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 Post subject: Air Canada
PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2006 11:34 am 
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Joined: Thu Aug 11, 2005 6:48 pm
Posts: 614
Location: Ontario, Canada / Cambridge, UK
Yesterday, I took an Air Canada flight to London, UK. My peanut/nut-allergic son did not travel with me but I always make a point of checking things out when I am travelling. When Air Canada served the afternoon meal (sandwich and salad in a box), they also included a bag of almonds (made by Krispy Kernels). Now, I wasn't very happy about this in the first place but it got even worse when I read the ingredients. I quote:

May contain peanut, nut and/or seed and/or sesame seed particles and/or shell fragments.

So not only do they serve nuts on the flight, they serve nuts that have most of the top allergens in them (and apparently shells too... but I digress). As I looked around me, passengers were opening their bags of almonds, eating them with their fingers and touching everything... and I thought to myself, "What a nightmare this would be if my son was with me!". Now in all fairness, I don't know if there were any peanut/nut-allergic passengers on the flight and I suppose it's impossible to know if Air Canada had been warned, would they still have served the bag of almonds.... but I am still appalled that they would serve this type of snack. Air Canada has also made it clear that they can't cater or make exceptions for anyone with allergies (that's what they have told me in the past) but I still think this bag of almonds was a bad idea. Even if allergic passengers bring their own food, they would still be subjected to this type of contamination all around them.

Once I get over this jet lag, I'm going to write to them. I've written to them in the past (when they served my son their fruit plate with a bowl of almonds in the middle, wrapped in Saran Wrap) and I never got a reply. I'm not expecting one this time either... but let's wait and see. I'll keep you posted.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2006 7:42 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 6:53 pm
Posts: 1454
Location: Canada
That's bad news! Thanks for sharing. One question: were you travelling business class? I had thought that they only sell almonds in business class...but maybe I'm getting that mixed up with British Air (not that I have any firsthand experience--haven't gotten on a plane in years. but it will soon be hard to avoid.) Almonds scare me---I've never eaten one, but according to my last allergy test it is one of the top ones to avoid for me (I have to avoid them all, however.)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Feb 11, 2006 6:24 am 
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Joined: Thu Aug 11, 2005 6:48 pm
Posts: 614
Location: Ontario, Canada / Cambridge, UK
Lisa wrote:
One question: were you travelling business class? I had thought that they only sell almonds in business class...but maybe I'm getting that mixed up with British Air


Hi Helen,

No this was Economy Class and the lunches were included in the price of the ticket. The lunches were pre-packaged (in a box with a seal). I assume that Air Canada orders it from their caterers like that. The box contained a sandwich and a salad... and a bag of almonds. The box included a paper with nutritional information but no allergy info. I thought that kind of defeated the purpose... Air Canada trying to promote that they serve nutritional food but have no qualms about including a product chock full of the top allergens. :roll:


Last edited by Storm on Fri Jun 23, 2006 8:21 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Feb 11, 2006 11:33 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 6:53 pm
Posts: 1454
Location: Canada
That's really discouraging. I wouldn't feel comfortable travelling if everyone is eating almonds. I bet that what it is going to take is for someone to become very ill while on board and to start a lawsuit.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Feb 11, 2006 8:43 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 22, 2005 11:39 pm
Posts: 1141
Location: saskatchewan, canada
The first time I flew on a plane was in 2003. My kids did not have any known allergies at that time, and they were not with me. My husband told me that they handed out peanuts on the flight, and I honestly did not believe him until I was offered some which I declined. I had not eaten any in a long time. I had only recently stopped nursing my youngest daughter and had strictly avoided nuts due to my husbands tree nut allergies. I remember thinking on that flight that handing out tiny bags of the top allergen, while in flight, and nowhere near medical care if needed was completely idiotic, and ignorant. I am quite stunned that something so unneccessary is common practice. I mean come on, we were in the air for one hour. We did not need a snack. We certainly did not need to consume the top allergen! Honestly, hand out some pretzels, or nut free "nuts and bolts" if people really want their free "treats". Why do the airlines need to be contaminating the aircraft with peanut protein on purpose?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2006 12:21 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 1:25 pm
Posts: 323
the last time I flew, they served sandwiches... I had notified them of my fish allergy, so they had taken out the salmon one from my package :evil: ... everyone else around had them... I had mild symptoms that amplified once I got home, but that was a few months before my allergy to fish blew into anaphylaxis from smell... good thing it was not heated fish, I would not be here to talk about it... at least cold fish doesn't put too much particules in the air :roll: ... Now they don't want to garantee my safety as they are not the ones responsible for the food, the catering company is... and mistakes can and will happen :roll: ....


