Should airline flights offer a nut-free food?

I recently traveled on a KLM, Royal Dutch airline flight from Amsterdam to Chicago. The one thing that caught my immediate attention is that they didn’t offer substitute food for people with nut allergies and most of all, they didn’t expect to have any, at least to the steward I was talking to. The reason why I paid such a particular attention to this is because my daughter has severe nut allergies and she is 4 years old.

They served us a chocolate cake with almonds. My daughter loves chocolate but she couldn’t eat the cake because it had nuts in it. When I asked the flight attendant if they could offer her something else he simply looked at me and said “I will look but I don’t promise anything.” I was extremely disturbed by that statement not only because my daughter was hungry and wanted to eat but because the airline and steward didn’t take into consideration that there are many people with nut allergies out there. Instead of offering food with nuts, how about making it a nut-free food? Why not serve chocolate cake without nuts? Are nuts that important?

So I went to check in on the steward in a little bit since he never came back and I saw him sitting and talking to the other stewardess. He immediately got up when he saw me and looked in the cabinet. He found little crackers that he offered as a replacement. I asked him if they ever serve food that doesn’t have nuts or have substitute food and he told me I should have made a request prior and why should the people without allergies suffer. By choosing a nut free menu you are allowing passengers with allergies to feel respected and thought of and you are showing the others that you do care, that having allergies shouldn’t be a burden to the airline but part of life. He also said that in the Netherlands allergies are not that important as in America. How about that now? Allergies are a worldwide phenomenon and not countries define phenomenon. More after, if airlines can offer vegetarian options, why not offer nut free options as well? If we have a non-smoking flight, why don’t we have a nut-free food? Just something for the airlines to think about because after all, it is us the passengers that make them rich and need to feel comfortable when we fly.

If I had to choose between an airline that offered a nut free and one that doesn’t, I would go for the one that offers it and makes me feel respected. After all, there are people with allergies who if eating something wrong can seriously die on their airplane. So next time you think about giving passengers a cake with nuts, think about how important the nuts really are and are they worth the cause? A simple chocolate cake would do it.

This opinion is strictly of the author and not EXTRA’s.

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