The Canadian Transportation Agency recently ruled that Air Canada does not need to offer snacks and meals that are free from traces of peanuts or tree nuts. According to the Agency’s ruling, requiring Air Canada to serve passengers with severe nut allergies foods that do not contain their allergen would “constitute undue hardship.”
The airline had argued that because of the lack of flight kitchens setup to handle this request, they could not guarantee that the snacks would not contain any trace of nuts. In the ruling, the Agency accepted this contention, noting that the risk of cross-contamination means that there is no way to guarantee snacks that are entirely free of nuts.
Early last year, the Canadian Transportation Agency called for in-flight ‘buffer zones’ around passengers with severe food allergies, ensuring that those seated around the passenger would not consume nuts during the flight. Air Canada agreed to provide this buffer zone when given at least 48 hours notice before the flight.
While this requirement is still in effect, Air Canada will not be required to serve guaranteed peanut-free snacks. In the ruling, the Agency agreed with the airline’s statement that “persons with a disability due to a peanut or nut allergy may prefer to bring their own snacks or meals.”
What do you think? Should the airline be required to provide snacks that are safe for those with allergens? Read more about this story here: