Lonely Planet Writer

Peanut allergy policy changed by British Airways

British Airways has changed its policy on peanut allergy food to be more passenger friendly.

British Airways boss Willie Walsh wants all aircraft to reduce their carbon dioxide emissions
British Airways boss Willie Walsh wants all aircraft to reduce their carbon dioxide emissions Image by David Kernan / CC BY 2.0

Starting from tomorrow, 18th February, the airline has announced it will be instituting a new way of dealing with passengers who’ve warned of dangerous peanut allergies. Flight attendants will make announcement at the beginning of the flight “to inform customers, and to ask those in the vicinity to refrain from eating nut products”.  They will be introducing a new policy around peanuts and banana nuts, but the airline will not be banning peanuts on flights.

Passengers will be allowed bring their own nuts on board, but if they are sitting next to a passenger that has warned of allergies, the flight attendants will request that the passenger not open the bag of peanuts. Previously British Airways had left it up to the passenger with allergies to warn their fellow passengers about their allergies.

Peanuts sparked a near fatal allergic reaction in a teenage girl on a trans-Atlantic flight.
Peanuts sparked a near fatal allergic reaction in a teenage girl on a trans-Atlantic flight. Image by Daniella Segura / CC BY 2.0

The policy is in line with Virigin America and WestJet in the US.

The free peanut snacks that are distributed on some airlines have long been a cause of anxiety for people with severe peanut allergies. They were first introduced onto commercial passenger flights in 1971 by airline company Southwest.