Flying with a nut allergy: my response

Recently I made the mistake of reading a series of comments on an article shared on Facebook about a girl who’d been on a flight where the airline had refused to make an announcement about her nut allergy, and some of those comments keep pestering me. Here is my angered response to those probable Daily Fail readers and their flippant or ignorant comments.

1. Why should hundreds of people have to suffer [not eating peanuts] because of one person?

Crikey. I’d understand if it were a ban on going to the toilet or drinking water, but surely you can sacrifice buying a Snickers bar or a packet of peanuts for the duration of your flight if someone’s well-being and possibly their life is at risk? If you’re really that selfish that you don’t give a toss about others, then consider how you’d feel if the plane had to land because of a health concern, all because you couldn’t bear the thought of eating nuts. Just get a grip, buster.

2. Airlines should cater for the majority and then survival of the fittest will sort the rest.

If we are talking survival of the fittest, I hope your gene pool is one hundred per cent safe from any kind of medical affliction. I hope that, if you don’t yet have kids, they aren’t born with a life threatening allergy (it’s not always hereditary, you know), or any other ailment or special need. If they are, or if any of your loved ones is ever ill, I would be interested in hearing your revised views on ‘leaving it to survival of the fittest’. In the meantime, seek a damn conscience and stop commenting on issues you clearly know nothing about.

3. People with nut allergies shouldn’t fly.

What? Excuse me? Oh no, and nor should they go to any restaurant, or to school, or out anywhere, ever. While we’re at it, let’s ban diabetics, wheelchair users and epileptics from flying too. Accommodating insulin and needles, providing ramps, and the risk of a fit all sound too inconvenient, don’t they?

4. I feel sorry for people with allergies, but it’s hardly the airline’s fault.

Nobody is saying it is. We’re just saying please don’t serve or eat nuts. Please let us carry epipens and antihistamine in case of reaction, and for the crew to be aware of the allergy. That is all.

5. In the wild, these people would not have survived.

OK… “in the wild” food would’ve been in its pure form. They would not have processed everything to make it plastic food that contains a whole host of ingredients you’d never imagine to be in it, in factories where nuts may be present and may contaminate seemingly innocent foods. If we lived in the wild, your child might have picked a poisonous berry and game over. How would you feel about that?

6. People just think the world owes them something these days. She should get over herself.

No, they don’t. They just want to avoid hospitalisation or death. Moving on…

7. You can’t protect your child from everything. At some point you have to let go.

This is true. Does that mean you won’t try to protect your child from road traffic, kidnap or Class A drugs? If your child gets sick, will you not seek medical care? Would you let them eat that poisonous berry off the bush? “Come on, let go!”

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