Which Airlines Make the Grade?

When Cecilia Watson is around dogs, she immediately starts coughing and wheezing. Her Asthma Action Plan calls for strict avoidance, but as a frequent traveler, that’s difficult to do on airlines that increasingly allow pets to accompany passengers. The 54-year-old fears exposure to dog allergens could lead to a severe asthma flare 30,000 feet in the air.

In 2018, 10-year-old Luca Ingrassia suffered a severe allergic reaction after eating a cashew during a flight. It was the first time he experienced an allergic reaction and the airplane’s medical kit did not have epinephrine, the first line of treatment. Fortunately, another passenger on board had an epinephrine auto-injector and Luca recovered.

Air travel is fast and convenient, but the prospect of an in-flight medical emergency is a serious concern for people with asthma and allergies. Nearly 2 percent of in-flight medical emergencies are allergy-related.


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