I have had a peanut allergy since I was 2 years old and have always known it was severe. I did not know it was as severe until I was 9 and was on a plane with everyone opening their bags of peanuts. I broke out into hives and could barely breathe just from the smell and peanut dust. Luckily it was only a 40-minute flight. Fresh air and lots of Benadryl helped once we got off, but I believe it could’ve been much more serious if it were a longer flight.
Since my experience, I have always notified the flight attendants of my allergy, verified no peanuts would be served, and asked for them to make an announcement. The announcement is to ask anyone who has brought peanuts onboard to please refrain from eating them because of a passenger on board with a severe allergy.
On my most recent American Airlines flight, the flight attendant refused to make an announcement. I asked her why and she said, “it is not in our announcement procedures”. I told her that they have always been able to and she then informed me that she would get fired if she made such announcement (which is shocking, when my life is literally on the line). She then walked away and got a worker who was outside of the plane and he said to me, “because we cannot accommodate to your needs, you can go find a different flight”. I said no and he walked away.
On my flight back, the flight attendant said, “we don’t usually make announcements for that, but I guess I can” and then proceeded to make a rude and unnecessary comment about peanut m&m’s. Thankfully, she did make the announcement on this flight, but that shows as well how inconsistent they are, which can be even more nerve-racking and scary. There should be no reason for any airline or flight attendant to not be able to give a simple announcement notifying passengers of an allergy. Most people will be courteous to that, but I do understand if they’re not, then that is out of the flight attendants control. Peanut allergies are very serious, and they should be taken more serious by all airlines and flight attendants, but for now, I advise not flying with American Airlines. (Note: Alaska Airlines has almost always been great for me though)