My 12 year old son, my AllergyKid, took his very first ever flight this month (7/2019) and it worked out great! At 12 years old, my son has spent pretty much all of his life dealing with food allergies, hypertension, and severe eczema. We travel with him but we have always driven for the most part. This year though, would be different, he was going to the the National Eczema Association Eczema Expo 2019 for the second year in a row but this time we would have to fly because it was in Arizona and we live in Michigan.
I made reservations for the trip going on American Airlines because I read an article that said you could pre-board with a food allergy to clean the seating area. The whole process was fairly easy, the representative assured me that they did not serve peanuts and that I could talk to the gate attendant about going in early to clean. I had him dress in long pants and take a long sleeved hoodie in case he needed to cover himself completely. It was difficult, but I refrained from having him wear gloves to prevent him accidentally touching an allergen. When we took an Amtrak 2 years ago, I looked under my seat to find almonds so I did not want a repeat of this!
I took 4 Auvi-Qs and 2 Epipens and I used Clorox wipes to clean the tray area and the arm rests of his seat. I did not go in early but I had enough time due to our place in line.
The flight back was on Southwest,due to some other destinations we visited while in the Southwest. This probably was not the best choice for an anxious food allergy family unless you are in the very first group of boarders because it was open seating and I really did not have time to do much cleaning. However, they did not serve any peanuts on the flight home. Everything worked out! We made it safely back to Michigan!
I think the anxiety of the unknown was so much worse than the actual flight. I am grateful that the initial flight was so much more organized than the return trip. My take away from flying with my food allergic son, be prepared, stay calm, give yourself extra time so that you are not rushed and you can wipe down areas and pay attention to your surroundings. We did it and we can and will do it again! I am proud of us!