18 answers

Flying with a Peanut Allergy Son

Has anyone flown with a child with peanut allergies? We are flying to Florida and I am starting to feel really nervous about it. We already tried to get them to not serve peanuts but American Airlines said it was our responsibility to tell the people in our row. Any suggestions?

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What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Well, we took our flight on American. We cleaned the seats, covered it with a sheet, talked to the flight crew, watched him very closely, talked to the people around us, handed out alternative snacks to the people around us, begged them not to serve the mixed nuts (and they didn't), and he still had a mild reaction from previous people eating nuts. We called our allergist and we gave him more Zyrtec and Albuteral before going onto 2nd leg of our trip. When we got on the 2nd plane we did all the same things and had a really difficult time with the flight crew. I was in tears and it just wasn't any fun. My husband and I decided to cancel our flight home on American and fly US air. They don't sure any nuts on their plane and they made announcements stating there was a young child with peanut allergies. They even told the people that they would be happy to switch out any snacks they had brought on with a peanut free snack. They were wonderful. I don't think we will be flying anytime soon but if we had to we will go on US airways! Thanks for all your advice!

Featured Answers

I have a friend who's neice has a very severe allergy. I do not know what airline she fly but they agreed to not serve them on their flights. They also were allowed to board first and early so they could wipe down and clean everything she might touch. The one thing they did forget was the pull down over the window. Wiped the window not the pull down. she played with it and did have slight reaction but they were able to medicate her and she was fine. It might be worth it to shop for and airline that will help you out. good luck. I wish you a safe flight.

We flew not long ago and were asked by the stewardess not to eat anything with peanuts in it beacause someone in the rows near us had a severe allergy. We didn't mind at all. Maybe talk to the flight crew before or when you board the plane to see if they can do the same.

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La Momm Y and Jules W - for people with the most severe form of peanut allergies, the dust in the air from peanuts can be inhaled into their lungs and cause an anapyhlactic, potentially fatal reaction. These children don't need to eat or touch a peanut to react - they simply need to be near one. It is very scary. So anyone eating peanuts on the plane, especially those in nearby rows, is putting them at risk.

To the original poster, how severe is your son's allergy? I certainly wouldn't be upset if someone near me asked me not to eat peanuts due to an allergy. I don't think American serves nuts anymore as a regular snack to everyone, but I could be wrong. My son's allergy isn't too severe - he can't eat anything with peanuts, but he is ok if people around him have them.

1 mom found this helpful

Maybe those of us without peanut allergies don't understand this, so I will ask. Why can other people on the plane not have peanuts? I imagine, like the airline said, it is your responsibility. I would not leave my childs fate in their hands either way. I just though you might explain further so people understand.

1 mom found this helpful

My son is severely allergic to peanuts (among other foods). I took him on several flights when he was about 18 months old. I used antibacterial wipes to wipe off down our seating area (armrests, window, shade, tray table, etc). I had him wash his hands frequently and stay in his seat (I brought lots of activities and snacks). Of course I carry 2 epi pens just in case. He was totally fine. Good luck to you.

I suggest bringing an alternate snack (like pretzels or chex mix) for the people in your row/area this way they can have a snack and know that you considered them. I think they will be very appreciative and let's be honest know one would consciously want to make your child sick or at least I hope they wouldn't. Happy Thanksgiving!

My son (who's now 15) has a severe peanut allery (and walnut allergy), but we've been flying with him since he was 6 months old, and never had a problem. If you're really worried, make sure he sits between you and your husband, or between you and the window, so others won't accidentally spill on him. Have fun in Florida. :)

There is no way that you can expect an entire airline's passengers NOT to have peanuts on a flight. I have never heard of anyone with a peanut allergy to have a reaction to it just by having them around with no contact. I think you are overreacting. Even suggesting that the people in your row refrain from having peanuts seems outrageous. Just keep your little one away from contacting any peanuts.

I too flew on Southwest where they announced no peanuts, pretzels instead due to allergies. I have a friend who struggles on airplanes given how much peanut dust is in the air when everyone is served and eats them at once in the confined space. depending on the severity of the allergy, you might have some problems even if you get your row to not have them. I'd consult with your doctor and either push the airline more and/or have some pretty well thought out plan B, C and D. there are some great suggestions so far.
one more reason to fly Southwest and not American! it's amazing how differen the airlines are with children...some are great and some are horrible.

