No More Flying for Peanuts on Southwest Airlines

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Southwest Airlines coined the phrase, ‘fly for peanuts’, but now you will have to fly Southwest without the peanuts as the airline is going peanut-free as of August 1. This decision was reportedly made in the interest of safety for passengers with peanut allergies. Southwest will now only offer pretzels on shorter flights and a larger selection of snacks on longer flights.

Believe it or not, this announcement by Southwest has been met with a wide range of reactions. Many applaud the airline for doing what it can to make flights as safe as possible for those with severe peanut allergies, while others aren’t so thrilled with the lack of free peanuts in the sky.

Of course, there is no guarantee that any flight is 100% free from peanut dust as other passengers could bring their own from home to enjoy, but you would have to imagine that Southwest planes will have far less peanut dust once the nuts are phased out.

Given that so many schools and daycares are now completely nut-free, it makes some sense that an airline that is very popular with families would stop handing peanuts out to all passengers. Peanut allergies are present in only about 1% of the population, but they are one of the most common causes of food-related deaths. To put the numbers another way, if 140 people are on a Southwest flight, the odds are in favor of at least one person on the plane having a peanut allergy of some type.

If your family has been avoiding Southwest because of the prevalence of peanuts, check back beginning in August when the peanuts will be traded in for even more pretzels.

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Comments

  1. I’ve been on flights where they’ve accommodated people with severe nut allergies by not offering peanuts, but I guess they decided it’s more trouble than it’s worth. My main complaint: this means we will never again have the honey-roasted!

  2. The “peanut allergies” part is just PR spin. This is a cost cutting move. If it really was about peanut allergies, Southwest should also ban passengers from bringing peanuts onboard the plane.

    • I’m obviously not in on the meetings, but my money would be on it being a combination of both. Of course the planes aren’t going peanut-free, but it will be a dramatically reduced issue than peanuts being handed out to every row on almost every flight.

  3. As a parent of a severely peanut-allergic child who has reacted to just touching a tray table, this is the best news I’ve had all year!!! We have avoided Southwest because of this. Not any more. Thank you for posting this great news! (And for those of you who don’t think food allergies are serious, try seeing your son turn blue and have trouble breathing, then reconsider. It’s the scariest thing I’ve ever experienced.)

    • I guess I am parent to a lucky child who has been to the emergency room no less than three times growing up because of incidental contact with nuts, and this move is a welcome because it’s just that one less chance of vacation being ruined by incidental exposure. We’ve already had a baby photo session ruined by an incident, and that’s already enough.

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