You know the saying, “If I had a nickel for every time someone asked me blank, I’d be a millionaire!” Well, if I had a nickel for every time someone asked me how I fly, I’d have all of those flights paid for by now. I know when they ask me this question, they’re not asking about the type of aircraft, the airline, or my seating choice. They’re asking me about flying with food allergies and safety.
And this is totally legitimate!
That’s why I’ve put together my tried and true flying tips. These suggestions have kept me safe over the years and while I wholeheartedly recommend them, I can’t say they’ll work for everyone. My allergies are my own,. They may be more or less severe than yours, and what works for me might not work for you.
As much as my parents would like me to be, I’m not a doctor. I can’t vouch for your safety, only my own.
But with that being said, I truly feel that these 5 tips are a great way to get you started. If nothing else, they will get your safely wheels turning.
Flying with Food Allergies: 5 Safety Tips
1. Inform the airline upon purchase
This is the single most important thing to do before flying with food allergies. When I book my flight, I almost immediately call the airline. Yes, waiting on hold sucks. And yes of course I don’t want to do it. But I DO do it. Because the more notice they have, the more action they can take.
2. Inform the gate agent
When I check-in, I tell them that along with a preferred window seat, that I have fatal food allergies to peanuts and nuts. I then kindly ask what procedures they have in place or make sure whatever I was told on the phone ( i.e. no nuts being served, aircraft properly cleaned, etc.) actually happens. I do the same thing when I get to the gate. Once at the gate I also ask to pre-board in order to clean my seat and inform the flight crew.
3. Inform the flight crew
As I board the aircraft, I tell the flight attendant about my allergy and what seat I will be taking. They are usually informed and expecting me. I also ask if they will announce my allergy to the cabin. This is critical. This will minimize the potential for a contact or airborne reaction.
4. Clean your seat and wear long clothing
I always carry Wet Ones with me in order to clean my seat, table, chair, etc. And I never ever wear anything other than long clothing in order to keep my skin protected. Luckily, most flights are cold so wearing the lengthy clothing isn’t a huge issue (I also wear a scarf or sweatshirt to cover my neck. You never know…). Cleaning your seat is easy: just use wet wipes! And if you’re thinking to yourself ok but wait…what? That means I’d have to touch the seat. And that sort of defeats the purpose. I’d say you’re right! That’s why I bring…
5. Bring gloves for your flight
I bring along 3 pairs of gloves when flying. The ones I use are latex, but if you have a latex allergy, you can use a different kind. One for cleaning the seat, one for wearing on the flight, and an extra in case I want to go to the bathroom and wash my hands.
Now, these are tips. This isn’t a guarantee for everyone reading this.
I do however want to say this:
Traveling can be scary. And if you have food allergies, it can be lethal. But having a food allergy shouldn’t stop you from living your best life to the fullest.
If you think that traveling will bring you joy, education, energy, and so much more, then maybe you want to take my tips and build on them! Make travel possible for you in your own way if you find it important and feel these tips aren’t for you.