I have a friend who's neice has a very severe allergy. I do not know what airline she fly but they agreed to not serve them on their flights. They also were allowed to board first and early so they could wipe down and clean everything she might touch. The one thing they did forget was the pull down over the window. Wiped the window not the pull down. she played with it and did have slight reaction but they were able to medicate her and she was fine. It might be worth it to shop for and airline that will help you out. good luck. I wish you a safe flight.

I know this doesn't help this time, but over the summer I was on Continental. My son is allergic to peanuts and started to sneeze and cough. I started to panic. He was fine - had a cold - but I wasn't sure at the moment so I called the stewardess. She told me Continental does not serve peanuts due to peanut allergies.

Also, I would call American again about this and maybe see if you can talk to someone else who comprehends the seriousness of this and maybe they can avoid the mixed nuts. My experience with airlines is that sometimes it is best to call back if the person you are speaking to doesn't seem to be well-trained.

I don't know how old your son is or how severe his allergy is. My granddaughter is allergic also and on one flight they were on, she found a peanut (from the floor or seat?) and almost put it in her mouth. Fortunately my daughter caught her before she actually ate it. Some peanut allergies are very severe and even touching one could start a reaction. I haven't flown AA in a long time - SWA is my plane of choice. Bring pretzels (SWA has them on board) for the other travelers and other snacks for your child. Watch him carefully because just because the people around you aren't eating peanuts, it doesn't mean someone on an earlier flight didn't drop one. Have fun!

I'm surprised that they still serve peanuts on any planes. I haven't seen peanuts on planes in probably 5 years (also haven't flown on American in that long). The suggestions you got are good, but maybe next time choose an airline (or at least specific flight) that doesn't serve peanuts, since there are quite a few.

You are not over reacting this can be very serious. i would again ask at the ticket desk and the airline attendants on the airplane to please announce it and refrain from serving peanuts if possible. wiping things down and bringing replacement snacks for those close to you is also a great idea.
Don't feel bad for protecting your child. besides it would be a bummer for everyone on the flight if they had to land the plane to get your child emergency care because some one did not take it seriously. It happens.
you sound very prepared and ready for a great experience!

Hi H., I know this doesn't help you for this flight. :) BUT... We just flew on Southwest Airlines. On one leg of our trip, they announced that they would NOT be serving peanuts on the flight due to a passenger's peanut allergy. We were served pretzels instead. So SWA is willing to make the flight peanut free; although depending how severe the allergy is, not sure if a previous flight (on that aircraft) which served peanuts would have an effect. GOOD LUCK, safe travels and I'm with those the other moms, keep calling American to make sure that peanuts can not be served. Maybe you just need to talk to the right person; don't give up! :) :) :) Happy Holidays!

I am a frequent flyer with American Airlines, over 1 million miles. I fly American at least once a month all over the United States. They do not serve packets of peanuts. If you are in first class they will serve warm mixed nuts that may contain peanuts, not for sure. If you are flying coach they do not serve anything you don't have to purchase from the service cart. Sometimes the service cart will offer a snack box that contains various items including mixed nuts. When you board the plane you can ask an attendant if they are serving a snack box with nuts and if so then discuss it with those around you. In general people are very understanding about these things and do not want to be responsible for harming your child. Good luck.

Clean the area and if the allergy is severe, put a mask on him. You have to do what is best for your baby.

My husband was on a flight with someone with a peanut allergy. Apparently it was a very severe allergy as it was announced during the flight safety procedures asking passengers to refrain from eating anything with peanuts.....I'm not sure where this individual sat, but my husband said that people around him were eating peanut products (after asking those within a few rows if they were the allergic person) with no ill effects. I'm not sure how severe your childs allergy is, but if it's that severe perhaps they will make the same request. It is your responsibility to tell those around you of your child's allergy. I like the idea of offering non peanut products to those in your row.....I would suggest prepacked snacks because if someone offered me snacks that were individually packed, I wouldn't eat it.

We flew not long ago and were asked by the stewardess not to eat anything with peanuts in it beacause someone in the rows near us had a severe allergy. We didn't mind at all. Maybe talk to the flight crew before or when you board the plane to see if they can do the same.

My son has peanut allergy also. We do fly with him fairly enough. You are able to ask the people sitting around not eating peanut if the airline is seaving peanut as snack. But you can first of all, tell your child that it's not good for him/her and bring some other snack for him/her to have. It works very well with my son. Have a nice trip and good luck.

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