- REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson
- Southwest Airlines will stop serving peanuts on flights starting August 1.
- The airline said it wanted to “create an environment where all customers – including those with peanut-related allergies – feel safe and welcome.”
- Customers can also notify the airline about an allergy before a flight, allowing them to board early and wipe down seats and trays prior to takeoff.
Southwest Airlines has announced that it will stop serving peanuts on flights to protect people with allergies.
The airline will stop offering the free stack starting on August 1 to “ensure the best on-board experience for everyone, especially for customers with peanut-related allergies,” Southwest said in a statement to CNN.
The statement continued: “Our ultimate goal is to create an environment where all customers – including those with peanut-related allergies – feel safe and welcome on every Southwest flight.”
Customers with peanut-related allergies can also notify the airline when booking their flights or at the airport, allowing them to board early to wipe down their seats and tray tables before take-off.
Peanuts have long been part of Southwest’s in-air culture as snacks on flights dating back to the early 1970s.
In the 1980s, the snack became common on flights, and in 2017, the airline says it served 106 million peanuts.
Southwest said its decision to stop serving peanuts followed months of deliberation and isn’t tied to a specific incident involving passengers with allergies.
Passengers will still be treated to a variety of free snacks once peanuts stop being served, a spokesperson said.
The airline will continue to serve a variety of snack choices, including pretzels, different kinds of cookies, vegetable chips and corn chips.
Other US airlines have also changed their peanut policies over the years.
On Delta flights, if a passenger notifies the airline of a peanut allergy, peanuts will not be served on board.
JetBlue says on its website that it does not serve peanuts at all and has no plan to do so in the future.
United Airlines does not serve pre-packaged peanuts, but warns on its website that it cannot guarantee allergy-free meals or environments on flights.
American Airlines does not serve peanuts either, but also warns that it serves food that contains nuts and that other customers may carry peanuts on board.
The US Food and Drug Administration ranks peanuts as the sixth most common allergenic food, behind, milk, eggs, fish, crustacean shellfish, and tree nuts.