Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Air Canada Indifference

Normally, we book our flights online. It's been years since I've called an airline directly, but this time, I insisted my husband speak directly with Air Canada to ensure they knew well in advance about DJ's peanut allergy. Not only did I want to ensure his safety, I wanted to be able to sidestep any issues like the one this Calgary women faced when flying back from Mexico. She was asked to leave a flgith from Mexico last month after asking flight attendants to not serve nuts on her flight.

Admittedly, I think it's somewhat self-centred to think an airline is going to change thier menu at the last minute on the request of one passenger; procuring food for dozens of passengers at the last minute would be a huge logistical issue.

Still, I wanted to be prepared so we mentioned the peanut allergy and spoke with our booking agent in detail. We were told to remind the clerk at the check-in counter and again, to remind the stewardesses once we boarded. We were assured our issues would be well-noted on any flight information.

When we checked-in, we mentioned DJ's peanut allergy. The clerk was surprised and said there were no notes on our file. Again, right before boarding I mentioned the same thing; again, we got the same response. There were no notes on our file.

Once on baord, we pulled a stewardess aside and mentinoed our concerns. She asked what we wanted to do about it. Well, really, what did we want? I'm not sure. I don't think it's realistic to ask other people not to eat snacks they've brought on board, and since the airline wasn't serving any peanuts, we were somewhat at a loss to answer her question. In the end, we simply stated we wouldn't be taking any offered on-board food.

To note: We did have a bit of an issue taking DJ's snacks on-board given the 100 ml. liquid restrictions. several of his yorgurt snacks were above the limit as was his orange jello and juice boxes. We explained the sitation though and were allowed to keep all of his treats.

On the return flight, we didn't bother mentioning the allergy, and simply declined any snacks.

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