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PostPosted: Mon Nov 10, 2008 6:04 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2005 6:39 pm
Posts: 2943
Location: Toronto
Hi everyone,

Given the interest in air travel over in the Travel section, AL's editors thought it was time to look at the issue of allergies in the skies. Here's release we've been sending out to some of the support groups / media.

FYI, Friday is the cutoff to sign up or renew (if you're due) to get this issue as part of a subscription.

Hope it proves useful! Gwen


FLYING ALLERGIC


One of the biggest issues facing adults and families travelling by air with food allergies is the “environment” of the airplane.
In its Winter issue, Allergic Living magazine takes stock of the skies: researching the risks and incidences of reactions on airplanes, the policies of several big airlines, and the dialogue that’s needed to kickstart the debate for reasonable accommodations.
Canadian carriers have led the way with restricting the sale of peanuts, and will, in some instances, make announcements urging fellow passengers to refrain from eating nuts to accommodate those with allergies. But if you’re an allergic traveler, there is still no consistency from airline to airline and, on some carriers, accommodations can vary from flight crew to overworked flight crew.
For the person with allergies, or the parent of a young passenger, this can make flying a needlessly anxious experience since at 30,000 feet, there will be no easy ambulance ride to a hospital.
In its cover report, the magazine lays out the case for better “risk reduction” in the air, and details – in handy chart form – the existing allergy policies of several major airlines.
Also in AL’s Winter issue: Chef Simon’s delicious allergy-friendly baking section, and a profile of freestyle aerial ski champion Steve Omischl – and how he manages the risk of anaphylaxis.

Allergic Living’s Winter is available at Shoppers Drug Mart, London Drugs and Chapters newsstands. You may also subscribe at www.allergicliving.com, and sign up for its free E-letters.

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Allergic to soy, peanut, shellfish, penicillin


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 10, 2008 11:13 pm 
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Joined: Sun May 25, 2008 4:27 pm
Posts: 300
Location: Montreal
Ou! Can't wait to read about this...had a big issue with Delta two years ago. Needless to say it was a very uncomfortable flight for me. I'm sure the chart will help me and others book flights with more allergy friendly airlines!

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Associate Editor at Allergic Living.
Allergies to all nuts and legumes except soy and green beans.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 13, 2008 6:43 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2005 6:39 pm
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Location: Toronto
Hi renewers,

Last chance reminder for Winter issue.

:)

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Allergic to soy, peanut, shellfish, penicillin


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 20, 2008 10:35 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2005 6:39 pm
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Location: Toronto
Our chart comparing allergy policies now runs to 3 pages / 11 airlines. Yowza.

I cannot tell you the undertaking of trying to get all these airlines to answer a series of detailed allergy questions. And then fact-checking it line by line.

If finishing it doesn't kill me, :roll: it's going to be a really useful issue.

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Allergic to soy, peanut, shellfish, penicillin


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 20, 2008 11:16 pm 
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Joined: Sun May 25, 2008 4:27 pm
Posts: 300
Location: Montreal
I can only imagine what it has taken to get them to talk...
When I contacted Delta about my bad experience they sent back a long email that didn't quite say much; they went in a big circle and came back to saying, "we cannot guarantee anything". Seems like big companies are always so worried about lawsuits that they don't actually take the time to think that people just want them to make a viable effort and do their best to accomodate everyone.
I'm really looking forward to the winter issue, especially for this reason, because I will start booking my flights based on an airline's allergy policy. I am done with being a nervous flyer (spelling??)...

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Associate Editor at Allergic Living.
Allergies to all nuts and legumes except soy and green beans.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 21, 2008 1:35 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2005 6:39 pm
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Location: Toronto
The "can't guarantee" thing is pretty much standard throughout the airlines. I think the problem is the airlines are focusing too much on liability, when there are accommodations that could be made.

This ruling yesterday about the disabled/obese, however, should send a signal to airlines about the mood of the courts (and therefore, as our representatives, the public):

http://www.google.com/hostednews/canadi ... Ni2ugttTFQ

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Allergic to soy, peanut, shellfish, penicillin


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 21, 2008 4:11 pm 
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Location: Montreal
That ruling is encouraging...it would be wonderful if airlines adopted a positive outlook for food allergies too.

