Do you think crashing is your biggest risk when on a plane? For allergy sufferers, it could actually be the food.
In a recent study published in the journal “Clinical and Translational Allergy,” 32 patients with a nut or peanut allergy were studied to see how they coped with travel. Findings showed instances such as a crew members patting a passenger’s arm while saying “poor you” after they explained people could not eat nuts around them. Another study subject was served a walnut salad after informing the airline of their nut allergy.
Dr. Jane Lucas, a respiratory and allergy specialist at Southampton General Hospital, spoke out about the study, saying inconsistent information provided by airlines was creating a dangerous atmosphere on board.
“This study demonstrates that, despite nut allergic individuals taking extremely sensible steps to remain safe, airlines are consistently putting lives at risk and are yet to make any significant steps towards taking this risk seriously,” Dr. Lucas told the Daily Mail. “It is simply appalling and unacceptable to see the level of variability between airlines and even on different flights within the same airline and it is time the travel industry took responsibility for the safety of their customers and developed a consistent, joint approach.”
The real issue, according to co-author of the study and a member of Allergy Action, Hazel Gowland, is available airline policies may not actually be implemented. Additionally, crew members might not remember these policies, or remember which passengers require what special meal, if one is even available. All these issues are creating an unsafe environment for allergy sufferers who want to travel.