(AP Photo/LM Otero, File)
A support group has submitted a Department of Transportation (DOT) complaint against American Airlines, with the argument of the largest AMERICAN airline is violating the law by not allowing passengers with peanut allergies for a pre-council.
Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE), which represents people with food allergies, states in her complaint that, unlike United and Delta, American airlines is not willing to make accommodations for people with nut allergies that anti-discrimination legislation is necessary.
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Dr. James Baker, an allergist and CEO of the DISHES, said the air Carrier Access Act prevents companies from discriminating against people with mental and physical disabilities, and requires airlines to make accommodations for people with food allergies.
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“The law stipulates that people with disabilities have the accommodations for them to be able to live with their disability, and people with allergic reactions have a disability, both in their heart and lung systems,” Baker, whose organization is based in McLean, Va., told FoxNews.com.
Depending on the severity, a peanut allergy can lead to anaphylactic shock, a condition that can lead to various complications, including death, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
“By filing this complaint, we are calling on the DOT to take enforcement action and to call for a full repeal of this discriminatory policy,” Baker wrote in a blog post RATE on the site. “We also require mandatory training for the crew to ensure that they do not continue to discriminate against members of the food allergy community.”
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American Airlines spokesman Matt Miller told FoxNews.com in an e-mail that while the U.s. has not seen a RATE complaint, the airline offers the ability for some disabled passengers to pre-board, such as people who are dependent on a wheelchair. It is not, however, allow pre-boarding for people who suffer from a peanut allergy.
Currently American no peanuts on the planes, but it does serve other nut products that may contain trace elements of nut ingredients, including peanut oil.
“Request that we no of certain foods, such as nuts on our flights may not be granted,” Miller said FoxNews.com. “We are not able to provide nut” buffer zones, nor are we able to carry passengers to pre-board to wipe the chairs and tables.”
Miller added in his email that while the American planes are cleaned regularly, neither these processes nor the aircraft’ air filtration systems are designed for the removal of the nut allergens. The airline also does not bar other passengers to bring nuts on board.
“Therefore, we can not guarantee that the customers will not be exposed to peanuts or other tree nuts during flight,” says Miller, even in the case of a peanut allergy sufferer to report American advance.
“We advise customers to take all necessary medical precautions to prepare for the possibility of exposure,” he said.
On their websites, Delta Air Lines and United Airlines for passengers with nut allergies are able to communicate their concerns with the flight attendants, who might be able to make special accommodations. Delta specifically allows peanut allergies to pre-board upon request.
According to the RATE of the complaint, the Airlines Act guarantees the right of “an allergic individual or their travel companions to take the necessary steps to protect against potentially dangerous exposure to allergens,” and “wipe-down sitting area, tray tables and arm rests and the cover seats to prevent food allergen contact.”
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“[A] peanut allergies can cause serious reactions, including death,” Baker said, “and if someone is going to be on a plane where the medical accommodations are limited, does everything to prevent potential contact would just seem a no-brainer.”
After the merger with us Airways at the end of 2015, American has the largest fleet of aircraft worldwide — December 2016, the airline maintained of 1500 aircraft in nine hub cities, USA Today reported.
According to the CDC, a peanut allergy is a growing concern among public health officials, and affect an estimated 4 to 6 percent of American children.