Southwest Airlines has long been associated with peanuts, serving the snack on their flights for decades, and even referring to their sale prices as “peanut fares.” Now, said snacks are going to be a thing of the past, as Southwest Airlines will soon stop serving peanuts on all their flights.
“Peanuts will forever be part of Southwest’s DNA,” the airline said in a statement, “However, to ensure the best on-board experience for everyone, especially for customers with peanut-related allergies, we’ve made the difficult decision to discontinue serving peanuts on all flights beginning August 1st.”
The new law is in response to the growing number of passengers with peanut allergies. Serving nuts to the public has become an increasing liability, with allergic reactions to peanuts causing 150 deaths and 2,000 hospitalizations in the U.S. each year. In a confined space like an airline cabin, even if an allergic passenger isn’t consuming peanuts, they are still at risk through inhaling particles in the air, and contact with other passengers.
In January 2017, a formal complaint was made to American Airlines after passengers claimed the carrier discriminated against people with allergies. As always, there are those groaning about the new rules and calling them hypersensitive. But is a small bag of peanuts really worth watching your seatmate have a potentially fatal allergic reaction?