Flying Airberlin with a peanut allergy was one of those experiences where you realize regulations for food allergies are few and far between. We booked the flight with Airberlin because it was super cheap, at a good time, and it was only an hour long. After we had booked, I went to look for their allergy policy. Currently, there is no policy online. So the next best thing means, I would need to ask if they had any procedure in place when on board.
The first question when I got on the plane was: are peanuts even served or sold? Airberlin does not serve any free snacks. However, they do sell food, including a plethora of peanut snacks! From straight up peanuts to Snickers – you are in luck if you want a nutty snack and out of luck if you have a peanut allergy.
EEEK! So many peanuts! (Here’s a game… how many nut products can you spot?)
Next, do they have any procedures in place for food allergies? I asked the flight attendant about their peanut policy and what they can do for a peanut allergy person. The answer was far from comforting. The flight attendant had no idea if there was a plan in place, nor did her supervisor. They understood that this was problematic, but there was nothing they could do. As for all the peanuts, they also said that there was nothing they could do and would continue to sell them, but perhaps not sell the nuts to the people in the rows bordering my seat? In the end, nothing was done to prevent peanuts from being consumed or sold on the plane.
No clue what to do with a peanut Allergy
I felt a little sorry for the flight attendant and her supervisor because they honestly had no idea how to handle a peanut allergy. It was a little bit of a deer in the headlights moment for them. They were friendly and open to hearing my thoughts on the whole peanuts on planes situation, but I feel like that may have been a fleeting moment.
This goes to show that some airlines are totally on it when it comes to peanuts (shout out to Easyjet) and some are not.
When having this discussion the man sitting behind me chimed in with the classic awkward allergy joke, which I did not fully understand because it was in German, but was something along the lines of thank goodness I left my nuts at home *cue sarcastic knee slap. As much as I can take or leave, more leave, allergy humour, this opens the door for discussion and is the perfect opportunity to educate your neighbours on food allergies. Then they can act as an allergy champion and help ensure no one around you consumes or buys nuts.
Even though Airberlin had no idea what to do with a peanut allergy at least a few people left the flight with a new understanding of food allergies.
Kortney is your typical atopic triad! She manages asthma, eczema, environmental and food allergies. Kortney is a co-creator of the online community Allergy Travels and co-host of The Itch Podcast. She wants to spread joy in a community that can easily see the hard side of life with atopic disease and believes that you can have a full life with food allergies, it may just be lived a little differently!