This is a letter I’ve had to write to Virgin Atlantic…:
I’m writing in dismay at the lack of care we received when trying to deal with our son’s nut allergy before we fly with Virgin next week.
My 5 year old son has a life threatening cashew and pistachio allergy. We always make this clear whenever booking a holiday.
My wife contacted your “customer service” team ahead of our flight from LHR to JNB next Tuesday (9th April). She received the advanced menus for our two journeys, and although the outbound leg presented no issue, the return journey showed that the main course on offer was a chicken and cashew nut dish.
Naturally, we got straight in touch with Virgin to ask for that dish to be changed ahead of the return flight in 2 weeks. We know that nothing can be done about passengers bringing snacks onboard, but surely the airline would understand the risk to life and make the necessary adjustments… After all, the sheer quantity of it being the main dish on offer is what presents the greatest risk.
No, it appears not. The supervisor I was escalated to said that although he sypathised, nothing could be done as “all the branded menus couldn’t be changed” and the caterers couldn’t change the dish. I’m appalled that Virgin’s priorities are so out of order. You’d rather risk life than explain to passengers onboard that a dish needed to be changed to accommodate a young passenger with a severe allergy.
Leading anaphylaxis charities highlight that nut allergies are as prevalent as peanut allergies. Here is some information that might help: https://www.anaphylaxis.org.uk/knowledgebase/cashew-nuts. It’s time to stop using nuts onboard altogether.
I hope that you’ll be able to see sense and put our minds at ease ahead of our flight. Otherwise we may not be able to travel.
We’ve paid nearly £3000 which may now be lost because our advanced notice wasn’t acknowledged nor acted upon. Clearly advanced notice of allergies just isn’t taken seriously by Virgin. Heaven forbid you have to go through the turmoil that faced Pret A Manger last year during their allergy scandal.