TV STORY NEEDS YOUR HELP

Posted on: Wed, 03/01/2000 - 12:51am
wabc-tv's picture
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I am producing a story on peanut allergies and flying for the consumer unit at WABC-TV in New York.
I am trying to obtain some statistics and need your help.

1)Does anyone know of a case where a child had a reaction while flying? (please cite location/airline/article/info)

2) Does anyone know if a child has died from a reaction on a flight? (if so which airline)

3) I am working on a dad's complaint with Continental over this. Do you know if there is a place I can search for airline policies regarding peanut free flights?

If there are any organizations/contacts you think might be useful to our investigation please include them.
If you hear of any news regarding airline policies, let me know. I appreciate your help.

Carrie
WABCTV

Posted on: Wed, 03/01/2000 - 6:01am
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Joined: 11/10/1999 - 09:00

pHere's the news on airline policies: they refuse to print them. I have been told many times that I cannot get a written statement because "our policies change so often" (i.e. we don't want you to have anything written in case you try to sue us). I have pressed very hard in some cases, but to no avail. This applies at least to United and USAir. United has an UNwritten policy of not serving peanuts on the flight. Several others, including USAir, have UNwritten policies of not serving peanuts if you request it ahead of time, but this can be touch-and-go. Sometimes you get told that you are all set on the phone, but when you actually get to the airplane and ask about it, they look at you like you have two heads. /p
pIf you are really interested in hearing about the policies, call them. Tell them you're peanut allergic; keep pressing until someone finally tells you what the current policy is./p
pI believe that the biggest risk of peanuts on airlines is not ingestion (most PA people know to bring their own food) but touching peanut residue, which can then get in your mouth by accident. /p
pThank you so much for getting this out in the media! I really appreciate any efforts to educate the general population about PA./p
pHope this helps,br /
Katie/p

Posted on: Wed, 03/08/2000 - 3:19am
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pIt just occurred to me that there was an article on this in one of the Food Allergy Network newsletters that gave some statements about airlines and their practices. THis newsletter was probably from late 1999. YOu may want to contact them. I'm sure I can find the newsletter if that would be helpful. As I'm writing this I'm speaking with NWA rep regarding our upcoming peanut-free (fingers crossed!) flights and she is reading to me instructions to NWA employees about this -- things like the announcement that should be read in the gate area requesting that other passengers not consume peanuts in flight, etc., etc. Interesting. She's not able to extract and send to me but I'll try calling CUstomer RElations and see if they can send this info to me. It also includes things like we're permitted to bring respirator on board. It is very clear to me that NWA has really beefed up their PA practices since the last time we requested peanut-free last July -- at least in writing -- let's hope the flight and ground crews servicing the plane are as up to speed as I'm led to believe!/p

Posted on: Wed, 03/08/2000 - 4:30am
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pI am a former TV producer/director from ABC in Chicago (WLS-TV)and my daughter has a severe peanut allergy. I'd like to help you any way I can. One of my daughter's friends had a reaction from counting peanuts on a flight. He had breathing difficulties and they almost had to land the plane. Emergency vehicles met the plane when he landed and he was ok. I don't know if they'll talk about it on TV, though. We've had problems dealing with America West and ATA. United seems to be peanut-free. Please e-mail me at [email]TinaMay@aol.com[/email] if you need more information. Thank you./p

Posted on: Fri, 03/10/2000 - 9:42am
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pI spoke to a special services person this morning. He advised me to call reservations and let them know at least 7 days inbr /
advance that we will be flying and request a peanut free meal. He did caution that there may still be a chance of peanut oils inbr /
the food, he didnt have a way to confirm this. I told him that due to the circumstances I personally would pack my own mealsbr /
for my child. He also said that they cant guarentee that someone next to us wouldnt eat a reeses peanut butter cup etc. Hebr /
said the best thing would be to make sure that we were prepared...with benadryl and a epi pen. He also said that theirbr /
enhanced medical kits on ALL PLANES.. CARRY EPINEPHERINE. He said they would advise the flight not to servebr /
peanuts etc. he said that again they cant guarentee what other passengers will do. I hope this helps! julie/p

Posted on: Fri, 03/10/2000 - 9:44am
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pSorry he also said they wouldnt serve peanuts on the flight./p

Posted on: Fri, 03/10/2000 - 2:12pm
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pI wonder if they carry epipen jr as well as regular adult strength?/p

Posted on: Sat, 04/08/2000 - 4:20am
Astrid's picture
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Joined: 02/15/1999 - 09:00

pWould you please let us know if/when this story airs? Thank you. /p
pI have a 2yr old with fatal allergies to peanuts; we feel comfortable with United since they don't serve peanuts anymore, so we don't have to worry about residue as much as before, however they don't generally make announcements to everyone on the flight....br /
During our last flight cross country, the woman sitting directly in front of my son was eating a PBJ sandwich, so I carefully and politely explained to her that my son has severe allergies, please do not come in contact with him, etc. ( I needed to go to the restroom, husband and son were sleeping:-)br /
Situations like this would be easier if it was simply announced over the intercom, so that everyone is aware of the situation, and an accidental exposure is less likely to occur. /p
pThank you for your efforts in writing a story like this one! It certainly raises awareness and hopefully will help families dealing with PA and flying!br /
Astridbr /
Mom in Reston, VA/p

Posted on: Wed, 04/12/2000 - 5:03am
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pI know of someone who was assurred of a peanut free flight, don't recall name of airlines, but while in-flight was horrifed to hear peanuts were being served. Her pa daughter did have a reaction from inhalation. Not sure of all the details. Please contact the South Orange County, California support group via [email]DoDoBah@aol.com[/email]./p
pAlso there are two reports titled, "Self-reported reactions to peanut on commercial airliners" and "Airline snack foods: Tension in the peanut gallery" by the Journal of Allergy and Clincial Immunology by Mosby, Inc. dated July 1999, Volume 104, Number 1./p
pLook into scientific research regarding "skin contact urticari syndrome" through [url="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed"]www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed[/url] ???/p
pKeep us posted./p

Posted on: Tue, 04/25/2000 - 12:35am
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pThe airline I was talking about is American/p

Posted on: Wed, 04/26/2000 - 9:55am
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Joined: 02/17/1999 - 09:00

pHi, I am a Canadian so have no experience searching for US airlines rules but I am a librarian and using what I know about finding Canadian airline policies I tried similar strategies for the US. This is what I have learned so far. All airlines must file their "conditions of carriage" with the "Office of the Secretary" at your federal government's Department of Transportation. These are known as airline tariffs and they set out everything there is to know about the fares, rules, policies etcetera for each U.S. airline. They are extremely detailed and apparently they are public documents. Perhaps a local library or government office might have them available or perhaps someone at the DOT can give you a web site/search engine for a DOT site where they can be keyword searched or read online. I have to go and work on another question now, I am at work tonight. If I learn anything more I will check in again. Hope this helps./p

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