You are viewing Allergic Living Canada | Switch to United States

Talking Allergies

* FAQ    * Search
* Login   * Register
It is currently Thu Apr 24, 2014 4:40 am

All times are UTC - 4 hours




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 13 posts ] 
Author Message
PostPosted: Wed Feb 03, 2010 12:58 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sun Oct 25, 2009 4:24 pm
Posts: 190
Location: B.C.
I am puzzled by what I believe are misinformed cabin personnel who I have encountered on more than one occassion.

My daughter is anaphylactic to peanuts and some tree nuts. I always have notified airlines about our allergies weeks before our flights and again at checkin and on boarding. We are usually treated with great courtesy and on Westjet which doesn't serve peanuts or nuts now, asked if we would like them to ask people sitting around us not to consume any peanut, nut products. This is greatly appreciated and I always let staff know.

On a recent return flight from Toronto to BC, we encountered a stewardess however, who unlike her counterparts, after checking that other passengers did not have nut products announced to us and everyone around us,that we were lucky that no passengers had peanuts because she would have moved us to the back of the plane otherwise. WHAT? I was quite horrified by her announcement and public suggestion that it would be appropriate to move the allergic people so someon culd eat their peanut snack?WHAT?

I am in the process of writing to the airline and praising them for their assistance on our outbound flight but requesting re-education for people like this stewardess. Clear usable facts would help.

It is my understanding that the air quality in the front of the aircraft is better. In this case I prepaid for our seats so we were able to sit close to the front. We had also preboarded and wiped down our seats.

Where does this thinking that the back is better come from? Didn't they used to put the smokers in the back?

What is the best way to counter this thinking?
Years ago we were assigned seats in the back due to the same thinking. Although notification had been given and assurances that the almonds were not going to be distributed because we were sitting in the back we didn't see that it was almonds being passed out until nearly the whole plane had been served.
No allergic reaction that time,thank goodness,but a very stressful remaining four hours.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Feb 03, 2010 1:26 pm 
Offline
Site Admin

Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:17 pm
Posts: 6429
Location: Ottawa
I would suggest that you not sit near the kitchen as I think they reheat the foods on board prior to serving.

If a flight attendant makes such a comment loudly, I would probably motion them to come closer and gently but firmly inform them of the great lengths which you have gone to to ensure that these seats are safe and that you'd like their support in this matter (then look name tag and call them by name-implication is that you'd name them in your complaint) :verymad

Actually, when you preboard and are wiping down the seats you will be blocking the aisle and this is a great opportunity to let the attendants know why you are doing this and how they can help you. Don't wait until the other passengers have boarded.

_________________
Moderator
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


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Feb 03, 2010 1:51 pm 
Offline

Joined: Fri Oct 10, 2008 9:40 pm
Posts: 2034
Location: ottawa
I am genuinely curious, where did the nut/airplane thing come from. They truly are co-joined (what word am I looking for :scratchy ) in peoples perception of flying. People mention flying and jokes or comments about tiny bags of peanuts and nuts come up in conversation. I honestly don't even think 10% of people on the plane ever buy or eat nuts otherwise but if you suggest taking them off the aircraft there is the outcry of "WHAT, how can I possibly fly without getting my microscopic bag of nuts".
Just curious.

_________________
DD 12 yrs -no allergies
4 yr old DS - asthma/eczema Anaphylactic to Peanuts, all tree nuts, sesame , all pea/lentil legumes, gelatin.
Allergic to trees, grass,ragweed, feathers, dander, mold and dust.
Outgrew eggs, fish, shellfish


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Feb 03, 2010 4:25 pm 
Offline
Site Admin

Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:17 pm
Posts: 6429
Location: Ottawa
Ok, now you've got me wondering...not good!

I just posted the question on the Canadian Aviation Museums Facebook page :freak

_________________
Moderator
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


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Feb 03, 2010 4:59 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sun Oct 25, 2009 4:24 pm
Posts: 190
Location: B.C.
Thank you for the suggestion of reading the nametag. I was readily able to do this for the supportive wonderful steward we had on our trip to Toronto. Blake is super.

Somehow on the flight home although we preboarded, which gave us time to tell the stewardess about our allergies and why we were preboarding to wipe down seats we still had this negative experience. Her nametag was not easy to read. Her hands always seemed to be in front of her. Next time I would ask her name.

Are there facts I can use to counter this notion of placing allergic people in the back of the plane. I read somewhere that the air is drawn in through the front and therefore fresher. Sitting in the back seems to me harder to get assistance if you are in trouble and more likely to have stale air. Am I correct?

