I flew Southwest Airlines to Dallas, Texas this past weekend for a work conference. I used this airline in January when I flew to Chicago and didn’t have any issues because it is such a quick flight. I try to seek out Southwest Airlines flights because they are fairly priced and they have a huge company focus on customer service.
I don’t know if this happens to anyone else or not, but sometimes when I’m flying, especially alone, I just want to be like every other normal passenger. I don’t want the hassle of talking to the airline representative about my allergies, pre-boarding the plane, sanitizing my seat, and speaking to the flight attendant. When I left Cincinnati last week, I took the normal route. I know I can sit here and speculate that things would have been different if I had just mentioned the allergies, but it was actually more eye opening when I didn’t. I boarded my flight and kept to myself because it was very early in the AM. Much to my dismay, the flight attendants served peanuts as the only snack offering on my flight. I had read earlier in the summer that Southwest was getting rid of serving peanuts on all flights, but didn’t realize the policy wasn’t in place until August 1. Today! Missed it by a few short days…
While I panicked for a few seconds and started taking the most shallow breaths possible, I quickly calmed down and tried to laugh it off. For one, no one around me accepted the peanuts so there was no smell. And second, I needed a good laugh to think that I could just be a normal human in the airport. 🙂
I connected later that day and flew home a few days later and the flights couldn’t have been better. The Southwest customer service was impeccable. I was lucky to get a “peanut allergy” notification card to hand to the flight attendants while boarding the plane. This ensured that pretzels would be the snack of the flight. I was also granted my pre-boarding privileges to pick a clean seat and wipe it down.
And, since today is August 1, a major shout-out to Southwest Airlines for officially going nut-free on flights! Though my peanut-loving-friends may complain, they will never understand the huge stride this is making in the allergy community. Thanks, Southwest, for making me feel just a bit more like a normal traveler.