American Airlines Passengers With Nut Allergies Will Soon Be Able to Preboard Flights

Nov 8, 2018

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In early September, a leaked memo revealed that American Airlines was planning on letting “customers with nut allergies to pre-board flights to wipe down surfaces.” The airline quickly reached out to TPG after we published this report to clarify that it was a proposed policy and noted that the “process is still ongoing.”

It’s been a long silence in the two months since that leaked memo, but American Airlines is now working to enact this policy. While the details of how this will work in practice are still to be announced, nut allergy sufferers now have a date when they’ll be able to pre-board flights: Dec. 12.

An American Airlines spokesperson confirmed to TPG on Wednesday that this policy will go in effect on that date. Bloomberg reports that this is when the crew flight-service manuals will be updated with the new policy. Starting Dec. 12, “customers with nut allergies who would like to board flights early to wipe down surfaces may ask to do so at the gate.”

While American Airlines doesn’t service peanuts on board, it does serve a variety of other nuts in premium cabins. And the airline “can’t guarantee our customers won’t be exposed to peanuts during their trip.”

The policy follows in the heels of other airlines that have implemented similar policies — including  UnitedSingapore and Southwest — and high-profile situations involving nut allergy sufferers collapsing on American Airlines flights. AA was also the subject of a Department of Transportation (DOT) complaint back in December 2017, when a mother complained that she could not pre-board the plane to clean up the area where her nut-allergic child would sit.

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