Why It’s Great Flybe Is Removing Nuts And Peanuts From All Flights

Following the actions of fellow low-cost carrier easyJet, UK regional airline Flybe will stop serving nuts or nut-based products on flights that it operates. This is meant to prevent potential allergic reactions of its passengers onboard. We think this is great news – here’s why…

Flybe has a fleet of 54 Bombardier Dash 8 Q400 aircraft. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Commenting on the news of his airline, Flybe Chief commercial officer Roy Kinnear said:

“Passenger safety is our number one priority, and this extends across all aspects of our own operation. That is why we take the issue of nut allergies extremely seriously and, as an additional measure to those already being taken, have now removed all peanuts and nut-based products from our on board Café Flybe menu…We will also, of course, continue to take the existing preventative measures we have had in place for many years to further reassure those passengers who advise us they are at risk.”

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The new standard

A pack of salted nuts and a soft drink used to be the standard on many short-haul flights. However, this may well become a thing of the past – one of those things you’ll hear old people talk about as they start their sentences with “when I was your age…” or “back in my day…”.

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In fact, more and more airlines are phasing out nuts from the products they serve onboard. Southwest airlines made their decision in July of 2018 while easyJet did this at the end of April.

“We’ll miss the peanuts, but, at the end of the day, it’s our Southwest Employees and the Hospitality they deliver that set us apart, far more than peanuts ever could,” -Southwest Airlines

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According to reporting by the Guardian, research suggests food allergies are on the rise. Allergy UK reports that 6-8% of children are thought to have food allergies. In comparison, less than 3% of adults report the same.

Numbers are growing in “westernised” countries, but also in places such as China, the article reports. SFGate also cites a Jaffe Institute study that found from 1997 to 2008, peanut allergies more than tripled from 1-in-250 children to 1-in-70.

As of September 2018 Flybe will phase in this new livery on all of its aircraft. Photo: Flickr user Darren Hillman.

Natasha’s law

This week, the UK announced plans for a law to have food producers clearly label anything containing traces of nuts. This new law has the name “Natasha’s law” after Natasha Ednan-Laperouse who, at the age of 15, collapsed and died. In July 2016, she grabbed a Pret a Manger baguette before boarding a plane at London Heathrow. The baguette was not clearly labelled as containing nuts or traces of nuts, and caused her to have a serious and, ultimately, fatal allergic reaction.

Allergic Living reports that there was a labeling loophole for pre-packaged foods made on the premises that meant Pret was exempt from listing all top allergens on the label. The law will come into effect in the summer of 2021, which gives British businesses two years to adjust.

Once upon a time the Embraer ERJ 145 was part of the Flybe fleet. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Not worth the risk

We are sure that most readers and frequent flyers would agree that the absence of nuts onboard a flight is a fair trade-off for avoiding an unexpected medical emergency and subsequent diversion to the nearest airport.

It’s much easier for passengers to avoid eating nuts for a few hours than for a passenger to avoid an allergic reaction. Of course, we welcome opposing viewpoints and opinions – in case there’s something we hadn’t thought about. Let us know what you think by leaving a comment!

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Here2go

Roaste Fava Beans are a great alternative

Nigel

I actually think that this sends a wrong message, because it says “YOUR medical condition is OUR problem”…when, in fact, YOUR medical condition is YOUR problem. Anyone like Natasha who is THAT sensitive to nuts should not be relying on food items from convenience stores and restaurants: she should be bringing her own food with her, so that she can guarantee that it meets her requirements. The 8-dollars-an-hour server at a chain restaurant does not have a PhD in food science, and it’s unfair to expect that of him. Some counter-examples: – There are plenty of smokers / drug addicts… Read more »

Joanna Bailey

In Natasha’s defence, there was a major issue with labelling which meant an item which should never have been near a nut actually had nuts in it. Plenty of supermarket items have to add disclaimers if the products are packaged in nutty environment, it’s about time convenience foods did too. As for the airlines banning nuts, I believe it’s more to avoid a lawsuit than out of any real consideration for the passenger.

Ricport

While I don’t necessarily agree with you on the Natasha part of this story (seems to me it’s completely reasonable to disclose ingredients), you are absolutely spot on with the rest. What if people bring/consume their own nuts onboard? What about people who have other allergies/sensitivities? Are we now going to start making changes for them? If not, why not? Which allergy/sensitivity is deserving of this kind of special treatment?

Bottom line is it’s up to THAT PERSON to show up to the airport prepared.