Airlines battle allergies
CALGARY — WestJet says it is adding EpiPen Auto-Injectors to first-aid kits on all its aircraft for emergency treatment of severe allergic reactions.
The Calgary-based airline says it expects that by early 2011 its entire fleet will be equipped with redesigned versions of the devices, recently released by King Pharmaceuticals Canada, and hopes the initiative “will offer peace of mind” for passengers at risk of anaphylaxis.
Air Canada’s medical kits also include epinephrine (adrenaline) as per Transport Canada’s requirements on all aircraft.
Air Canada also says passengers with an allergy to nuts or peanuts can request a buffer zone around their seat to help avoid the risk of exposure. Other customers within the zone will be asked by flight attendants to avoid nut and peanut products.
In October the Canadian Transportation Agency said Air Canada had to create such buffer zones when given at least 48 hours advance notice of travellers with the allergy. The airline says it will try to accommodate requests even at shorter notice.
For details on the airlines’ allergy policies, visit http://tinyurl.com/2dwkeld (WestJet) and http://tinyurl.com/2ddysus (Air Canada).