(Not) Flying with Food Allergies: One Mom's Story

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I haven’t flown on an airplane with my children yet. There are a few reasons behind this.

1. We have visited family that live a road trip-able distance away, and have streamlined that process into a science. (Thanks Pinterest!)

2. Flying with a family of four, plus potentially renting a car when you arrive can be quite expensive for a young family.

3. With small children, the idea of containing them into a cramped flying bus for hours on end in a shush situation just does not appeal. Did I mention they are both boys who need to be exercised daily like horses?

flying with food allergies

But honestly, probably the main reason is because of my older son’s food allergy. I realize people successfully travel on planes with food allergies all of the time, I’ve just been too afraid to try.

Then, when I read an article like this, it both terrifies me and vindicates my point of view. You can click through for the full story, but the gist of it is that a peanut allergic child was traveling on an international flight. Passengers were instructed not to eat nuts on the plane, and nuts were not served by the airline staff. One passenger opened up a packet of nuts he’d brought with him, and the child had an anaphylactic reaction, forcing the pilot to make an emergency landing. Thankfully, the child survived. We have to wonder if there was a language barrier, but even so, shouldn’t the airline be required to make sure every passenger understood the prohibition?

I recently flew to California on Virgin America by myself. (Yes, it was awesome.) The in-flight menu featured various (delicious) snack assortments with cheese, fruit and nuts. Would they still offer those same packs with a food allergy passenger on board? How would they know? How does it work? Gah!

Sometimes, I’m sure we’d all like to safely seal our children in a plastic bubble like John Travolta in this movie, but that’s just not realistic. I do hope to expanding my children’s horizons through travel, and with the help of tips like Tiffany’s for flying with food allergies, I plan to make that dream a reality within the next year.



6 Comments to (Not) Flying with Food Allergies: One Mom's Story

  1. Tiffany

    Kate! I totally get it! If we didn’t live 2,000 miles from family members, we would be in your same road-trippin’ boat. Let me know when you’re ready to fly and we’ll have a coffee chat over Skype :-).

  2. My brother suggested I might like this website. He was totally right.

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  3. Leigh

    I’m with you! My 3 year old is allergic to so many things it would be impossible to take him on an airplane. Plus I have an infant and flying just seems unnecessarily chaotic. Thankfully our family is just a few hours away. We are planning a trip to Disney World next year and while flying would be much quicker, the risks are too great. I’m hoping my son outgrows a few of his allergies so we can take our dream trip to Hawaii in a few years.

    • Kate

      Fingers crossed!!

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