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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 22, 2005 9:48 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 6:53 pm
Posts: 1454
Location: Canada
beanerss,
It's good to hear that westjet no longer serves nuts on their flights. having almonds instead of peanuts isn't very reassuring as a lot of people like me who have severe allergies to both. i definitely think we should all 'get squeaky' :lol:

storm, my sister has flown british airways several times and they were the ones who could not manage to bring her a special meal....and the one time they did it contained an allergen. i don't recall what their policy is on nuts--i'll try to remember to ask her when i see her next over thanksgiving.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Sep 26, 2005 3:11 am 
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Joined: Thu Aug 11, 2005 6:48 pm
Posts: 614
Location: Ontario, Canada / Cambridge, UK
Thanks, Helen.


Last edited by Storm on Sun Jun 04, 2006 1:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2006 9:17 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 1:56 pm
Posts: 27
Location: Halifax NS
I am flying to Florida in March. Both my daughter and I have allergies. I would never trust the food provided,we bring our own.
We are flying Air Canada, I will be calling ahead for sure just to limit the allergens being served, and try to get extra cleaning of our immediate area.

I really appreciate the insight from those of you who work, or have immediate family/friends who actually work for the airlines. Thank You!!!

Ruth


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jan 12, 2006 12:11 am 
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Joined: Thu Aug 11, 2005 6:48 pm
Posts: 614
Location: Ontario, Canada / Cambridge, UK
Ruth,

Please post here when you get back from your vacation. I'd like to know how your experience with Air Canada was. I didn't find them very cooperative at all when my peanut/nut allergic son flew to the UK in 2004.

Bon voyage!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jan 12, 2006 11:03 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 6:53 pm
Posts: 1454
Location: Canada
Storm, if you don't mind sharing, what happened? they didn't serve tree nuts as snacks did they?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2006 6:45 pm 
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Joined: Thu Aug 11, 2005 6:48 pm
Posts: 614
Location: Ontario, Canada / Cambridge, UK
Hi Lisa,

When my son flew to the UK in 2004, we specifically told Air Canada (when making the reservation) that he was allergic to nuts and peanuts. I got the spiel how they are unable to guarantee what is in the foods served, etc. Of course, we brought our own food but I thought it would be ok if I ordered the fruit plate for myself. Big mistake. So what happens? I get served a fruit plate with a nice bowl of almonds (covered in Saran Wrap) in the middle. I immediately told the flight attendant to take it away and reminded her that my son, who was sitting right next to me, was allergic to nuts and peanuts.

It wasn't just that particular incident. It was more the attitude I got from Air Canada...

I wrote to them and complained about them serving the fruit tray with almonds. I never got a response.

My son hasn't flown anywhere since so I'd be interested to know if there are any other airlines, especially those that fly to the UK, that are more accommodating. I heard British Airways isn't that much better.

Allergic Living had a wonderful article on travelling with allergies and I learned A LOT from it. The next time, I will know what questions to ask and what demands I can make. But for now, airline travel for my son is NOT a priority, even though I live and work in two countries (Canada and UK).


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2006 11:14 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 6:53 pm
Posts: 1454
Location: Canada
Hi Storm,
Thanks for the response. That's disappointing that they didn't respond...if they were really allergy aware they would have realized that the fruit tray was *not* a good idea and would have apologized right away. I'm kind of worried about travelling by air if any type of nut is served....but I suppose almonds under saran wrap are less likely to give off dust than those sealed packages. For awhile, I was thinking that when looking for work, I would not consider moving anywhere where I'd have to fly back home to visit family and friends. But then I changed my mind after learning that a lot of airlines no longer serve peanuts and seem more allergy aware....but I'm *not* getting on any plane where they serve peanuts to everyone. (so that means that some airlines in the US are out). But who knows, maybe I'll get a job in Ontario or somewhere not too far away in the States and then I won't have to worry about it.

Lisa


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2006 6:18 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 25, 2006 4:44 pm
Posts: 31
Location: British Columbia
Hi all, I am new to this board. I recently found out my 16 month-old daughter is allergic to peanut.

I happen to be a flight attendant working for a national airline previously mentioned in this discussion. I travel a lot, with many different airlines. I am sorry to let you know that there really isn't one airline that is particularly good in handling passengers with ANY special needs. It primarily depends on your luck on which employees you are dealing with at the time. I can tell you that no matter who you contact prior to your flight, because of the chain of commands being so long.... from the call center, to catering service, to check-in counter, and finally the in-flight crews, you only need one idiot(who is lack of allergy awareness and think "it's probably not that serious" attitude) to screw things up and the information did not get passed on.

The utmost important things we can do to protect ourselves are to bring our own foods and be vigilant around surrounding areas. Inform the in-flight crews when you board the plane. Bring extra wipes to wipe down the seats and surroundings, even though extra cleaning was requested. Personally, I have only had one experience in my 9 years career where a child with severe peanut allergy was onboard a 13-hr transpacific flight, accompanied by parents. Their condition was listed on our manifest and our In-charge did inform the whole crew. The parents explained their situation during boarding and to their surprise passengers were still assigned to seats nearby(by check-in, of course) even though it could have been avoided. Luckily, it was a fairly open flight so we were able to relocated the passengers so the family had their 3 rows surrounding all emptied. This clearly shows you the discrepancy within a company. Remember, it's the individual you are dealing with that will make the difference.

