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  1. #1
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    Default Allergies and SW airlines

    Have you seen this article about the woman dragged off SW airlines? Obviously this wasn't handled correctly and there will be much discussion to come about that similar to the United incident earlier in the summer. My reason for posting however is different. The article mentions that people with life threatening allergies must have a medical certificate to fly. My DS has a peanut/tree nut allergy and has flown SW in the past. Every time I call ahead to alert the airline, but never has a certificate been mentioned. Does anyone else fly SW and know what they are referring to. Do I need to get one of those from my doctor before flying just in case?

    http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/mar...927-story.html




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  2. #2
    Kindra178 is offline Red Diamond level (10,000+ posts)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chitowngirl View Post
    Have you seen this article about the woman dragged off SW airlines? Obviously this wasn't handled correctly and there will be much discussion to come about that similar to the United incident earlier in the summer. My reason for posting however is different. The article mentions that people with life threatening allergies must have a medical certificate to fly. My DS has a peanut/tree nut allergy and has flown SW in the past. Every time I call ahead to alert the airline, but never has a certificate been mentioned. Does anyone else fly SW and know what they are referring to. Do I need to get one of those from my doctor before flying just in case?

    http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/mar...927-story.html

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    ife threatening allergies (ie ana) to the mere presence of an animal, especially a dog, are extremely rare. My quick search found no reported cases.

  3. #3
    NCGrandma is offline Sapphire level (2000+ posts)
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    My allergies are mild and predictable enough that I don't need to notify the airlines in advance so no direct experience. I always fly SW, and have been on a few flights where the only snacks were pretzels because a passenger had reported a peanut allergy. I was also on a flight where someone waited until peanuts had been distributed to several rows before loudly announcing that they were allergic and the peanut distribution had to stop. Flight attendants did their best to collect them, wipe the adjacent trays, and made several announcements asking people not to open peanuts, but I was close enough to hear the exchanges that it was clear there was no prior notice to the airline. (Not the way to get the desired result.)

    When DGD1 still had severe allergies needing Epi-pens, my family traveled by plane with appropriate precautions but I never heard about any medical certificate.


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  4. #4
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    nfceagles is offline Platinum level (1000+ posts)
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    Default Allergies and SW airlines

    I saw that article today. We have flown SW several times with my DS who is allergic to milk, eggs, and peanuts. I always note it on the reservation and board early to wipe his seat area down. Never needed the mentioned medical certificate. I THINK what happened in this situation is that the woman threw a major fit about the dogs and claimed a life threatening allergy to them. Not having prior notice SW concluded that she should get off and maybe fly on a different flight rather than kicking the travelers with dogs off the flight. Then she refused to deplane calling into doubt how serious her allergy really was if she was willing to stay on board with the dogs. Then they said, you just told us you'd die if you flew with them so get off or show us proof that you won't die after all.

    DS is pretty seriously allergic to dogs and I frequently struggle with this increasingly dog friendly world, but in this case I think this lady was a bit of a wackadooodle.


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    Last edited by nfceagles; 09-27-2017 at 08:13 PM.

  5. #5
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    I think NFC Eagle's take is spot on. I don't think SW really mishandled it. The passenger had apparently never told the airline beforehand she had a "life-threatening dog allergy," and then refused to get off the plane even though she claimed she would die. SW was in the position of kicking off service dogs, which is against the ADA, kicking off a woman whose claims about her allergies seemed iffy, or letting her fly and being liable if she really did have an allergic reaction. I don't think they'll be asking for a medical certificate for peanut allergies, I do think if you want to kick someone and their service dog off a flight you should carry proof.
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  6. #6
    KrisM is offline Clean Sweep forum moderator
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    As I read it, and a couple other articles, the medical certificate is required if a passenger can not travel safety with dogs. It doesn't say all allergies need a certificate.

    "The airline’s policy says a passenger may be denied boarding if they report a life-threatening allergic reaction without a medical certificate and cannot travel safely with an animal, Southwest said."

    So a peanut allergy would not need a medical certificate, since it doesn't require a dog-free flight.
    Kris

  7. #7
    mom2binsd is offline Diamond level (5000+ posts)
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    I believe that they didn't handle it well, but that if she really had a life threatening allergy to pets and is flying she needs to carry medical proof and contact the airline before hand. Like others have said, life threatening food alleriges are very prevalent but pet allergies, not the same. I react very badly to cats and had a miserable flight once when cat was in the row behind me on a 4 hour flight. I didn't have any allergy meds on me, it was probably 20 years ago and I didn't even know pets could travel in the cabin. If she can truly die and plans to fly she needs to alert the airline and have medical proof of said allergy.

    Once again, poor PR for an airline, but in this case, with the dog being a documented service animal (and I'm sure the airline was alerted by the owners that the dog would be on board), the onus would really be on the women with the allergy.

    I would be interested to hear more about this story.

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