Leaked: Passengers With Nut Allergies May Soon Be Able to Board Early on AA Flights
UPDATE: An American Airlines spokesperson reached out to TPG at 5:30 pm ET regarding the leaked policy referenced below, saying, "A proposed draft policy, which would permit customers with nut allergies to pre-board flights to wipe down surfaces, was shared prematurely with American’s flight attendant workgroup earlier this week. There are no changes to our policy at this time and the draft policy was not shared with customers. As is always the case, before we make policy decisions, we consult with various workgroups throughout the company. That process is still ongoing."
As of Wednesday, American Airlines will allow passengers with nut allergies to request pre-boarding from gate agents in order to wipe down their seats and tray tables, according to Jamie Larounis at The Forward Cabin. The enhanced policy, which has been circulated via internal memo only, states that American will continue to serve nuts to other passengers on board, and will not ask other travelers to avoid eating their own nut snacks on board.
The policy change follows closely on the heels of updates implemented by competing carriers, including United, Singapore and Southwest, as a result of increasing public awareness surrounding the dangers of nut allergies. American Airlines was 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.
The topic can be controversial; TPG has discussed the issue as far back as 2015. Earlier this year, we offered tips for travelers with nut allergies who worry about being in close quarters with other passengers who have been served nuts onboard.
H/T: Jamie Larounis