Canadian Transportation Agency’s Nuts Ruling
The agency determined it was not necessary for Air Canada to make an announcement to the entire aircraft that someone with a nut or peanut allergy is on board. It suggests that since no one immediately surrounding the allergic person in the buffer zone will be eating nuts or peanuts, the rest of the passengers don’t need to be notified.
The CTA considered a recommendation from Dr. Sussman that aircraft personnel be required to have training on auto-injectors, but turned it down.
“The primary responsibility for the use of medication to address allergic reactions rests with the persons with disabilities due to their allergy to peanuts or nuts,” the ruling states.
While it was discussed that, in certain situations a person can have a reaction to an airborne allergen, the two allergists also said that the primary risk is from ingestion. Air Canada said that it uses HEPA filters “similar to filters used in critical wards in hospitals”.
The CTA ruled that “the risk of an allergic reaction due to the inhalation of peanut or nut particles on aircraft is significantly reduced on modern generation aircraft as a result of both the aircraft air filtration and circulation systems.”
Questions Related to Ruling
Pets on the Plane – Do these allergies also qualify as “disability”?
See the latest from Allergic Living here.
Allergic Living Letter Campaign – What did it say?
The letters submitted to the CEOs of Air Canada and WestJet from 1,100 individuals sought formal allergy policies, such as the CTA now will require of Air Canada.
The form letter suggested:
• A process at booking to make the airline staff aware of a passenger’s serious food allergy;
• That crew not serve snacks with the top allergen in question when given such notice;
• The airline advise their staff to make two general p.a. announcements (one in the departure lounge, one on the flight) requesting that passengers refrain from eating the top allergen in question.
Air Canada initially responded that it was considering the campaign’s proposals, but never did offer a full response. WestJet, which no longer serves peanut, nut or sesame products, did express interest in the campaign’s suggestions.
See more here.
• Air Canada Ordered to Offer Nut-free Zones.
• Exclusive Chart comparison – 11 airlines and their food, pet allergy policies.
• Allergic Living’s Reduce-the-Risk Airlines Campaign
• The Full CTA Ruling
• Feature Report: Flying Allergic by Jennifer Van Evra