Southwest: No More Of Our Beloved Peanuts

Southwest Airlines Inc. (LUV) has decided to stop serving peanuts on its flights starting this summer, as a consideration for passengers with peanut allergies.

Southwest Airlines said that beginning August 1, it will no longer serve peanuts on board its flights so as to provide “a welcoming and safe onboard environment for customers with peanut or peanut-dust allergies.” Instead, the airline will continue to serve free pretzels and other snacks on longer routes.

Peanuts have long been a packaged airplane snack for Southwest Airlines and the airline industry. Southwest has been serving peanuts to its customers for 47 years.

“Of course we’ll always be NUTS about Southwest and our Company will continue to honor the significant role that our peanuts played in our history, but at the end of the day, we’re most proud of our People and their Hospitality that sets us apart,” Southwest Airlines said in a blog post.

However, many airlines have recently gone peanut-free to reduce the likelihood of passengers suffering an allergic reaction while in-flight.

Peanut allergy is the leading cause of death related to food-induced anaphylaxis in the United States, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Allergic reactions to peanuts cause 150 deaths and 2,000 hospitalizations in the U.S.

American Airlines does not serve peanuts on its flights, while it serves other nut products such as warmed nuts to its customers.

The airline also said on its website that there may be trace elements of unspecified nut ingredient, including peanut oils, in meals and snacks. It advises customers with peanut allergies to take all necessary medical precautions before flying.

United Airlines also does not serve pre-packaged peanuts on its flights. Both American Airlines and United say they cannot guarantee an allergen-free meal or environment on its flights.

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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