation is very likely. I am glad to see other airlines, such as American Airlines, function as a peanut-free business.
I believe the "Southwest Peanut-Free-24 hr-prior procedure" is a big HASSLE!!! Is it sensible for people with severe allergies, like myself, to risks their lives so that others can have a mere snack?! It's not fair to those with the allergy to have to be trapped in an enclosed space, with 200+ surrounding passengers eating something which puts the allergic victim gasping for air, with the possibility of only having 3 minutes left of being alive! 3 minutes is not enough time to find a place to land the plane and get serious medical attention! The person with the severe peanut allergy would have beeen dead by then!! Wouldn't it be easier to avoid serving this snack !?

Posted on: Wed, 05/28/2003 - 6:59am
scaryupamon's picture
Joined: 05/28/2003 - 09:00

It's nice to know that if you push for it, Southwest will accomodate you, but personally, since I react to just the fumes, I wouldn't risk it. Like Ldyinrd
said, if you have a problem with anaphalaxis on the plane, you're screwed.
Southwest may be the least expensive but I'd rather pay an extra 60 bucks to go with United or American and be sure I won't have a serious problem. With United, American and probably a few other airlines, you don't need to deal with phone calls, pressuring reluctant agents, or a doctor's note. They're already peanut free.
(Although I noticed that some of their snacks have "traces" so it's probably wise to bring a snack of your own, too. Still, with the peanut free airlines, there's little risk of suffering the whole flight, and probably most of the following day, little need for worrying and little risk of dying either.)

Posted on: Thu, 05/29/2003 - 3:34am
zigo230's picture
Joined: 05/29/2003 - 09:00

We've taken many Southwest flights....always call in advance and let them know about our problem and they give us the same shpeel (we'll flag it, tell the gate agent upon check-in, etc..). Even after we tell the gate agent, word sometimes doesn't filter down to the flight attendants. We always tell the F/A that greets us as we board and they are usually very nice about it. They have either served nothing or pretzels if they have them. This of course doesn't mean the plane is clean from the previous flight. it's not. Moral of the story is always tell the F/A upon boarding because they are never clued in to the issue unless we tell them no matter how much advance warning we give.

Posted on: Thu, 01/01/2004 - 11:26am
mamagaona's picture
Joined: 12/29/2000 - 09:00

Southwest is not the only airline where one hand doesn't know what the other is doing.
Check my post under Airlines about Continental.

Posted on: Sat, 05/15/2004 - 9:42pm
Donni's picture
Joined: 11/06/2000 - 09:00 SIL just returned from a roundtrip on Southwest (Florida to NY & back). She said there were no peanuts anywheres and only pretzels were served. She was very pleased at how clean the plane was (and she's a bit picky!).
Now, she's not dealing with PA for herself (but, I kid you not, her dog is PA!). She wanted to let me know that I shouldn't be concerned about flying to visit my husband's family in Florida. With the possiblity of my son being airborne allergic, I think I'll still refuse to fly with him.


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