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2006 4:52 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 6:53 pm
Posts: 1454
Location: Canada
Is the issue that there might be cross contamination on the flight (i.e. they can't guarantee fish free) or that they simply wouldn't refrain from serving fish or shellfish for that one flight? I would think/hope it would be easy enough to serve something else for one meal.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2006 10:38 am 
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Joined: Thu Aug 11, 2005 6:48 pm
Posts: 614
Location: Ontario, Canada / Cambridge, UK
I emailed my complaint today. Air Canada's automatic response says they will endeavour to respond within 3 business days (but it says elsewhere it their FAQ that it could take as long as 30 days). I'll let you know if I receive a reply. Given the fact they they never replied to my other complaint back in 2004, I'm not too hopeful.

By the way, here is their policy on peanuts. As you can see, they violated the policy by serving packets of almonds with traces of peanuts in them.

What is Air Canada's peanut policy for those with severe allergies?

Air Canada has currently phased out peanuts from all packaged bar
snacks onboard our aircrafts in all classes of service. In Business
Class we have replaced the mixed nuts, which contained peanuts, with
Smokehouse Almonds and in Hospitality Class we have replaced the
peanuts with pretzels. Both of these products are guaranteed to be
completely free of peanuts and peanut byproducts. The "de-peanuting"
of these two products removes the peanuts great majority of the
packaged snack products. In addition to these products, we have also
replaced our other packaged snacks products with non-peanut
alternatives wherever possible.

At the same time, Air Canada cannot make any guarantees with respect
to meals being free from peanuts or peanut byproducts as it would be
impossible to manage with the many caterers, their suppliers and
sub-suppliers. We can neither be responsible for passengers who may
bring peanuts onboard or for any residue that may remain on or between
seat cushions.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2006 8:50 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 6:53 pm
Posts: 1454
Location: Canada
that's bizarre that they would serve a snack that is against their own policy. the 'may contain peanut' issue aside, don't they realize that a lot of people who are allergic to peanuts are just as allergic to tree nuts.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2006 6:30 pm 
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Joined: Thu Aug 11, 2005 6:48 pm
Posts: 614
Location: Ontario, Canada / Cambridge, UK
Helen, I think it's just plain ignorance. It's scary that a large company like this would be so ignorant and careless. I'm really curious to see what Air Canada's reply will be.


Last edited by Storm on Fri Jun 23, 2006 8:22 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Feb 18, 2006 8:45 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 1:25 pm
Posts: 323
Lisa, the answer I got was that Air Canada is not the one responsible for the food, a catering company is... and many messages don't make it through and they cannot really garantee that no fish would be serve on that flight but I was also told that mistakes could happen because of connecting flights, special requests, multiple flights for that plane in the day, etc. could mean that fish would be on board and not necessarly part of the meal I was there for... I was told that short, early morning flights could be safe... but not garanteed...

I gave up on flying a couple of years ago... just after flying to Vancouver for the first time... but at least I got the see the mountains! 8)


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 Post subject: Fish on Flights
PostPosted: Sat Feb 18, 2006 10:12 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2006 8:22 pm
Posts: 154
Location: Georgia
Mylene
Quote:
the last time I flew they served sandwiches...I had notified them of my fish allergy so they had taken out the salmon one from my package...everyone else around had them.

Glad you posted about this. I have developed an inhalant reaction to shellfish in the last couple of years. I have worried what might happen on an airplane. And, I'm allergic to almonds! Can't win for losing. I haven't flown since the inhalant reactions started. Good to know.

By the way, salmon in an enclosed space like an airplane? Yuck! :? Must have smelled like a cattery.

Daisy


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2006 11:46 am 
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Joined: Thu Sep 22, 2005 11:39 pm
Posts: 1141
Location: saskatchewan, canada
Fish on an enclosed airplane does seem strange. The odour is quite offensive to many people ( I hate fish, the smell is gross to me).


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2006 12:28 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 1:25 pm
Posts: 323
For all I remember about smelly fish, Tuna and salmon sandwiches don't smell that much... and my dad says they sometimes serve hot fish... that one would be just gross! :? And be carefull because they don't serve the same food in economy than they do in first class :?

Mylène


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2006 6:38 pm 
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Joined: Thu Aug 11, 2005 6:48 pm
Posts: 614
Location: Ontario, Canada / Cambridge, UK
This is Air Canada's pathetic reply to my concern about the *may contain peanuts* etc... on Krispy Kernel's packages of almonds served on the plane. I'm going to send another email... any advice on what I should say?

**********************************************************************************

Thank you for your email.

Your concern is understandable. We have enquired on your behalf and have
learned that Krispy Kernel is only protecting itself as they do have production
of peanut products in their facilities. However, there are no preanuts in the
packaged snacks provided to us. Air Canada is a peanut free airline.

We respectfully remind you that no airline can completely guarantee a sterile
environment on board its aircraft. We are not in a position to prevent other
passengers from bringing peanuts or peanut products on board our peanut-free
flights.

Feedback from our valued customers is important as it enables us to monitor the
quality of our products and services. Please be assured we have documented
your comments so they may be reviewed internally by the appropriate senior
management team.

We appreciate the time you have taken to write and thank you again for
contacting our office.

Sincerely,
Customer Solutions


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