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Peanuts on a Plane

If you have a child with known (or even suspected) peanut allergies and don’t want to experience peanut problems at 30,000 feet, it’s important to plan ahead. With the increase in peanut allergies several airlines have stopped handing out packages of peanuts or mixed nuts as their snack of choice. We strongly recommend verifying for yourself which airline is best for protecting your peanut-allergic child, peanuts are still served on some flights.

Requesting "Buffer Zones"

In some instances, airlines may provide peanut “buffer zones” (no peanuts within 3 rows of an allergic passenger, for example) or remove peanuts from certain flights on advance request. Because airline policies change frequently, be sure to ask your ticketing agent if you are interested in these accommodations.


Remember, however, that no airline can guarantee a peanut-free flight since passengers may bring peanuts aboard or the airline may serve foods that contain peanuts or peanut oils, or were processed in a place that also handles peanuts. So it’s also important to take matters into your own hands by:

  • Discussing any available accommodations directly with the airline
  • Bringing “safe” back-up foods for the flight
  • Packing clearly labeled emergency medications along with written instructions from your doctor regarding their proper use
Laura A. Jana, MD, FAAP and Jennifer Shu, MD, FAAP
Last Updated
Food Fights, 2nd Edition (Copyright © 2012 American Academy of Pediatrics)
The information contained on this Web site should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your pediatrician. There may be variations in treatment that your pediatrician may recommend based on individual facts and circumstances.
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