We get a lot of questions about flying with an allergic child, because it's one of the most challenging aspects of travel. The confined space of an airplane combined with the restrictions on bringing liquids aboard make flying with allergies almost a military operation!
We even know some families who don't take vacations that require a flight for fear of an allergic attack on board. But imagine a world in which you can't visit family and friends who live far away and can't visit some of the most exciting destinations in the world. We're here to change that.
A successful airplane trip starts with advance planning. Consult with your physician about what medications to bring on board and get a doctor's note about what medicines and foods you need to bring along.
Contact the airlines to find out about their policies and don't be afraid to ask questions about exactly what they serve and how they heat up their food. Find out if you can board early to wipe down seats, whether they will provide a buffer zone and whether they are willing to ask all passengers to refrain from eating certain foods. Unfortunately, most airlines will not make a blanket announcement, but some will ask passengers in seats nearby to avoid allergens.
If you can, fly on the first flight of the day, since the plane will be cleanest then, and avoid multiple flights so you're only dealing with one crew and one plane.
Packing for the Flight
When you're packing for the flight, keep in mind that you need a lot more food than you think. Flights can be delayed, and you can be stuck on the airplane for longer than you think you will be.
Don't forget to keep your child's medications on hand at all times. Don't put them in the overheard bin, and obviously don't put them in your checked luggage.
Bring wet wipes, tissues and disposable plates and utensils. If you can, bring a blanket to cover the entire seat.
In Case of Emergency
The most important thing to remember in case of emergency is to treat your child immediately and then inform the crew of the problem. This way, they can be prepared if the situation gets worse and find out if there are medical professionals on board who can help.
Once you get off the plane and start your vacation, consider sending the airline a note with feedback (positive or negative) on your experience to help them be more considerate of passengers with allergies.
If your destination also includes probable exposure to allergens, be in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will help you plan an allergy-safe and enjoyable vacation.