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Associate Editor at Allergic Living.
Allergies to all nuts and legumes except soy and green beans.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 16, 2008 7:47 am 
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Joined: Thu Aug 11, 2005 6:48 pm
Posts: 614
Location: Ontario, Canada / Cambridge, UK
gwentheeditor wrote:
Our chart comparing allergy policies now runs to 3 pages / 11 airlines. Yowza.

I cannot tell you the undertaking of trying to get all these airlines to answer a series of detailed allergy questions. And then fact-checking it line by line.

If finishing it doesn't kill me, :roll: it's going to be a really useful issue.


You definitely succeeded... I found the chart to be extremely useful. Great research!

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16-year-old son: peanuts, nuts, raw egg whites, asthmatic
Self: allergic rhinitis, fragrance/chemical sensitivities, oral allergy syndrome


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 Post subject: Airline Chart
PostPosted: Tue Dec 16, 2008 5:18 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jan 12, 2006 6:19 pm
Posts: 47
Location: Victoria BC
Hi Gwen, thanks to you, Jen and Alex for compiling this fabulous chart. I am sure it was a tonne of work. Wouldn't you know it, we are traveling Alaksa/Horizon Airlines in February. By chance did you get any info from this airline at all? i was thinking maybe you could not get enough and that is why you did not print it? Any info you can provide would be great. Alternatively, if you have the contact, can you email it to me and i will contact them. I hear they are pretty good but i would love to fill in the questions that you have in your chart - again, well done! Can't wait to get my copy.

In closing, Merry Christmas and thank you for all of your great work and the amazing contribution you make to those living with allergies.

All the best,
Tracy


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 Post subject: Airlines
PostPosted: Sun Dec 21, 2008 10:44 am 
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Joined: Sat Dec 20, 2008 10:02 am
Posts: 21
Location: Brampton, ontario
In December 2003 my family and I travelled British Airways to London England and then had a connecting flight to Portugal. In Canada, they allowed me to board the plane early disinfect the seats etc and place a blanket over the seat for my daughter to sit on. They then annouced to the passengers that there was an allergic child on the flight and to please not eat any nut products they may have bought on. The Connecting flight would not announce anything so I was scrambling to disinfect the seat etc while she waited to sit down. This was also a BA flight. I had called BA before travelling explained the situation, faxed the a doctors note and they made a note on the file. I also had a doctors letter with me to present at the gate and to the flight crew. I took a big cooler of food and mulitiple epipens. On the way back, from London to Canada, there were no seats together so they bumped us to business class and made the announcement. It was excellent service but not consistent
I had a wonderful experience with Air Canada a couple of year before when travelling to Portugal. They let us board early, we carried food and they made the announcement. before take off. In January we wanted to go to Disney., I called every airline including air Canada and no one would help. They told me there are now snacks that customers can purchase and they do sells peanuts and reases peanut butter cups along with fish etc. After many phone calls , we decided to drive. Untill theing chage we will nto be able to visit our in-laws in Portugal again because of the lack of accomodation. The detailed list of the airlines will not only help us to select a safer airline but we can use it to tell the other airlines what the others are doing to provide excellent customer care.

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Daughter Erika ( 12) Allergies: all nuts, peanuts, all legumes, fish, shellfish, bananas, spinach, mulitiple antibiotics, asthma, eczema, heat and exercise reactions. Mulitple environmental allergies


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 21, 2008 9:24 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2005 6:39 pm
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Location: Toronto
Hi Erika's Mum - nice to see you here and thanks for sharing your experiences. I think one of the biggest messages in the article, is exactly what you point out: we need more consistency on policies when flying. And for that, we need the airlines' assistance. Then their staffs will be clear on what they are supposed to do with we allergic people.

Tracy - thanks for the nice words. FYI, we didn't look at the regional carriers, including Alaska-Horizon; our focus was the national carriers, since the flights of those carriers would affect the greatest number of people. So I can't really help you on that airline. But you can always borrow some of our chart questions to use when asking their reservations agent.

Let us know what you find out. This topic is obviously of great interest. We've recieved a lot of letters and e-mails about it at info@allergicliving.com - and the issue is just landing in most parts of the country. I look forward to seeing what happens with our write-in campaign. Watch for it - beginning of Jan.

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Allergic to soy, peanut, shellfish, penicillin


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