Following the news that easyjet have banned the sale of all nut products from their flights, we look at all the major airlines nut allergy policies to let you know the current nut policy of the major airlines outlining which airlines sell nuts on board and which offer nut free meals.
Nut allergies can be among the most severe allergic reactions, severe reaction to nut and nut derived products is call anaphylaxis which can be fatal, making travelling by air a potentially very dangerous for those with nut allergies. Easyjet are the first airline to ban the sale of nuts on their services, however at present, aside for requesting fellow passengers to refrain from consuming nuts and nut derived products on a flight, they have limited powers are present.
* Peanuts not sold on board, other warmed nuts are
Airline (click for full policy)
Nuts Sold On-Board
Nut Free Meal
** Where notified in advance, nuts will not be sold onbaord and fellow passengers requested not to consume nuts.
Flying represent a significant danger to anyone with a nut allergy, unlike other modes of transport the air onboard an aeroplane is shared among all occupants in a confined space (whilst filtered, the air is re-circulated and ventilated around the cabin), which on a long-haul flight can be for anything up to 20 hours. A common misconception about nut allergies is that someone with a severe reaction need not physically eat a nut or nut based product to have a reaction, merely breathing the air where nuts may are exposed can trigger a reaction. Not only is the risk increased due to the recirculation of air in the cabin, should a reaction occur, when cruising in excess of 30,000 feet and possibly over a body of water, getting urgent medical attention to the patient is rarely convenient, in the most severe cases every minute can count.
Can Airlines Stop Other Passengers Eating Nuts on a Flight?
We’ve reviewed all of the airlines nut allergy policies and it seems the general position is that airlines are not able to restrict other passengers consuming nut products on a flight, however where notified in advance, cabin crew will request other passengers not to consume nut products.
Nut Allergy Buffer Zones on a Flight
Some airlines will offer a buffer zone on their flights and request passengers in adjacent and immediately fore and aft seating to refrain from consuming an nut products. This is airline dependent and nut allergy sufferers should seek confirmation of policy before flying with any airline.
All airlines are keen to stress that whilst they make every reasonable effort to minimise the risk to passengers with nut allergies, the passenger is responsible for notifying the airline in advance so that crew can be made aware and to ensure that suitable mediation (EpiPen etc). Until new governance or legislation is passed the airlines can only do so much to protect passengers with nut allergies while flying.
Should Nuts be Banned from ALL Flights?
You can support the cause via Change.org where a petition is underway to secure the 500,000 votes required to have the matter discussed in parliament with the aim of drafting legislation to ban the sale and use of nuts and nut derived products from flights and more significantly, to give airline staff the right to refuse passengers carrying pre-bought nuts on board in the event of a known nut allergy sufferer being onboard. View and sign the petition here.