This summer saw Delta roll out a new and welcome peanut policy designed to protect people with allergies. How do all the airlines stack up in controlling on-board food allergens?
Delta’s highly anticipated, new policy reads: “When you notify us that you have a peanut allergy, we'll refrain from serving peanuts and peanut products onboard your flight. We'll also advise cabin service to board additional non-peanut snacks, which will allow our flight attendants to serve these snack items to everyone within this area. Gate agents will be notified in case you'd like to pre-board and cleanse the immediate seating area. We'll do everything we can, but unfortunately we still can't guarantee that the flight will be completely peanut-free.”
It’s a step in the right direction. Delta also offers gluten free meals on longer trans-continental and trans-oceanic flights. Reservations for those meals can be made 12 hours in advance.
American Airlines does not serve peanuts in-flight, but they may serve other nuts and do not promise a peanut-free flight. American does offer gluten free meals if you reserve one day in advance.
Like American, Continental Airlines does not serve peanuts in-flight. They also offer gluten free and vegan meals if reserved 24 hours in advance of flight.
Long known for being “nuts”, Southwest normally serves peanuts in-flight. They will substitute upon request.
US Airways is not particularly sensitive to nut allergies. The do not accommodate peanut-free snack requests. The do, however, offer vegan and gluten free meal with 24 hour notice.
United does not serve peanuts or food prepared with peanut oil. They do not guarantee prepackaged food made by third parties. Glute-free and vegan meals are available by reservation.
Good to keep in mind
Southwest strongly recommends that you make reservations by phone rather than on-line and let the agent know about your allergy. They also note their early morning flights are the cleanest and recommend people with food sensitivities reserve those flights first. That’s good advice to use for any airline.
Source: About.com, Delta