• When you get to the gate, inform the agent that you are traveling with a child with food allergies and that you would like to pre-board.
• On the plane, ask your child to sit down first. Wipe down the armrests, the window shade, the buttons for the lights and, most importantly, the seat tray. Wipe your hands and have your child wipe his. Before he eats, spread a napkin over your child’s tray table and place food or snacks on the paper plates.
• In the event of an allergic reaction, first treat the child and then immediately notify the flight attendant. This is important as even minor reactions have the potential to escalate quickly. Medical professionals are often on board and can assist in the event of an emergency.
• Some airlines go out of their way to accommodate our special needs: take the time to let them know with a quick e-mail thanking them for the excellent customer service.
• If you feel you have been the victim of discrimination because of a food allergy or if you or your child experienced an allergic reaction while inflight, you can and should file a complaint with the Department of Transportation. “Allergy” is one of 13 disability categories they track, and it’s important that they know how often these issues arise. Also always let the airline know.
Wishing you a safe trip – bon voyage!
Gina Clowes is a certified master life coach specializing in the needs of parents of children with food allergies. She is the founder of the online support group allergymoms.com, serving thousands worldwide.
See also: Comparing Airlines Chart