At the Airport and on the Flight

Learn how to stay safe with food allergies at the airport and onboard a flight.

You’ve packed your bags and sketched out your itinerary, and you are finally on your way to your destination. Your emergency kit is in hand, and you have even alerted the airline about your food allergy in advance.

Keep up the good work from here. These suggestions will help you stay safe once you arrive at the airport and board your flight.

At the Airport

  • Follow up on your earlier request to notify airline personnel about your food allergy. Reconfirm this at every opportunity: with the ticket agent, the gate agent and again with the flight attendants.
  • Visit an airport eatery or kiosk to buy safe snacks for you or your child to have on board the flight. (In case you didn’t already bring safe food from home.)
  • Ask the gate agent if you may pre-board the plane to inspect and clean your seating area. However, note that some airline policies will not allow pre-boarding for this reason. Learn more about the complaint FARE filed in December 2016 against American Airlines.

On the Flight

  • Check your seating area. Wipe down the seat, tray, arm rests, belt buckle and so on. Touching or eating food off an unclean surface area could expose you to food allergens through cross-contact with food particles or spills.
  • Be courteous and polite with the flight crew. Remember they are there to help you. Help educate them about food allergies and work with them to make accommodations for your flight.
  • Never take a risk with food, especially when in the air and away from access to medical help. Don't eat food provided by an airline or a store in the airport unless you have read the ingredient label and can confirm it does not contain your allergen. If in doubt, don't eat it.
  • If you are dissatisfied with the airline, you may send a written complaint to the Airline Consumer Protection Division of the U.S. Department of Transportation.
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