Delta has been my airline of choice for over twenty years. Until March, 2020, I flew at least two times per month and it was always with Delta. For my personal travel I never choose any airline but Delta. Needless to say I am incredibly loyal. My daughter has severe food allergies, specifically peanuts and tree nuts. This is noted in her Delta profile, and it is noted on every reservation I make for her. She also suffers from significant anxiety as a result of the allergies. I have always chosen Delta for our family travel because until this week, Delta has been outstanding in handling food allergies.
Our flights yesterday (3/18/2023) were a testament to so much going so wrong. It has made me question the support I have shown for Delta on the various food allergy blogs and on social media.
On March 11th, I received the e-mail to select my meal for the return flight. Every one of the selections included nuts, I called the Medallion line within five minutes of receiving the email and while the person was understanding and sympathetic, they said there was nothing that could be done. On Sunday when we arrived at SNA, I spoke to the counter agent and tried to speak to a manager regarding the meals. This was a week prior to the flight. They said someone would call me and no one ever did. I received a survey about the phone call and expressed in the survey that my problem was not resolved.
Yesterday when we checked in for the flight, I spoke to a supervisor to see if there was any chance that the salads could be changed to something without nuts. I then learned that the aircraft had changed from the 757 with pods to a standard 757 meaning the buffer zone I wanted for my daughter was now gone. The result of the plane change is that buffer zone went away and nuts surrounded my daughter during lunch service. At every turn yesterday, we were told repeatedly that Delta cannot guarantee a nut free flight. My daughter wore an N95 mask, covered herself with a jacket and moved herself forward and backward to avoid the tray going over her head.
Delta sent the message on Saturday, March 18 that they would rather serve nuts and take the risk of an emergency medical landing than to chose lunch options that do not have nuts. Additionally, the announcement about avoiding opening nut products was not made until half-way into the flight; and instead of “avoiding opening nut products” it was changed to “avoiding opening peanut products.” A first, in our many flights on Delta. The crew did inform us that the back was serving almonds, adding another layer of nuts to the flight.