Before our flight, I called Southwest to inform them of my baby’s peanut allergy. He is severely allergic to peanuts.
They informed me that they wouldn’t be serving peanuts on the flight, as per protocol when they are notified in advance. When I checked in at the ticket desk on Friday, September 21st, 2017, I confirmed the peanut allergy and got the necessary paperwork to pre-board (to be able to wipe down seats/trays/etc. for past contamination) and the form to hand to the flight attendant regarding the peanut allergy. When I gate checked my stroller, I again checked that the peanut allergy was confirmed on their end.
My baby and I pre-boarded and I handed the flight attendant the paper that informed them of my baby’s peanut allergy. I sat in the very back of the plane and there was only 42 people on my flight.
The flight attendants served the drinks and then came around serving peanuts. I didn’t realize they had been served until they got to me in the back and had already served everyone else.
When I saw, they were offering peanuts, I informed them of the allergy again, and all the flight attendant said was “oh would you like pretzels instead”. She had no clue that she wasn’t supposed to be serving peanuts on this flight. I got up and spoke to another flight attendant who apologized but said that it was a miscommunication. This is my child’s life they put in danger due to their “miscommunication”. I exited the plane and immediately filed a complaint.
By the time, I got home my baby’s entire face was covered in hives. One of his ears had turned bright red and swelled up. He was itchy and very uncomfortable. I called Southwest and they took my information and filed another complaint.
I am absolutely appalled that my baby had to go through this awful allergic reaction due to Southwest’s flight attendants not being informed and educated on THEIR OWN policy. I went through every step on my end to protect my child, including taking an early morning flight which was recommended on their website.
I completely understand that there’s no way to ensure that the plane will be 100 percent peanut free, but I was assured peanuts would not be served on this flight. Thank goodness there were less than 50 people and the ones near me offered not to eat their peanuts- his allergic reaction may have been a LOT more serious otherwise.
I ended up having to rent a car and drive back home because I didn’t want to risk having my baby exposed to peanuts again twice in one week.
PLEASE NOTE: Southwest sent me a release of liability/settlement form to sign. They offered me $500 but I declined since I wanted to be able to spread the word on what happened. Plus, I didn’t believe in signing something that said they did no wrong just for $500.
It just didn’t seem like the right thing to do.