Southwest Airlines is taking a stand against food allergies. The popular airline has announced that they will stop serving peanuts on all of their flights. Since the early 1970s, peanuts have been a staple during air travel. Advertisements have marketed to customers by saying air travel was available to “fly for peanuts,” which is a play on the food and the prices.
Airline nuts will soon be a thing of the past, with Southwest flights going peanut free by August 1. This decision was made in part due to a rise in passengers with peanut-related food allergies. In a statement, the company revealed the decision was to “ensure the best onboard experience for everyone.”
Despite getting rid of nuts on all of their flights, the airline will continue to offer pretzels, cookies and a variety of other snacks as well as drinks. The move comes as a surprise in part due to Southwest Airlines basically introducing the idea of peanuts on airlines originally.
According to Roy Spence, of GSD&M advertising agency, there “was at a time when air travel was for rich people, and Southwest was for ordinary citizens.” It was during this time, that Southwest decided to offer peanuts to all of their passengers during flights. However, as peanut food allergies began to rise in the late 1990s and early 2000s, airlines moved towards serving pretzels instead, but peanuts were still an option.
So far, Southwest Airlines is the first major commercial airline company to announce being peanut-free. According to the statement, “We’ll miss the peanuts, but, at the end of the day, it’s our Southwest employees and the hospitality they deliver that set us apart, far more than peanuts ever could.” Southwest Airlines has always prided itself on being a customer friendly airline and this is just another step in ensuring customer satisfaction.