Peanut Allergy...The Shocking Facts (cont.)

Before your trip, check with your allergist and discuss your travel plans in detail.

  1. Discuss the travel-related risks in your case. Ask if you should carry extra epinephrine or other medications with you.

  2. Carry enough peanut-free food with you to get to your destination. As an extra precaution, we recommend that food-allergic individuals avoid eating airline meals. This year has seen a higher than normal amount of flight delays and cancellations, so bring enough food for at least two extra meals en route.

  3. Get to the airport early and re-confirm your peanut-free snack request at the gate and with the lead flight attendant when you get on the plane. Remember, you need their cooperation. Show them how they can help you and thank them when they do. If the gate agent tells you they have no record of the request, have them call the special service coordinator who helped with your reservation. It may help.

  4. If you are traveling with a contact-sensitive child, after boarding wipe down the seats, arm rests, tray table, and window area with a handy-wipe or similar product. Also, inspect the floor and seat area and remove any peanut residue from previous flights.

  5. If a reaction should occur, follow your physician's treatment instructions and then notify the flight crew immediately. This will enable them to identify health professionals on the flight who can help treat the reaction, contact medical professionals on the ground, and/or allow the pilot to begin preparations to land the plane, if needed.

If a reaction should occur, we recommend reporting it in writing to the airline CEO, and the Federal Aviation Administration ( with a copy to The Food Allergy Network.

Finally, remember that many peanut-allergic individuals have safely flown without incident. Your physician will help you assess the risks involved in your specific case. Take all reasonable precautions, and then relax and enjoy your trip.

The above information has been provided with the kind permission of the Food Allergy Network and

Last Editorial Review: 9/13/2002