Say goodbye to those little bags of peanuts served aboard Southwest Airlines. The traditional inflight snack is getting the boot amid growing concerns of food allergies. Southwest announced that, beginning next month, the peanuts will no longer be given out on flights. Peanut allergies are the concern prompting the decision, as passengers with allergies can have life threatening reactions to nuts.
No worries, however, another snack will take its place: including pretzels and other options for some longer flights.
It wasn’t an easy decision, and took the airline months of deliberation, nor was the decision tied to any particular incident involving passengers with allergies.
Peanuts served on flights have had a long history and Southwest even featured peanuts in their marketing campaigns, with a blog on its website called Nuts About Southwest.
Of all of the trends over the years, peanuts as an inflight snack have stood the test of time. Sadly, they are no longer part of Southwest’s snack options, a move which has faced some criticism.
One Twitter user wrote: “So you’re telling me that because others might have peanut allergies, I don’t get peanuts on my flight?” He added: “Y’all have been flying with them since you first started a long time ago, and now it’s 2018 it’s going to solve an alleged problem?’”
Despite the outrage, there are many who agree the “better safe than sorry” approach is probably a good idea. One parent tweeted: “I loved peanuts… until we discovered that my daughter had an airborne peanut allergy. This move from @SouthwestAir opens up additional flying options for her, and thousands of others w/peanut allergies. For that, I say thanks.”
In a similar move, United had banned tomato juice from its flights in May, only to reinstate the drink option after they faced a bit of uproar from passengers.
Among the many comments shared on social media were those who are on board with the decision, as one person noted: “After witnessing anaphylaxis in person, I am totally okay with this decision. Nobody’s peanuts are worth someone’s life.”
Another commenter added: “f you can’t survive a 3-5 hour timeframe where you don’t have nuts, then fly a different carrier. I applaud this decision. My sister has an anaphylaxis reaction to all nuts, even the airborne particles and I for one would intentionally give Southwest my business for caring for their patrons’ lives.”
There were, naturally, many people who didn’t understand the need to remove peanuts from flights, with one commenter trying to better explain, writing: “Unfortunately, if you don’t have a family member who has this allergy, you don’t realize how deadly this is. I wish people would be more understanding and compassionate. This allergy is more common than people realize.”
Another person felt that it will go beyond peanuts, sharing: “If it’s not peanuts another snack… which will have gluten and someone else will be allergic… I feel it’s impossible to accommodate everyone’s allergy needs.”
Another commenter spoke more to food allergies and this specific concern, writing: “Most other food allergies aren’t airborne. It’s not about serving a snack that someone with allergies can eat, it’s about serving something that won’t hurt them just by being near it.”