My daughter was travelling back to the UK, where she is a student, from France where our home is. As always, we had booked a flight on Easyjet, the only airline with a direct flight to the city where she studies. She is allergic to dairy, eggs, cashews and pistachios. Her allergy to dairy and eggs is very specific and rare as it only triggers when the allergen is followed by exercise. It’s called Food-dependent exercise-induced anaphylaxis (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5257219/).
So on a plane, our main focus is on cashews and pistachios as they may trigger anaphylaxis.
Luckily for us, Easyjet allows its passengers to tick a box stating that they are allergic to nuts. In such cases, the airline will not sell nuts on its flights and ask fellow passengers to refrain from eating them.
Yesterday, 1/05/2020, as always, the crew came to see my daughter to tell her that they were aware of her allergy and to ask whether she had her auto-injector with her. She said yes. This was witnessed by a fellow passenger who was seating one seat away from her. At that time, the seat in between was empty.
Then another passenger came on board who sat in the empty seat and got out a package full of nuts. My daughter was beginning to feel stressed and tried to see what types of nuts were in the package. My daughter then went to the restroom and saw that, while she was queuing, the first passenger talked to the second one. When she came back, the package of nuts had been put away. She felt much relieved.
Flying is always very scary for people suffering from serious allergies. My daughter has suffered 4 episodes of anaphylactic shocks and never wants to suffer from one again, especially not while flying. She never eats anything apart from a fruit a number of hours before flying and never eats while on board, just to be on the safe side.
It’s much harder, however, to control what other people do. Once a child becomes a young adult and flies by him or herself, it’s up to him or her to explain and ask from others to refrain from eating something. It is not always easy. So, when someone does something to help, it’s huge.
We are so happy that Easyjet has this policy and a flight to the city she studies in and that there are some very kind human beings that help in difficult situations.