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 Post subject: Harmony Airways
PostPosted: Tue May 23, 2006 3:27 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 04, 2006 4:35 pm
Posts: 115
Location: Vancouver
Hi All.
Its been awhile since I was on this site....lots of changes recently....I found out back in February that I was pregnant, and now going onto my fifth month!
So, especially bearing that in mind, I was flying from Vancouver to Toronto in April.
Just a refresher, I was diagnosed with having a nut allergy back in Novemeber....
Anyhow, since this was my first time flying since being diagnosed, I was needless to say a little weary.
I had booked my flight, one way with Harmony Airways from Vancouver to Toronto.
During the booking of my flight, I mentioned to the travel agent to make a notation that I was highly allergic to nuts ( for in-flight meal purposes)
Anyhow, I board the flight, and mention to a male flight attendant that I had sever nut allergies, and wanted to make sure that he had my name on their special meal list. He came back to me and told me , No, infact I was not !
I have gotten used to carrying most of my meals for trips, long car rides, etc...and this time was no exception, and I am so glad I did. The same flight attendeant told me that that meals are all made in a facility that may contain nuts and therefore they were unable to assure me that no cross contamination had occured. He went on to say that If I had my own meal on board they would be happy to heat it up for me.
He then proceeded to tell the passengers tow rows in front of me, as well as two rows behind me, and on either sides that I had a nut allergy and therefore to please refrain from eating anything else on board during the duration of the flight that may have nut products.
5 minutes later we take off. As I am begining to settle in my "economy"seat, another flight atendant approaches me. A female staff memember who was the head of the attendants working in the buisness class. She told me that she would npt recommend that I eat their meal, simply because they were unable to guarantee it being nut free. Furthermore, she told me that part of their in-flight meal was a salad with pine-nuts and that they would be pulling the salads off everyone's trays so that there isn't a potential for a reaction. I thanked her and told her that was not necessary as I had never been tested for pine nuts, and in any event avoided them, just incase.
Before leaving she offered to move me up into buisness class if I was uncomfortable at the back of the plane. I declied.
After she resumed to the front of the plane...and this was literally minutes after take off, there was a general overhead announcement.....the ususal.
But get this....
after the general announcement, the same lady went on to say the following.......
"Ladies and Gentelmen, we also have amongst us a passenger today who is highly allergic to peanuts and nuts. Therfore we ask for your cooperation that during the entire duration of the flight you refrain from eating any products such as trail mix, or chocolate bars that my contain these products. "
I, who is a very quiet person by nature and don't care to draw attention to my self, turned beet red.......
But I was highly impressed at the staff on HMY!
I am definetly going to be writing a letter of thanks to the airlines customer care centre!

Returning to Vancouver however was a much different experinece....I flew with West Jet and mentioned to the flight attendant re nut allergies.....but ofcourse they dont serve meals on board, and only havd out sesame sticks that incidentally are produced in a facility that contains nuts.....
I declined the package....but, the gentleman sitting to my right, who heard me tell the attendant about the nut allergy, pulled out a snickers bar and proceeded to enjoy it!
Leaning as far to my left as I possibly could to avoid breathing into any nut proteins that may be floating in the air, I has my nose all of 3 inches away from the toilet door!!!
With a full plane, my only option was a window seat three rows forward, except with being pregnant I was needing the bathroom every hour ...and just could not fathom tripping over someones feet to get past them.
It was a long flight home to BC!

So while getting to TO was fine, I just thought the gentleman to my right who heard my conversation really could not care less.
In hindsight I could have reiterated to him the nut allergy.
Anyhow......Not a perfect world out there, is it!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 24, 2006 9:38 am 
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Joined: Sun Mar 05, 2006 1:05 pm
Posts: 528
Location: Burlington, Ontario
Hi Shairose,

Congratulations on your pregnancy! How wonderful!

It's great about Harmony Airways. We'll keep them in mind if we ever need to fly out West!

And we'll keep in mind NOT to use Westjet!

Yes, I think you should have insisted that that guy put his Snickers bar away, and mention that you were also pregnant and that you did not want to have a reaction. Sometimes people need to have things hammered in their head. Or he needed to know more about allergies and perhaps he thought that it's only if you eat nuts that you react, not knowing that even trace amounts and cross-contaminations can trigger a reaction.

By the way, here is a link to the FAAN website regarding travelling on airlines, keeping in mind that this is an American website, but some of their advice might be valuable.

http://www.foodallergy.org/Advocacy/airlines.html


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 Post subject: Re HMY
PostPosted: Wed May 24, 2006 11:30 am 
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Joined: Wed Jan 04, 2006 4:35 pm
Posts: 115
Location: Vancouver
Hi Nicole,
Thank you.
I highly recommend HMY.....Probably the only excellent airline Canadian Airline out there....
The link to the website you sent was great. Do we have such a website for any of our Canadian Airline?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 24, 2006 1:13 pm 
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Joined: Thu Aug 11, 2005 6:48 pm
Posts: 614
Location: Ontario, Canada / Cambridge, UK
Shairose,

From Anaphylaxis Canada's website:

Tips for Travelling Safely with Anaphylaxis:
http://www.anaphylaxis.org/content/livi ... l_safe.asp

Medical Letter:
http://www.anaphylaxis.org/content/livi ... l_sept.asp

In-Flight Allergic Reactions:
http://www.anaphylaxis.org/content/livi ... flight.asp

_________________
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:
PostPosted: Thu May 25, 2006 10:36 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 6:53 pm
Posts: 1454
Location: Canada
Hi Shairose--congrats on the pregnancy!

I find that it doesn't cross other peoples' minds (and I'm talking about some family and friends here) that people with a peanut allergy don't want someone eating a snickers bar right next to them. I would probably ask the man not to eat it and explain the situation--if he was annoyed and refused I would talk to the flight attendant and ask to be moved.

Not having one's "special" in flight meal arrive seems to be the norm. Eating airplane fare isn't that safe--mistakes so easily happen.

It's good to hear that you had a good experience with Harmony! Thanks for letting us know.


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