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 Post subject: Alaska Airlines
PostPosted: Thu Jun 19, 2008 6:57 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jun 19, 2008 1:31 pm
Posts: 4
In May I traveled to Hawaii with my peanut/nut allergic husband. His sensitivity to nuts and there oils is so severe that he can and has gone into anaphylaxis if someone opens a package containing nuts in his vicinity, and from the oils expelled on a persons breath after they consumed nuts. As anyone with a food allergic persons knows it can be very stressful traveling, especially in a sealed aircraft on a 6 hour flight over the open ocean. When flying he carries: 3-4 Twinject Epinephrine Autoinjectors , 3 bottles of Benadryl Allergy, 2 boxes of Children’s Chewable Benadryl Allergy, and he takes a double dose of prescription strength Reactine.

The reason I am writing this is to inform others about the exceptional service we received from Alaska Airlines and their partner Horizon Air. They were so understanding and were more than happy to work with us to ensure a safe and happy flight for all. I booked our flight online, and then phoned Alaska Airlines to inform them of my husbands allergy. We arrived at the airport in Edmonton, and as we were checking in the staff member saw the note about his allergy and informed us that they no longer serve nuts on their flights. Once in the gate area as we were waiting for our flight, we heard an announcement for our flight that said the following “To all passengers of Horizon Flight #___ Today on our flight we have a person with a sever allergy to peanuts and nuts, we ask that you do not consume these products while traveling with us today. Thank you for your understanding.”

We always make sure that we are the first to board the aircraft during the pre-boarding so that we can talk with the flight staff. This allows us to go over emergency response requirements in the event of a reaction, and again the flight staff was absolutely wonderful. They informed us that they had cleaned our seats as well as the seats around us, and the seat pockets with antibacterial cleaners to try and ensure that there were no traces of peanuts/nuts. Once all the passengers were on board, and before and after the emergency procedure briefing they again made an announcement regarding peanuts/nuts. At this point they also said “Should you have any questions or are unsure if some of the food you brought has nuts, please ask a flight attendant for assistance before you open your food. Thank you again for assisting us in making this a safe flight for everyone.”

On the flip side of this is our experience with our return flight from Hawaii, we ended up traveling WestJet. The staff was very curt and did not even want to discuss what the emergency response should be in the event of a reaction. The flight staff’s response when I tried to talk to her about it was “I’m trained in First-Aide.” WestJet refuses to make any announcements, saying that it is not fair to the other passengers, and that the Canadian Department of Transportation will not allow them to make any announcement. Personally I think it would be more unfair and traumatic to the passenger who ate the peanuts/nuts and as a direct result of their actions killed someone. Fortunately this scenario has not occurred, but the potential is there. What is it going to take for the Canadian Airlines to make changes and ensure the safety of ALL of their passengers?

Now this just boggles my mind. I don’t believe that anyone would willingly and intentionally eat or open something that has the potential to kill someone. In a situation such as a confined flight, that package of peanuts/nuts basically becomes a loaded gun, that has the potential to kill one specific person. This is where education becomes the key to survival.

I would like to thank Alaska Airlines for working with us, for their fabulous staff who did everything in their power to ensure that we had a safe flight. That was the first time I actually felt safe traveling on a flight with my husband. I was not constantly having to walk up and down the aisles to see what people are doing and eating just to keep my husband alive. Thank you Alaska Airlines for the best vacation of my life.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 20, 2008 10:07 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:17 pm
Posts: 6429
Location: Ottawa
Glad to know that there are some supportive airlines out there.
Good point about pre-boarding to wipe down the seats and talk with the flight attendants.

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Daughter: asthma, allergies to egg, milk, peanuts, tree nuts, most legumes (not soy) & penicillin. Developing hayfever type allergies.
Husband: no allergies
Me: allergies to some tree that flowers in May
Cat: allergic to beef, pork and lamb


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