KOREAN AIR, the largest airline and flag carrier of South Korea, has taken strong actions to ensure the health and safety of passengers who are allergic to peanuts.
This is due to a recent incident whereby two teenage brothers said they were unable to board a flight because of a peanut allergy.
The brothers’ parents said in media reports earlier this month that their sons were removed from a flight because the South Korean airline was unwilling to accommodate a serious peanut allergy.
Media outlets including USA Today and Good Morning America reported that the brothers were traveling from Atlanta to the Philippines but were stranded in Seoul after Korean Air did not agree to a request to stop serving peanuts around the teens because the older brother has a severe peanut allergy.
They had booked their flight through Delta and there was no problem on the flight from the US as the airline does not serve nuts, Stuff reported. However, they were later told they would not be accommodated about their allergies on the Korean Air flight so as not to “deprive other guests of peanuts” and were flown back to Atlanta later in the day.
In view of this incident, Korean Air announced it will be removing food that contains peanuts from in-flight meals in several weeks. The company is determined to provide a safe environment for all passengers and prevent similar cases in the future.
“The decision to stop peanut products and peanut ingredients is the minimum safety measure for peanut-allergic passengers,” a Korean Air spokesperson said.
To start with, the airline has replaced its honey-roasted peanut products with other snacks such as crackers. In addition, within the next few weeks, Korean Air will remove food containing peanut ingredients from in-flight meals.
Cases revolving around peanut allergies are emerging as a critical issue in the aviation industry and a number of major global carriers have stopped offering in-flight peanut products.
On July 12, 2017, three-year-old Marcus Daley was traveling on Singapore Airlines (SIA) flight SQ217 from Singapore to Melbourne when he suffered a severe allergic reaction to peanuts. The boy was served a nut-free special meal but he went into anaphylaxis when other passengers opened snack bags of peanuts.
Fortunately, the allergy was quickly brought under control with the anti-allergy medication his parents had brought with them.
The incident ultimately pushed SIA to review its nut policy.