Hope this helps.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2006 7:22 pm 
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Joined: Thu Aug 11, 2005 6:48 pm
Posts: 614
Location: Ontario, Canada / Cambridge, UK
PAmum,

Thanks so much for posting. It's great to get info from someone "in the know". Much appreciated. :D


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2006 8:08 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2005 9:38 pm
Posts: 933
Location: Oakville, Ontario
PAmum, Thank you very much for posting this information. It is very helpful to know this. Many individuals are understandably not aware of this life-threatening condition, and we must all remember this and make decisions based on this. For our own safety, or the safety of a loved one, we cannot expect everyone to understand this. If they truly knew what the term "anaphylaxis" meant, and had to live with it everyday, they would certainly be aware. But they don't live with it, they may not know anyone living with it, so we can't expect them to handle the situation. Our family has learned this the hard way ourselves. This was not a situation with an airline, but I'll share it anyway. When our son was about 18 months old, our family went away to a resort in Northern Ontario which included meals. We thought we had sufficiently prepared them, but they did not understand the situation. At the very first meal, our son had an anaphylactic reaction and the resort called an ambulance. It was terrifying and a huge wakeup call for us.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2006 9:21 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 25, 2006 4:44 pm
Posts: 31
Location: British Columbia
Storm and Lisa, you are most welcome. Knowledge is everything... the only way to learn is to share.

In addition, regarding airplane food(which is really the main topic here), to my knowledge, nobody can really guarantee any meals being free of any particular allergens. Some common special meals are vegetarian, child/baby, diabetic, gluten free, lactose free, religious, and fruits. But even with these choices, because you are not provided with ingredients, I personally don't think it's a good idea to even try them if you have specific allergy. It's not worth it. After all, you are in an enclosed cabin, up in 35000 feet, how fast do you think you can land to get medical help? I have heard of people having heart attack and not making it. These are true stories. The fact is, we are very vulnerable in the air, that's just how it is. I am not trying to scare anyone.

On the other hand, we have to live our lives to the fullest, enjoy ourselves in the best way we can. I think because this allergy matter is still new to me(it was last week when we found out), I am still in the initial stage(shock) and trying to quickly adjust to this new livestyle our family will have. Doing as much research on this as possible to educate myself, dh and the rest of the family.


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 Post subject: travel
PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2006 12:53 pm 
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Joined: Tue May 24, 2005 1:33 am
Posts: 14
Location: ontario
I will be traveling in June for a family function to scotland. I am travelling alone with my two children. My 6 yr old has anaphylaxis to dairy. I intend on bringing my own food on the plane, however does anyone know what they will allow me to take into Scoctland thru customs?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2006 1:24 pm 
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Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2005 9:38 pm
Posts: 1643
Location: Toronto
I just wanted to share a funny flying story. I don't fly often.

A few years ago I was going from Toronto to NB - either on Royal or Canada3000. When I called to book the flight I asked if they served peanuts on the flight - and the response was "Not if a passenger tells us they have an allergy to it." I told her to consider herself informed of an allergy. She said "Pretzels it is". Ummm! Are those the pretzels with salt on them, or sesame seeds on them? "Does it matter" Yes! To me sesame seeds are worse then peanuts. There was silence on the phone and finally she says "It's a short flight. NO SNACK."

I have never before or since asked people not to eat my allergen. Just this once - because it was recirculated air, and to far above hospitals, I was nervous.

So, we get on the plane, and during the *safety speech* the stewardess says "Due to a passenger's severe food allergies we will not be serving a snack during this flight." I looked around to see everyone's reaction to this news as there was complete silence. (Most people looked at their watch) The silence was broken finally by some guy that says "Will you still serve beer?" :lol: Everyone laughed - and nobody complained, because yes, they still served beer.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2006 5:17 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 25, 2006 4:44 pm
Posts: 31
Location: British Columbia
Warden,

I have personally never been to scotland, but I have been to england a lot, and I think the same rules apply to the whole UK. Be honest, they are very strict. If you did not declare anything and they find out, you could be in a lot of trouble.

In general, meat, meat products, milk and milk products are not allowed from countries outside the EU. Since your child has anaphylaxis to dairy, I don't think you have to worry about milk products.

There is a website of UK Food Standards Agency on Personal Imports:
http://www.food.gov.uk/enforcement/impo ... sonal_imp/

Also the HM Revenue & Customs on Prohibited and Restricted Goods:
http://customs.hmrc.gov.uk/channelsPort ... e=document

This is a quote from this the Food Standards Agency website: "Imports of powdered infant milk, infant food and special foods for medical conditions for personal use are permitted. They must be carried in personal luggage. They must not require refrigeration before opening, and must be commercial brands of products in unbroken packaging."

I never brought food into the country before just to avoid any problems. But now I have to look into that since my dd has PA.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jan 28, 2006 11:20 am 
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Joined: Tue May 24, 2005 1:33 am
Posts: 14
Location: ontario
PAmom;
Thanks a lot for your help. You were very inciteful. Thanks for the web links.


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