Hope someone can answer this question. It appears the focus of discussion has changed.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Feb 03, 2010 6:37 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sun Dec 17, 2006 2:38 pm
Posts: 16
Cathie, I'm 52 and a lifelong asthmatic and anaphylactic, and my father died of anaphylaxis when I was six years old, so I know how it feels. Let me provide a few grey hairs. I travel weekly on business on aircraft, I have done this for many years. I always sit in the last row of the plane, because I've found it is the safest place to avoid people, I can escape to the rear galley, and it's easy to get help because the flight crew spends a lot of time there. The air is cleaner there because of the volume of clean air pumped into the rear galley. You can't expect the world to change because you show up in it, you have to be prepared to deal with your situation with preventative behavior. A new flight crew member may be so perplexed with the airline rules that they think what you asked for would cost them their job. And the vast majority of people have no concept of a fatal allergic reaction. My allergen is prevalent in medicines, and even my excellent doctor handled me my lethal allergen in prescription meds after a 15-minute discussion reminding him that I was lethally allergic to it. An anaphylactic has to be constantly vigilant, and take extreme steps as needed for self-protection. It might mean that an anaphylactic takes a car instead of fly, use surgical gloves and mask, never eats in a restaurant, or whatever works to avoid the kryptonite in our lives. Just my humble opinion....


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Feb 03, 2010 8:36 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Jun 26, 2007 2:45 pm
Posts: 790
Location: Vancouver, BC
I'm surprised by this, as we had 4 great experiences on WJ. However, I guess not all the FAs are willing to police people eating allergens near allergic people, and this person thought it would be easier to move you to a section possibly with fewer people and more empty seats.

The back section of the plane is typically less full because it's less desirable - louder, closer to the engines(?), takes longer to get off the plane, etc. The suggestion might have been you would safer there because you could get a whole row or more to yourself and not have to worry about what others are eating? I flew quite a bit before having kids and always tried to get a 'good' seat closer to the front of the plane, but then would notice others in the back taking up an entire row sleeping across the seats.

I'm not sure about safety in terms of plane crashes (back of plane VS front of plane), though, but I think when flying with anaphylactic children, we parents are more concerned about a reaction rather than a crash? I don't know about the freshness of the air, either.

_________________
DD 2004 Allergy to peanuts, egg, sesame, and new: lentils and chick peas
DS 2006 Allergy to peanuts, tree nuts, milk, egg, kiwi fruit, eczema


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Feb 03, 2010 10:10 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sun Dec 17, 2006 2:38 pm
Posts: 16
People's attitudes about the back of the plane are curious indeed. Occasionally a flight attendant sees me making a beeline to the back row, they smile and tell me "welcome, you must be a frequent flyer". The noisiest seats are near the wings, and I always chuckle to see people fighting for seats there. Many people get tired of carrying their luggage so they look for the first spot they can unload.
A Popular Mechanics study using real-world crash stats found that the farther back you sit, the better your odds of survival. Passengers near the tail of a plane are about 40 percent more likely to survive a crash than those in the first few rows up front.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Feb 05, 2010 4:19 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sun Oct 25, 2009 4:24 pm
Posts: 190
Location: B.C.
If passengers with special needs are seated typically at the front of the plane where attendents can readily help them, why would they think that placing allergic passengers in the back was "safer"for them. I personally do not like sitting in the back. My other daughter has motion sickness issues which for her are worse in the back.

My concern which sparked my question was this particular stewardess proclaiming in front of other passengers that had they had peanut products they wanted to eat, we the allergic passengers who out of consideration had notified the airline, preboarded and wiped down our seats, packed our own food, and had prepaid for our seats, were to be moved so they could eat those items!! Isn't that the kind of scenario we have been trying to stop?


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Feb 06, 2010 8:12 am 
Offline
Site Admin

Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:17 pm
Posts: 6429
Location: Ottawa
Yep!

Maslow's Heirachy of needs would place the right to survival over the right to enjoy a peanut!

Image

_________________
Moderator
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


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Feb 06, 2010 5:30 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sun Oct 25, 2009 4:24 pm
Posts: 190
Location: B.C.
Susan we loved your reference to Maslow's hierarchy. Thank you for the chuckle.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Feb 07, 2010 12:49 am 
Offline

Joined: Sun Oct 25, 2009 4:24 pm
Posts: 190
Location: B.C.
I think I may have found a partial answer to my pondering where the idea that placing allergic passengers in the back of the plane was "safer".

I was re-reading Dr. Ham Pong's article about Peanut Allergy. I came across a discussion regarding the fact that some airlines have a business class that may serve some nuts. In that situation it would be safer to sit far away from the business class in the back.

The airline I was on does not have business class but that stewardess still thought that would be safer?
When in recent years it has been okay to tell people not to bring nailclippers or tweezers in their carryon luggage(now we can), why is it so challenging to ask passengers to save their snack of peanuts for later??


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Feb 07, 2010 8:15 am 
Offline
Site Admin

Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:17 pm
Posts: 6429
Location: Ottawa
Cathie wrote:
When in recent years it has been okay to tell people not to bring nailclippers or tweezers in their carryon luggage(now we can), why is it so challenging to ask passengers to save their snack of peanuts for later??

:thumbsup

_________________
Moderator
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


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 13 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 4 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group