Sorry American and United — these are the top 10 allergy-friendly airlines
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
If you suffer from any type of allergy, you’re intimately acquainted with the additional layer of complexity it adds to your travels — especially when flying. That’s why TPG wrote the ultimate guide to traveling with allergies, and continues to look for best practices that can help make traveling just a bit easier for those with allergies (and those helping to manage someone else’s allergy).
That’s why the just-released inaugural list of “top rated allergy-friendly airlines” from Spokin piqued our interest. The app touts itself as “the easiest way to manage food allergies,” so we downloaded the app for a test drive and took a look at the crowd-sourced list of allergy-friendly airlines. Here’s our take.
For more TPG news delivered each morning to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.
Spokin’s top-rated allergy-friendly airlines
Let’s start by looking at the airlines that topped Spokin’s list. According to the app’s users, these are the top allergy-friendly airlines in the U.S. and beyond. (Click each link to read about the airline’s allergy policies.)
- JetBlue Airways
- Southwest Airlines
- Delta Air Lines
- Alaska Airlines
- British Airways
- Air Canada
- Virgin Atlantic Airways
- Iceland Air
What’s interesting is that Spokin’s top four airlines — JetBlue, Southwest, Delta and Alaska — also ranked in the top five of TPG’s 2019 best airlines for families study.
How were the results tabulated?
We reached out to Spokin’s CEO and founder, Susie Hultquist, to ask how the company ranked these airlines. The app allows members to share information and write reviews. Spokin harnessed that functionality to ask members to review airlines. About 1,000 members submitted reviews that helped create the ranking.
“We plan to make this an annual ranking but it’s also dynamic — meaning it’s continually reranking as reviews come in,” Hultquist told TPG.
So, an app user’s input is taken into consideration, and an algorithm adjusts the top-rated list as more travelers contribute their reviews.
“We have a section on our app called ‘top rated’ and you can filter by category, i.e. airlines,” Hultquist added, explaining that the app also has rankings for allergy-friendly hotels, restaurants, bakeries, colleges and other categories.
“The ranking is 100% based on app reviews,” Hultquist said. “Our app users can share positive or negative reviews. Our algorithm accounts the ratio of positive and negative reviews (negative reviews hurt more than a positive review helps).”
She noted that while Southwest has more positive reviews than negative, the negative ones pull them down to second place in the ranking. But, she says the airline is trending upward based on its willingness to remove peanuts from its aircraft (though Southwest is selling its famous nuts to non-flyers).
How to weigh in on the “best” airlines
Since the app will dynamically update its list of top-rated airlines, you can add your own airline review at any time. The app is free and available for iOS (iPhone and iPad). All you need to do is download the app, sign up for a free account and then find the type of business you’d like to review.
Click on “Airline” from the category list and then find the airline you’d like to review.
From there, you can write a review that specifically describes your experience managing an allergy on that airline. Your input can help someone else who’s planning a trip and trying to find the airline that’s best suited to handle his or her particular allergen issues.
We think the Spokin app shows real promise in the quest to help those with allergies manage their travels.
Featured image by Aureliy/Getty Images
Welcome to The Points Guy!
WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points
TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,600
CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners
*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.
- Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
- 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide, eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
- Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on orders over $12 for a minimum of one year on qualifying food purchases with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
- Earn 5X points on Lyft rides through March 2022. That’s 3X points in addition to the 2X points you already earn on travel.