Airlines and Allergies: Flying Allergic

in Media Release
Published: January 5, 2009

Allergic Living Magazine Reveals Grave Risks to Allergic Air Travellers

TORONTO – January 6, 2009:  Startling new research reveals that most major airlines do not have clearly defined policies and procedures in place for allergic passengers, and they continue to serve some of the most highly allergenic foods, including nuts, sesame, fish and shellfish, according to Allergic Living Magazine.

In the Winter 2009 issue of Allergic Living magazine’s cover story “Plane Truths,” Allergic Living contributor Jennifer Van Evra exposes an allergic passenger’s nightmare flying 38,000 feet over the Pacific Ocean, locked inside an Air Canada plane with the flight attendants handing out packages of nuts.

Van Evra reveals several incidents on other airlines where flight attendants refused to stop serving peanuts throughout the plane even though passengers were having difficulty breathing and in one case, a 3-year-old girl became covered in hives, her face swelled and her breathing grew laboured.

Allergic Living editor, Gwen Smith asks the obvious question: “Why is an airplane the only public venue aside from a major league baseball park where an individual will encounter so many peanuts and nuts?”

The airlines have responded to passenger complaints by saying, “We cannot guarantee an allergen-free flight.” Smith would like to see discussions with the airlines in Canada about risk-reducing strategies accommodating the growing number of people traveling with serious food allergies. Allergic Living Magazine has just launched a write-in campaign to lobby for better risk reduction in the air and will be reporting the results directly to the airlines.

“Flying is a fundamental part of modern life, and the allergic have a right to do it safely – like everyone else,” says Smith. “We would be very open to speaking with the airlines about better accommodation for the allergic. It would not be difficult.”

To view online the detailed comparison chart on allergy policies of some of the major airline carriers, click here.

Allergic Living is an independent magazine, published by AGW Publishing Inc., and is available by subscription ( and, in Canada, at Chapters outlets, Shoppers Drug Mart and London Drugs.

For more information about this article, or to set-up an interview with
Allergic Living’s
editor Gwen Smith, please call:
Beth Sulman
at 416-628-5602 or

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