On Friday 1st September 2017, my best friend and I started the return leg of our journey home. First leg of the flight was Las Vegas to Chicago, which I already anticipated to be a disaster due to previous experiences with United Airlines. Please note that I had booked my whole return journey though Aer Lingus and although I could have gotten my flights cheaper; I paid the extra money to fly with a company I know are very accommodating towards allergies. However, I was disappointed to find out that two of my flights were actually with their partner airline, United.
When I boarded the flight, I stopped and asked the flight attendant standing at the doorway if they served nuts onboard. There seemed to be a push to get the plane away from the gate and so the gate attendant came up and asked what the hold up was. When I turned to explain, I was merely asking a question regarding a serious medical matter, the flight attendant onboard proceeded to speak over me and inform the gate attendant that I was “complaining” and said “ughhh she has a nut allergy.”
Upon explaining to the flight attendant how potentially dangerous allergies can be, she responded with well of course nuts will be served on board, we can’t stop anyone from eating what they like. At this point I was too annoyed and walked away to find my seat. My best friend stayed behind to explain the matter but got no where with the rude staff onboard.
Before take off another member of staff came to discuss my safety onboard the aircraft and actually asked me how I had gotten to America safely. When I explained I had booked to fly with Aer Lingus, he asked why- according to his knowledge that they were not accommodating to those with allergies. However, I was able to in fact let him know that I believe Aer Lingus is the best airline for food allergies. It may sound biased as I am Irish but based on my experience, it is a true statement.
I have never felt as safe onboard an international flight than I did on June 12th on my Aer Lingus flight to Washington DC and my next Aer Lingus flight on September 1st from Chicago to Dublin. The crew onboard both of these flight went above and beyond to ensure I had a safe journey to and from America. So to the crew on board both of these flights thank you so so much!!! You made my experience of flying alone a fantastic one and I will continue to fly with Aer Lingus!
My own experience was that when you inform any member of Aer Lingus crew of your allergy they make no fuss whatsoever, all they ask is if you have an Epi-Pen and what seat you are sitting in. Then they proceed to make an announcement to the rest of the passengers to politely ask if they could refrain from eating but products onboard.
When I told the United Airlines crew member this, he didn’t know what to say. He told me, I will ask the captain if there is anything we can do. At this point, I was not in a very good mood and was clearly very upset. Traveling with allergies is a stressful and when airlines treat you with such a lack of respect, as if you are the one who has done something wrong, it only makes matters worse!
I am pretty sure members of the public could go without nuts for a short flight if they knew that someones life was potentially at risk!