Airlines and Food Allergies

Hello! Welcome to Beyond Soy!

How far should airlines go to accommodate a food allergy, intolerance, or sensitivity? Are they obligated to provide options or even tell you ingredients in advance?

Recently, The New York Times published an article regarding flying with food allergies, reporting that airlines now have to allow people with life-threatening allergies to take appropriate precautions while flying (e.g., boarding early to clean up their seat area). This Department of Transportation ruling makes sense: flying should be accessible within reasonable accommodation and this also limits a potentially life-threatening event occurring during the flight.

Flying can be soy-free with preparation - IMAGE VIA PEXELS

Flying can be soy-free with preparation - IMAGE VIA PEXELS

With a food intolerance, sensitivity, or even most allergies, the matter is more about comfort during the flight. Right now, we never know if the food provided on a flight will be soy-free. As a result, we always make sure to have plenty of backup snacks. On longer-distance flights we’ll order a special meal (typically gluten-free) to increase the chances of being served soy-free food.

These strategies have been quite successful! We are always able to eat at least something on longer flights and occasionally there are some soy-free domestic snacks available too (looking at you United maple cookies)! But at the same time, it would be great to have a clearer understanding of food and ingredients before getting on the plane.

What do you think? We’d love to know your strategies for flying and eating soy-free!