Delta was easily the best of the airlines that we’ve flown (including Alaska and United recently) in handling peanut allergy with pretty comprehensive policies and a general feeling of courtesy and respect. Our reservations were clearly marked for the allergy, we were invited to baord early, given wipes and and an announcement was made asking people not to eat peanuts and explaining why. The problem is that the environment was very contaminated with peanuts and I don’t think it would be safe for many people with peanut allergy.
My family and I flew from Seattle to Salt Lake, then from Lake on to Honolulu. On the first flight I felt like I could smell peanuts. Just faintly.
On the second flight I figured out why. The rails that the chairs sit in are completely gunked up with peanut bits, other food and filth. Please see attached picture. I seriously considered getting off the plane when I saw what was there.
I was frankly terrified but had time to carefully consider the risks:
- We just had a two hour flight on delta where I could faintly smell peanuts – I didn’t know why at the time but now I knew why and my son luckily didn’t have a reaction to that level of exposure.
- We were sitting on this plane for a full 45 mins before take off
- We were flying from Salt Lake City – so had some time over land (not the case when you leave from Seattle)
- We go to theaters and out in the world without any trouble and I know that there are pnuts around in many places
I’m so glad that we made it and really wished that we had done some “proximity testing” before- hand. If I knew how peanuty Delta was I wouldn’t have chosen that airline. Had I flown Delta myself recently I never would have booked us on that airline.
Flight home was good. The plane was totally clean and didn’t smell at all like peanuts. I didn’t see any filth or peanuts.
My son’s ticket was marked as peanut allergy. The staff in Hawaii didn’t seem as aware of the policies, but when I said that we needed to board early – they were fine with that. They didn’t serve peanuts. When we walked on I mentioned to the Flight Attenant – “this is the peanut allergy – isle 44”, and they said that they knew and welcome aboard. After we were seated one of the FA’s asked me if “he was really sensitive?” and “could they eat peanuts in the galley?” – he asked it very gingerly and accepted the answer of “yes he’s sensitive and no, not even in the galley” just fine. That made me wonder about the staff bringing their own food and if they weren’t told about a peanut free flight, if they brought something with peanuts for their lunch – that could be a problem for the staff. They also made an announcement asking people not to eat peanuts on the flight.
Overall, it was sadly ironic that they airline with the best policies is probably not safe for many people with peanut allergy to fly. I think that they should either take responsibility and clean the planes better or warn travers as to the conditions.