The mother of a child with a life-threatening peanut allergy is looking to the government to step in and help keep her child safe on airplanes. Lianne Mandelbaum claims that she was basically kicked off of her flight with United last year. Having flown United in the past, I do not doubt she was treated that way, but perhaps seeking federal regulations is not the way to go here.
“I am not after a nut ban,” Mandelbaum said. “Just the ability to preboard, wipe down the seat area and make an announcement that will let everyone live with their own moral compass around me.” The petition also would force airlines to not serve any peanuts in the buffer zone, the area immediately around an allergic person. Also, passengers in the buffer zone would not be allowed to eat peanuts or peanut-ridden products that they brought.
Mandelbaum was successful in lobbying the New Jersey legislature for regulations for peanuts on planes, but now wants to take it national.
Allow me to suggest an alternative: If you are unhappy with the way that United has treated you, please select another airline in the future. I would bet large sums of money that there is an airline out there that would be willing to let her and her child pre-board and wipe things down, as well as help make an announcement to nearby passengers.
Image: Justin Taylor, Flickr