Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Another Opening (or not)

Almost a year ago I wrote Gary Kelly, CEO of Southwest Airlines, about the difficulty I had opening the bags of peanuts handed out on Southwest flights. I made no reference to peanut allergies. I’m sure Gary’s very busy, but I’m still waiting for his response. Maybe he couldn’t open my letter. Or it might have been lost in the airmail. I found nothing new on the Internut about opening the nuts on Southwest, but there’s plenty about peanut allergies and airplanes;

Peanut allergy causes emergency landing, airline sued | 9news.com

DOT Considers Peanut Ban on Flights | Food Safety News

Should we ban peanuts on airplanes? | Food Allergy Mama

On Airplanes, The Law Sides With Peanuts - Law Blog - WSJ

Free peanuts on airplanes started out as a marketing ploy – Quartz

My guess is that Gary is doing his part to protect passengers from the potential perils of peanuts by serving them in bags that can’t be opened without using an Amazing Open X (see previous FLOG),  that the TSA would probably confiscate well  before anybody could get it onto any Southwest aircraft (assuming the TSA could get it out of the clam-shell packaging).

Knowing what I know about Southwest and Gary Kelly, I’m assuming that, like he did with gasoline years ago, he probably purchased a zillion bags of peanuts at a very low price and he’s determined to pass them out, full/empty/open-able/edible or not, before the DOT or FAA make him stop.

I have no opinion on peanut allergy-gate. But I do like Southwest’s peanut policy:

· Allergy Policy: Southwest normally serves peanuts in-flight, but can substitute other snacks upon request. The airline suggests that customers with peanut allergies book their flights by phone and notify the airline of their allergy. Southwest also suggests booking early-morning flights, when the plane is at its cleanest. And by all means, sit next to David Stern - he can't open the peanuts anyway.

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