Air Canada told to provide nut-free zone
. What's amazing to me is the comments from people that think this is just some wanton infringement on their freedoms. To be sure there is some infringement going on here, that is not in question, but I think there is a need for regulation to protect those who really need it.
I have a nut allergy and while it's (probably!) not enough to kill me when someone else is eating nuts it is bad enough that I can become quite ill when several people near me are eating fragrant nuts or nut-based products like peanut soup.
I once spent an extremely miserable half hour between London and Schiphol because the only food handed out was a packet of peanuts (this is a flight that lasts an hour and food is handed out about 15 minutes after takeoff). Whilst I didn't eat anything (obviously, as I might not have survived and certainly would have been puking my guts out over random people) the smell of 60 people munching peanuts made me sick to my stomach.
The enclosed space and large amount of people eating peanuts meant that the odour of peanuts pervaded the entire plane and there was no escaping this, it seems the windows in planes can't be opened to let in some fresh air :-). I used large amounts of medicine to stave of allergic and asthmatic attacks, in fact I used more medicine than is allowed in a single day in that one hour just to keep control over my breathing. Hours later I still felt weak and feeble.
Please do not tell me about infringing on your freedoms. My allergy is by no means as bad as it gets and I can certainly imagine someone dying over this, or if not actually dying then at least going into anaphylactic shock, which can lead to death if not treated very very quickly.
One of the commenters wrote: "I do not want my seat selection options to be limited by this fringe group of nut-sensitive agitators".
Presumably this person would be quite happy to sit on an 18 hour flight with a dead person stashed in the seat next to them? Now why do I doubt this?
I do not mind people eating peanuts or other nutty things but I do object to large amounts of people in an enclosed space eating them when there is no way to get away from the smell. That is torture.
Some simple rules should be able to prevent this: do not serve peanuts in small and medium sized planes where there is no escape from the smell, do not serve an entire plane peanuts or smelly nuts (not all nuts smell, at least to me).
There's a lot of research into allergies and it shouldn't be too hard for some experts in the field to come up with simple to follow guidelines for airlines that would allow those that need it the protection they deserve and the fervent nuteaters their pleasures. For example by providing a buffer zone or separate room with better ventilation.
As a society we often infringe upon some people's rights to protect the weak who have no control over their genetic, physiological or mental condition. No one choses to have a food allergy, and it is the right of those people to not only be accommodated but also protected by the companies they do business with.