When I considered purchasing Oct. 2017 round-trip airfare from Atlanta to Denver and back, I knew that we needed to fly with an airline that would accommodate our child’s nut allergy. I knew not to fly with American because they clearly indicate that they will not accommodate travelers with nut allergies on the policy page of their website.
I had heard good things about Southwest and we had good experiences with them several years ago. Southwest asks if any travelers have a nut dust allergy when booking, so I check marked that box for my child. The day before our outbound travel, I checked in online and printed our boarding passes.
At the airport, I did as the Southwest website instructed and arrived early to talk to the gate agent about pre-boarding. She politely gave me the pre-board ticket and instructed me on what to do next. Once we boarded I asked the lead flight attendant if she had a snack other than peanuts to serve. She assured me that she would not serve peanuts. I picked out a seat, wiped down the surrounding area, covered the seat with a thick crib sheet and said a little prayer. During the flight, no nuts were served and I did not see anyone else eating nuts.
For the return flight, I hadn’t had time to check in online and I hadn’t pre printed our boarding passes. We were running a bit behind, so we opted for curbside baggage check. The man printing our boarding passes said, “here is the pre-board ticket for the nut dust allergy.” I had planned to talk to the gate agent inside, but the attendant at curbside check-in already knew about my child’s allergy, and had everything ready to go.
Once inside the terminal, we immediately got into the pre-board line and had no problems getting onto the plane early to wipe things down. I boarded the plane and again asked the lead flight attendant if she had other snacks to serve besides peanuts. She assured me that she did and would not be serving nuts. I wiped the area, covered the seat, said a little prayer and everything went great.
Nuts were never served and I never saw anyone in the area around us eating nuts either.
I will say that I was well prepared for flying and prepared for a fight… but Southwest did not give us one. They were courteous and accommodating and for that I am forever grateful! As long as we keep having positive flights, we will keep flying SWA!
For any traveler flying with a child with nut allergies, I highly recommend using a crib sheet to cover the seat, bringing a child size face mask (in case the flight attendants forget and serve nuts or other passengers nearby are eating them, bringing several epinephrine injectors, bringing a full pack of wipes, bringing your own food, and traveling on the first flight of the day!
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