At risk of offending squirrels worldwide, we recently made changes to our in-flight nut allergy policy to create a buffer zone around Customers who let us know that they have a nut allergy.
In our new policy, which has been in effect since February, Inflight Crewmembers now create a buffer zone one row behind and one row in front of the nut-allergic person. The Crew briefs Customers in those rows, without identifying the person with an allergy, and informs them that nut-based products will not be served to their rows.
There are no federal requirements for how airlines should deal with travelers with nut allergies. However, we’re basing our new guidelines on a proposed federal policy released a few years ago that would have mandated airlines to create peanut-free buffer zones like ours. Although this did not become law, the proposal offers us excellent guidelines to follow and most other carriers have adopted these standards.
Our goal in modifying our policy was to make reasonable and sufficient accommodations for Customers with severe nut allergies, while providing a consistent experience to the majority of Customers on all flights. A comprehensive comparison of airline nut polices and recommendations from government agencies led us to this new policy that will improve the overall Customer experience while also providing sufficient prevention of nut allergy-related medical emergencies during flight.