EasyJet has announced it’s banning the sale of peanuts on flights.
Not only will the British-based budget airline no longer serve peanuts, passengers are also being asked not to consume products containing nuts in order to protect travelers with allergies.
The move comes after mounting consumer pressure, which has seen airlines such as Qantas, Southwest Airlines, Lufthansa and British Airways remove peanuts as snacks from all flights.
However, most say they cannot guarantee a “nut-free environment” due to “cross-contamination.”
This means customers with peanut and peanut-dust allergies still need to indicate their allergies when booking flights and at the airport. EasyJet, which primarily serves European markets, has a specific option on its booking page for such requests.
“The safety and welfare of all of our customers and crew is our highest priority so we have a number of procedures in place to assist customers traveling with a nut allergy,” a spokesperson for the low-cost airline said in a statement to CNN Travel.
New nut policy
“We ask that any customers with a nut allergy notify us ahead of travel and we will request that other passengers traveling on the flight do not consume any products containing nuts that they have brought with them onboard.
“We have also stopped the sale of peanuts onboard and will be removing the last product from our inflight range which contains nuts in the coming months.”
While the airline concedes that it’s “not possible to ban nuts on all flights,” as other passengers may bring them on-board despite being requested not to, it will take action in extreme cases.
“When a passenger who suffers from a severe nut allergy, which can result in anaphylaxis, is traveling with us we will request that other passengers traveling on the flight do not consume nuts that they have brought with them onboard,” the spokesperson added.
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According to a study by medical journal JAMA Network Open, one in 10 adults in the US have a food allergy, with peanuts and shellfish among the most common.
In 2017, a separate study published by in the World Allergy Organization Journal found that around 2.2% of onboard medical emergencies were caused by allergic reactions.
Still, not everyone supports removing certain foods from the friendly skies.
Last year, Southwest’s decision to remove peanuts from its flights caused some pushback, with the National Peanut Board, a peanut industry group, vehemently disagreeing with the airline’s decision.
“We were disappointed to learn about Southwest’s decision to stop serving peanuts, which even the airline considers an iconic part of its history and DNA,” the board said in a statement.
“It is an unnecessary step that will disappoint many of Southwest’s customers. It is also out of sync with the latest science, which shows education and preparation – such as allowing passengers to pre-board flights to wipe down their seats – do the most to benefit the one percent of Americans with a peanut allergy.”