Families at risk for severe allergic reactions often find flying incredibly stressful.
There is no one national policy for airlines. Each company can set its own rules. And, families may be told one thing when they book a flight, and then have a different experience at boarding time.
That is why the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) congratulates a Congressional effort to improve airline safety for people with severe allergies.
Two U.S. senators, Mark Kirk (R-IL) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-IL), introduced the Airline Access to Emergency Epinephrine Act (S. 1972). Sens. Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Mark Warner (D-VA) cosponsored the bill.
The proposed legislation includes these requirements:
- Airplanes stock epinephrine auto-injectors – at least one for an adult and one for a child.
- Air carriers change policies about the use of epinephrine during emergencies in the air, as well as other purposes.
- A US agency report to Congress on airline policies for accommodating passengers with food allergies.
- Trained flight crews to recognize the symptoms of severe allergic reactions.
- Trained flight crews to administer epinephrine auto-injectors in case of anaphylaxis.
Epinephrine is the only treatment for severe allergic reactions, or anaphylaxis.
“On behalf of the millions of Americans living at-risk for anaphylaxis from food allergies and related conditions, we are delighted to see this important legislation introduced in Congress,” said Cary Sennett, MD, PhD, AAFA’s President and CEO.
“We are optimistic that the airline industry will embrace this opportunity to make life-saving epinephrine available on airplanes,” said Lynda Mitchell, MA, AAFA’s Senior Vice President of Community Services. “This is such an important safeguard for airline passengers. It will save lives.”
AAFA worked as part of a group of organizations concerned about the flying challenges faced by people with living with severe allergies.
The other organizations are: Asthma & Allergy Network, Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) and No Nut Traveler.
The bill is endorsed by the Association of Flight Attendants, and the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.
AAFA encourages you to take action on this issue. Join AAFA's Action Network and tell your senators you care about this issue today!