On August 26th 2018, my two sons (one then 4 and the other then 7), my husband, and I were returning to New York from Tel Aviv. We were flying Business Class on United Airlines, and had my 7 year olds severe peanut and tree nut allergy noted on the reservation.
When we boarded our flight, I spoke to the flight attendant to confirm that she had the allergy noted and to make sure they didn’t serve nuts. The flight attendant said that she had the allergy noted, however, they were going to serve nuts (a bowl of mixed nuts) to all business and first class customers.
I said, especially since we are sitting in Business Class, it could be a problem if everyone around us was eating an open container of nuts. While my son has never had an airborne reaction, I didn’t want to chance anything up in the air. Especially since it is a long Trans-Atlantic flight.
The flight attendant said that there is nothing she can do, that “Business Class customers expect to be served nuts and there will be outrage if they did not.” I told the flight attendant that they will be more outraged if their flight needed to be diverted due to a medical emergency. She continued to protest and so I asked to speak with the head attendant. I then spoke with the managing flight attendant and she said the exact same thing, they were going to serve nuts. We really had no choice, we needed to get back, and so we boarded the flight.
During the flight my son was coughing a lot. He was not sick and did not have a cough prior to the flight. I’m wasn’t sure if the cough was due to the nuts being served, but I couldn’t think of another reason for the cough so I gave him his inhaler and Benadryl. We also had an issue when checking into our flight from NY to Tel Aviv. When I checked in, they gave me a very hard time because it said, “medical equipment” on the reservation. They pulled us aside, searched our luggage, questioned us over and over. I didn’t put that in the reservation, but I am guessing when I asked for the Peanut and Tree nut allergy to be noted, they automatically added “Medical equipment” to the reservation. Getting through security took so much longer and was a complete hassle due to this.
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