Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Peanut Allergies on a Plane

Flying with peanut allergies is usually a scary thought - especially since the airline industry seems to think serving little packets of peanuts is necessary for a good flight experience.

On a recent Delta flight from Orlando to Detroit I witnessed Delta trying to do something good but stepping all over themselves in the process.

On this particular flight it was just me and my husband - the kids had stayed home. So I didn't have to worry about Liv's allergies while we flew.

But, as we boarded the plane the flight attendant stopped two rows in front of me to talk with a mom who was traveling with her two daughters - both of whom had a peanut allergy. The flight attendant asked if the mom had EpiPens ("yes, we have about 10 of them" she replied). And then notified the mom that she'd make an announcement that peanuts would NOT be served during the flight.

Score one for Delta.

Then, the woman seated in front of me (which would put her directly behind the allergy mom) said, loudly and with sarcasm: "Well darn. Now I can't eat my peanuts!" ... and then proceeded to laugh.

A few thoughts:
1. Food allergies are never funny. NEVER.
2. Your inability to eat a small package of peanuts during a 2 hour flight is a VERY small sacrifice to make.
3. Your statement makes you look and sound like a total JERK.


While I give props to Delta for trying to do the right thing, the announcement made by the flight attendant after takeoff went like this: "We have passengers with peanut allergies on this flight today and therefore we will not be serving peanuts. We apologize for the inconvenience."

Again. Not being able to snarf down a package of honey roasted peanuts during a flight is NOT an inconvenience. Please stop treating it as such.

I posted something about the whole "bitching about not being able to eat peanuts on a plane" on my Facebook page before take off and two hours later opened Facebook to find a full-blown argument happening on my FB page. Essentially one person said she "felt bad" for the person who couldn't eat nuts on the plane because it was their "RIGHT" to eat peanuts.

Um. NO.

No one has a right to eat peanuts on a plane. I checked the Bill of Rights .. says nothing about the right to eat peanuts while putting the lives of others in danger.

However kids with food allergies DO have a right to travel without fear of an allergic reaction at 39,000 feet. NO ONE will die from NOT eating peanuts on a plane. But kids with peanut allergies CAN die from exposure to peanuts.

And my child's life will always outweigh your supposed "need" to eat peanuts.
End of story.

I quickly deleted the entire Facebook thread because I honestly don't have the time or patience to deal with such blatant stupidity - in fact I was so angry that I didn't even read all the comments. I then posted: "Do NOT ever debate food allergies on my Facebook page." And the peanut sympathizer came back to post more snarky comments. So I unfriended her AND blocked her.

To this day I cannot understand how anyone thinks that they have a RIGHT to eat food that could injure or kill another person. Peanut allergies - and food allergies in general - are no laughing matter. There is nothing funny about food allergies and until people stop treating them like a joke actions like those of the passenger on the plane and the ex-Facebook friend will continue.

As I always say, replace the words "food allergies" with a life threatening illness or other serious disease and see how "funny" and "amusing" you sound then.