Managing My Allergies In-Flight: Air Canada
Every year I go away for my birthday. Fleeing is the best way to pretend you aren't actually turning a year older (kind of). So this year's September 28th was celebrated in Vancouver with Bran. A moment of real talk: I've never visited the west coast before. How is this possible? I have no idea. My family has always veered east, having road tripped around many a city on the eastern coast of Canada and the US (or anywhere within 15 hours driving distance from Toronto) during my childhood. On the one hand I was nervous because it was a new place and far away from home. On the other hand it was still within Canada so that was reassuring.
I've never called ahead to an airline to notify them of my allergies before. To be honest it has never occurred to me and no flight attendant has ever mentioned it when I ask them not to serve me because of my allergies. I generally avoid eating while on a flight unless it's something I made and packed for myself which has always been my standard procedure. I wipe any crumbs off my seat and avoid touching my face, and stick to gingerale or water. And I'm aware of the risks of having a reaction while in flight.
But lately there has been a lot of talk in the news and on social media around food allergies and flying. Suddenly I felt like I had to declare myself. Allergy girl! Right over here! On the flight from Toronto to Vancouver it was handled very simply, I just wasn't served a meal or any snacks. I had pop and water and a biscuit that I had packed for myself. Meanwhile, Brandon had fresh bread, a fruit salad, and yogurt for his first course. Then he had pancakes with berry sauce that smelled really good. An unusual thing to say about plane food but maybe I was just envious.
And now here's my meal, a glass of cold water.
If you're wondering why I didn't take the risk and have fruit salad, make note of their allergy disclaimer on the menu above. On the return flight I informed a flight attendant and they sent someone to my seat to address it. They told me that I should have called ahead so that the airline could determine if I was "fit to fly" when I purchased the ticket. Then she sped off to get more information. Immediately I felt my face go beet red. I was super annoyed and have never been singled out like that before on a plane. Fortunately when she returned she said that because I was in business class I had enough "safe" space around me so I was allowed to fly. But what would have happened if I was in coach?
Ironically after all that another flight attendant came around with bowls of nuts and put one on my table.
Overall I was very comfortable flying with Air Canada and there were no issues. One of the flight attendants told me that she had a peanut and tree nut allergy as well. It was nice to know that there was someone in flight who could really understand and relate.