Something You Can Do To Increase Food Allergy Airline Safety

For those interested in establishing safer, more consistent food allergy airline policies, now is the time to encourage your U.S. Senators to co-sponsor the Airline Access to Emergency Epinephrine Act of 2015 (S. 1972).

Designed to relieve the stress of food allergic passengers who are without access to emergency care while inflight, the bill was introduced last August by Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL), and Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH). Current co-sponsors include Senators Ben Cardin (D-MD), Mark Warner (D-VA), and Ed Markey (D-MA).

Beside FARE (Food Allergy Research and Education) and several other advocacy organizations, S. 1972 is endorsed by the Association of Flight Attendants, and the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology.

More Safety, Less Stress

If passed, the Airline Access to Emergency Epinephrine Act will require the General Accountability Office (GOA) to study current airline food allergy policies, how passengers learn about the policies, crew safety training, and incidence of in-flight food reactions. The GAO will report their findings to Congress.

“Our hope is that the findings of the GAO report will lead to the development of clear, consistently applied accommodation policies to help passengers with food allergies make informed choices about their air travel plans,” said Scott Riccio, senior vice-president of education and advocacy at FARE.

The bill also addresses the safety concerns of food allergic passengers by requiring all airlines to carry epinephrine auto-injectors, and to train crew members in allergy symptom recognition and auto-injector use. “Travelers with severe allergies deserve peace of mind that their flight crew can respond to an allergy attack,” said Sen. Kirk.

Strength in Numbers

Each of us can help create peace of mind for food allergic travelers by supporting the Airline Access to Emergency Epinephrine Act. Calling, or sending a short letter to our state’s senators is all that is required.

FARE, one of several organizations championing S. 1972, is especially hoping people living in Alaska, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, North Carolina, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Washington, or Wisconsin will encourage their senators to support this bill.

If you are not sure who to contact, use the Find Your Senator link below.

Source: Food Allergy; Find Your Senator
Photo credit: frankieleon

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