Food Allergy and Air Travel Survey: Have Your Say

in Managing Allergies, Travel & Dining
Published: October 20, 2022

At Allergic Living, we are happy to support the launch of a new survey on air travel with food allergies. The survey is designed by experts with Northwestern University’s Center for Food Allergy & Asthma Research. It aims to gather data to gain the bigger picture of patients’ experiences and challenges when flying with food allergies.

We all need to travel for business or vacation time. But with food allergies, there’s often concern about the in-flight experience. Will I or my child face the risk of allergen exposure at 30,000 feet? As Allergic Living’s own coverage shows, when anaphylaxis occurs on a flight, it’s a dramatic and concerning medical event.

A continuing issue is that individual airlines have differing policies to accommodate (or not accommodate) food allergies. The CFAAR team says it “hopes to gather data that helps policymakers move the needle forward in safe air travel for food-allergic individuals.”

To date, the information on food allergy experiences when flying is largely anecdotal. Both policymakers and airlines need good data to be fully informed of the realities of flying with food allergies. We hope you will click the button and take part in the survey today.

The food allergy and air travel survey is led by CFAAR research experts Dr. Ruchi Gupta, the Center’s founder and a professor of medicine at Northwestern, and Dr. Christopher Warren, the Center’s director of population research.

Air Travel Survey Question Areas

The food allergy and air travel survey covers important areas, including:

  • Food allergy reactions during air travel. If a survey participant experienced an in-flight reaction, you’ll be asked about the trigger, the symptoms and whether epinephrine was used.
  • Airline accommodations: whether any were offered at booking and whether the crew followed through with the accommodation.
  • Personal experiences when traveling: questions to gauge crew attitudes (good or bad) toward the food-allergic passenger.
  • Pre-flight precautions you or your allergic family member take to lessen the risk of an in-flight reaction.
  • Questions on anxiety when flying with food allergies, plus accommodations that would make a difference to the overall flight experience.