Weekend survey: Should peanuts be banned from planes?

Peanut allergy is the most common cause of food-related death, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. Given that, is it responsible for airlines to continue serving their passengers peanuts on planes?

The Transportation Department is considering a rule that would prohibit peanuts from being served on commercial aircraft, even though it has partially backed off on the proposal, because it lacked the authority.

Some say it’s about time the government takes action to protect passengers with allergies. Others say it’s an infringement of their rights to eat whatever they want, whenever they want.

What do you think?

I’m not sure the DOT’s recent reversal will mean the cause of banning peanuts is dead. Far from it. The allergy sufferers and their parents are likely to lobby the government until it does something about peanuts. So at some point, we’ll have to decide whether planes should go peanut-free.

Do you suffer from peanut allergies? If so, how do you travel by air? Do you think mandating that airlines carry Epipen autoinjectors is an acceptable “middle ground” in this debate — or should the nuts be tossed altogether.

And to those of you who enjoy snacking on cashews, almonds and peanuts in-flight (full disclosure: I am one of them) — would you mind giving up your nuts when you fly?

Please take the survey or leave a comment with your opinion. Keep it clean, folks.

(Photo: Euro Magic/Flickr Creative Commons)

Christopher Elliott

Christopher Elliott is an author, journalist and consumer advocate. You can read more about him on his personal website or contact him at chris@elliott.org. Got a question or comment? You can post it on the new forum.

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  • Guest

    sign of America’s decline: Because a few people are ‘sensitive to
    peanuts’ and have ‘allergies’ that might ‘kill them,’ America’s
    commercial airlines had to stop serving those little bags of peanuts. It wasn’t sufficient that the affected people
    could simply refuse the peanuts when they were offered; the argument was
    made that the people who did eat the peanuts were putting ‘peanut dust’
    in the air, creating a health hazard for the ‘victims.’
    What a load of shit. If someone is in danger of dying from inhaling
    peanut dust, why aren’t they dead already? Why didn’t they die at a
    baseball game or at the circus? America has gone soft.”

  • Kschaefer58

    I know there are people who are SEVERELY allergic to peanuts(even dust in the air) and to be in a confined area where there is something that could possibly cause your death with no help around….. and which other people could certainly live without for that short amount of  time…..I think a person’s right to eat peanuts in this situation is far less important than a person’s right to keep breathing.  Where is your compassion people?  Nuts? I really think you can eat them later, okay?  Also, if I was to ever fly which probably won’t be that often, I have only flown 2 times in my life, but I could definitely not be confined with animals, especially dogs.  I am severely allergic to them and would need an emergency room after about an hour, so I will keep that in mind if I ever do fly. 

  • Guest

    No. Peanuts are one of the few things served on planes that I am not allergic to.

  • Guest

    It would be better if people listed their allergies and then the things that those people are allergic to would be banned for that particular flight. The punishment for not following the ban would be reasonable: the violating person is ejected from the plane with a parachute on, and expected to walk to the nearest town, thus allowing them a similar chance of survival to the person who’s life they chose to jeopardize.

  • http://twitter.com/PeanutsKill Stacy Caillier

    they never get less intolerant, it only gets worse.

  • http://twitter.com/PeanutsKill Stacy Caillier

    people can eat a peanut today and be allergic tomorrow, I would hate to be caught in the air without an epi-pen and find out that anyone is allergic to peanuts.

  • http://twitter.com/PeanutsKill Stacy Caillier

    a child on a ventilator because of a peanut…..spent 4 hours and a life-flight to a childrens hospital just to stabilizer her, rebound reactions for 3-4 days……that is why peanuts should be banned from schools and any other area that does not allow for ventilation.

  • http://twitter.com/PeanutsKill Stacy Caillier

    just ignorant

  • http://twitter.com/PeanutsKill Stacy Caillier

    taking a peanut item on a plane is like carrying a concealed weapon.

  • Lcmckeague

    Should an adult male missing half of his face and head(which are teeming with maggots) be permitted to fly commercial?

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/3AMGAVGRUN6ADID3WD4UU37AIM SMART CHIC

    This is an AIR BORN allergy, that is why it is a big problem.  Most people don’t understand this.  Eating a diary products or shellfish next to the person with these allergies would not cause these people to have allergic reactions.  But, if you eat peanuts next to a person with peanuts allergies would cause the other person to stop breathing b/c the allergens from peanuts evaporate and goes into his/her nose.  I know this from first hand experience b/c my son went to the emergency twice.  I was like everyone else, (b/c we are not doctor and his doctor never told us how serious his condition is), I thought that if he doesn’t eat them then they won’t hurt him.  But it did.  It is true that a child like mine can cause “inconveniences” for others.  Giving up peanuts a few hours out of your whole life already make some people upset.  Then imaging being a kid growing up without cookies and candies (most of them are manufacture in peanuts processing facilities).  My son had dreamed of going to Orlando to ride the Harry Porter ride or going to New York to see the Statue of Liberty.  He can’t.  It is too far for us to drive from the west to the east coast.  Taking the airplane is too risky b/c as most of us already know that we can’t confiscate other people foods like one guy mentioned earlier.
     I am not one of those who rally for peanuts free fly. I am just one of those mom who try to point out to people that they are lucky to have live a fulfill life.  My son and many others aren’t so lucky.  They did not asked to be born like that.  Yes the changes will affect some people, (if it ever going to be pass), but wouldn’t it worth it to give up a little to give a big smile on someone’s face when they got to fly to their dream destination for the first time. Just  imagine if it was your own child’s!  
    Sorry if I have offended anyone.  I am just being honest.  I can dream, can’t I ? =)

  • cybersal

    My right to peanuts stops at another persons right to live or to a healthy flight.  Unless you have a nut allergy in your family you just can’t realize how serious it is.  
    If I were on a flight and a person died, I’d never enjoy another peanut-butter sandwich again.
    Overuse of scents and smoking should not be tolerated.  Peanuts are not much to give up.