Airlines with Allergy-Free Meals
If you’ve ever searched for airlines with allergy-free meals, you’ll know that all of the world’s major carriers offer a nut-free option. But allergies are complex and wide-ranging these days. You need to know that you and your family will be safe while flying, which is why a little research before you travel is essential.
A medical emergency in the air can be a terrifying experience. But if you’re prepared for the worst, you can mitigate the risks considerably. If you or someone you care for suffers from a serious food allergy, you should ideally consult a physician before booking your flight. A doctor will help you to understand the various precautions you’ll need to take. Here are a few tips for planning a flight when you have allergies to certain foods:
What Allergies Are Recognized by Airlines?
All the major airlines now have a nut-allergy policy. Indeed, most now refuse to offer nuts on board, as the most severe allergies can be triggered by tiny nut particles in the air. However, there are seven other commonly occurring food allergens: eggs, milk, tree nuts, soy, shellfish, fish and wheat. A lot of airlines offer you the chance to declare your food allergies at the time of booking — or when you order your onboard meal. Although there is often a nut-free alternative that you can select yourself, you might need to contact the airline to request a meal that suits your particular medical requirements. In most jurisdictions, providing a full list of ingredients is a legal requirement. Don’t be afraid to demand that list from your airline. But if you’re in any doubt, it’s probably best to take your own food onboard.
Steps to Take Before You Board
Before you board your flight, consult your physician to discuss your travel plans. This will help you to arrange any emergency medication you might need. It’s also a good idea to inform your airline about your allergies in advance. If you suffer from a serious food allergy, you’ll probably be traveling with an EpiPen. Most airlines and jurisdictions allow you to carry this life-saving medication in your carry-on luggage. However, your EpiPen should have a clearly printed label that accurately identifies the medication. It’s also a good idea to take a doctor's note with you, confirming your allergy and your need for emergency medication. The X-rays used in airport scanning machines won’t damage your EpiPen. Plus, in most jurisdictions, your EpiPen isn’t subject to the maximum carry-on liquid volume. Just be sure to have your medical documentation ready for inspection.
Devise an Anaphylaxis Emergency Plan
Work with your physician to devise a personal anaphylaxis plan emergency care plan that is tailored to your specific needs. There are templates for this available online, or you can create your own. Your emergency plan should include detailed information about your food allergies along with detailed information about the symptoms you suffer. Finally, provide clear and detailed instructions on how to administer emergency treatment. Remember: this emergency plan may well be read by a crew member or a fellow passenger who has no experience in allergy treatment. If you’re traveling with a companion, tell them where your emergency plan and medication is. If not, inform a member of the cabin crew when you board the plane. It’s also a good idea to email a copy of your emergency plan to the airline as soon as you’ve booked.
Plan Your Time at the Airport
Always plan for the worst when you travel. You should carry extra medication to ensure you have enough if your flight is delayed. Do you have enough for an unexpected overnight stay at a hotel? Make sure your emergency medications are close at hand in the event of a delay. These medications might include inhalers, EpiPens, antihistamines and other prescribed drugs. If you experience a particularly long delay, speak with a representative of your airline as soon as possible. Alert them to your medical requirements — they might be able to help you acquire more emergency medication if needed. It would also be good to perform a little research on the airports you'll be traveling through during your trip. Do they have emergency services such as First Aid, doctors and medical equipment? Do the restaurants and shops cater for people with food allergies? This information can be handy to have ahead of your trip.
Consult with Your Airline
Ask your airline about their allergy-safety procedures. While most carriers have a specific policy in place, they do differ slightly depending on the airline. Some airlines have removed peanuts from their planes completely. Others have introduced “buffer zones” where peanuts cannot be served or consumed. But the world’s best airlines will listen to your concerns and make specific arrangements for your safety. Consult your airline at least 48 hours before you travel. This gives the carrier enough time to make changes to the onboard schedule and services if required.
Now that you’re familiar with how airlines deal with food allergies, it’s time to book your next flight with BudgetAir Australia.
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