via CP24 Ottawa: “The Canadian Transportation Agency has released a decision outlining how Air Canada should accommodate travelers with peanut or tree nut allergies. It says that when the airline has at least 48 hours advance notice of a traveler with these allergies, it must create a buffer zone around the person. The onboard snack and meal service would not provide nuts or peanuts to any passengers within the buffer zone, and airline personnel would inform those passengers that they can only eat peanut-free and nut-free foods.
The airline’s next step is to let the transportation agency know within 10 days whether it intends to implement these accommodation plans. If it does intend to introduce them, the airline has 30 days to submit a formal policy on peanut and nut allergies for the agency to review and approve. If Air Canada decides not to go along with the agency decision, it must file arguments within 30 days demonstrating that the accommodation would result in undue hardship, or submit a proposal for a reasonable alternative.”
I hope that no one is surprised or disappointed with this. I am in fact surprised that any accommodation was suggested. How is the food allergic community to be heard when only a tiny percentage of people voice their opinions, speak to their members of parliament, follow advocacy groups, and sign petitions to support proposed changes?
Think about it: FAAN has about 30,000 members, and there are 23,615,888 people with food allergies in the United States. Their membership represents 0.12% of this population. With this sort of turn out, why would major airlines go out of their way to support us?
The United States Department of Transportation (DOT) is considering putting a rule in place to ban peanut service from U.S. airlines. The comment period on their website is now closed, and Counsel are reviewing the comments. I started a petition to support this change, which has been posted on the Department of Transportation website. The link is still live, so whenever the DOT accesses the petition, it will see current numbers. You can sign the petition to add your support by clicking this link: http://www.change.org/petitions/view/banning_peanuts_from_airlines
To date, only 2,338 people have signed the petition. In my humble opinion, the regulatory agencies aren’t letting us down: We’re letting ourselves down by failing to be heard.
* If you’re reading this as an e-mail message, to visit my blog to read more articles or to write a comment, click http://blog.onespotallergy.com/2010/10/banning-peanuts-from-airlines-the-canadian-transportation-agency-recommends-a-buffer-zone/