Do you live with a nut allergy? American Airlines will soon allow you to board early. The carrier is introducing a new policy that is aimed at making air travel safer for people living with nut and tree-nut allergies. Allergy sufferers will now be permitted to board before other passengers. This move will give those living with allergies the ability to wipe down their seats and surrounding areas in an attempt to avoid exposure to allergens.
American Airlines will start allowing passengers with nut allergies to board early on Dec. 12. The airline's service manuals will be updated on that day to reflect the change in policy. The mother of a boy with a life-threatening peanut allergy actually filed a complaint against American Airlines in 2017 regarding its attitude toward allergy sufferers. American Airlines doesn't serve peanuts to passengers on its flights. However, the airline does not have any restrictions when it comes to passengers being able to eat foods containing nuts on its flights.
Close to 15 million Americans are living with food allergies. American Airlines recognizes that attempting to wipe down seats and remove any potential peanut residue during normal boarding is difficult to accomplish. Although the airline still cannot guarantee that travelers won't come into contact with nuts while on its flights, it is working to lessen the probability of a person with an allergy being exposed to allergens. Southwest and United do not currently offer any similar policies regarding early boarding for allergy sufferers. Southwest recently banned peanuts.