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We’re Still Nuts … We Just Won’t Be Serving Them Anymore

SGoldberg Employee Rank

As of August 1, Southwest Airlines will no longer serve peanuts onboard and will instead serve pretzels on all flights. This decision wasn’t made lightly, but in the interest of providing the best Hospitality and a welcoming and safe onboard environment for Customers with peanut or peanut-dust allergies, we felt it was the right thing to do.


Although peanuts are very much a part of our Company’s heritage and have always been part of Southwest Airlines’ identity, it became clear after careful evaluation that the risks of serving peanuts outweigh the rewards. We hope that Customers who will miss our peanuts will enjoy our free pretzels and wonderful selection of snacks on longer flights.


Of course we’ll always be NUTS about Southwest and our Company will continue to honor the significant role that our peanuts played in our history, but at the end of the day, we’re most proud of our People and their Hospitality that sets us apart.



New Arrival

Smiley Sad What about those who are allergic to wheat!!! I have celiac and you were the last airline that I knew I could enjoy a mid-flight snack ... and now that is gone.

New Arrival

I seem to remember many many moons ago that Southwest had smokehouse almonds. Could that be?

New Arrival

Thank you Southwest Airlines for your well informed decision to stop serving peanuts on flights.  


As both a physician and mother to a child with a life threatening peanut allergy, travel can be stressful and dangerous.  It is difficult for people to understand if they themselves or family/friends are not affected by life threatening allergies, and this lack of understanding may manifest itself as anger or frustration when a food option is eliminated.  However, in many cases, the most vulnerable passengers in cases of food allergies are children.  


I know that you will get support from the families and friends of loved ones with life threatening peanut allergies. Again, bravo for your decision on making air travel safer.

New Arrival

Noooo! I have celiac and the peanuts are the only mid-flight snack I can safely eat! You guys aren't thinking about those of us with gluten/wheat allergies - the peanuts are the highlight of air travel! 

New Arrival

Sad to see that another corporation (Southwest) decided to be "politically correct" and caved-in to the minority.  Southwest has always been a Maverick, and one reason I appreciated their perspective on air transportion versus the others. 


So, now, go ahead and punish us peanut lovers.  As a side note, Delta has just responded by stating they will still serve peanuts.

New Arrival

@maseratijim - Thank you for the heads up on Delta. Out of principal, I know where I'll be taking my business for now on.


Less than 2.5% of the population is allergic to tree nuts - and  SWA decides to punish the other 97.5%. Clearly, their stated reasons are either a LIE or a case study in textbook incompetent decision making with a side of smoke and mirrors. 


@Wjwr1223 - While I can empathize with your situation, as an alleged licenced physician I am a bit shocked you're applauding this move, which appears to have given you a false sense of security. As a physician, you should know this does not nothing to solve the other 40 or so carrier product items which can cause reactions in those that are allergic to peanuts or tree nuts....



Again, I'm awaiting SWA's response on how this is truly a "passenger safety" decision given JUST NOW 40+ years either A) this has dawned on them or B) in reality, something else is driving this decision - SWA just hasn't come clean.


What does add up is.... either....


1)  SWA is too lazy to hold their crews accountable for proper cabin cleanliness or


2) Simply, this is for financial reasons - such as paying the $15M they now owe to the DOJ in fines for setting allegations of collusion with other airlines to keep prices inflated.


So....Hey SWA.....Why not just say.....It's costing us  $.10 per pack of peanuts, times ~150M+ passengers annually (plausible figures which basic basic math says... SWA now saves annually... wait for it....wait for it.... $15M annually in product cost (excluding weight, fuel, etc.... 



OH... and coincidentally the estimated $15M savings is exactly the same tab SWA now owes the US DOJ for settling allegations of pricing fixing with the other airlines.... 


To be clear, I do empathize with those that truly have allegies - It sucks to have to worry about individual conditions, whatever and whenever risks may arise - but I implore you look beyond what may seem superficially good is nothing more than a test of your intelligence. 



Either way, SWA PR and Marketing department - Please... Pretty please....Could you please come up with something a little better rather than assuming we're all idiots and will buy the current line being fed to us. Is it too much to ask that you make your message at little more plausible?


SWA you can earn my respect back (and associated business) if you simply just tell us the truth... Why not employ some of your own rhetoric of "Transfarency" and simply tell us peasants this saves you $15M+ per year?  None of which we'll see in lower faces with your touted "Transfarency" commitment.



New Arrival

WOW! This  is actually kinda sad -- it is the end of an era.  (So to speak) Since I have no upcoming flights planned in the next couple of weeks, guess I got my last bag for my lifetime.  And geeee whiz, I have three excursions planned in August.  I will always stay loyal to SWA.  BTW, people know SWA for peanuts - I simply cannot believe there are that many people allergic Smiley Sad

New Arrival

Really annoying SWA.  Husband is Type 1 diabetic, also an A List preferred as he has to fly all the time for work.  Cannot eat wheat.  Airports and flying are the worst for him as "on the go" free airline snacks are always carb laden.  Cookies, pretzles, crackers.  Yay.  He can't eat them.  Or sugar really.  Kids are prone to Juvenile Diabetes (type 1), what do we do with them on those LAX-MDW flights?  Not eating causes havoc with blood sugar . . . bring back the nuts!  Or maybe there could be a "nutty" section on the plane.  This is all nuts to me . . . people will bring what they need on the plane anyway so I'm wondering if "nut police" will be out for those buying them at Hudson's News and bringing them on their own.  By singling out one Special Need group, it makes others with different "special needs" feel ignored and disrespected.  BOO.


And, BTW,  I so appreciate those who cannot eat peanuts.  We had a neighbor child who would go into shock if he touched one.   Horrid, really.  Can't we all get along?  


New Arrival

Its a very sad day.  When I grew up there were no peanut allergies. It irritates me when I would here the announcement :due to a peanut allergy we will not be serving peanutes. Sorry the rest of the 174 people on this 737-800. Now not going to serve them. I always looked forward to them on SW.  As a stockholder I am not very happy. Its the small things sometimes that make a difference. I hope this is one of many messages that will make management rethink their decision. At some point we have to say no.  No one anymore has the nuts to stand up to people. Bunch of wimps

New Arrival

I am allergic to the people who bring their little dogs on the plane they can't live a few days without. Put the dogs below where they use to live during a flight. Whats the difference.

New Arrival

Kudos, Southwest! I want to thank you for such a compassionate and medically-sound policy.  Our son has a nut allergy and had an anyphylactic peanut reaction on one of your flights 8 years ago. We were over an hour away from our destination airport, and it was the most frightening thing a parent and child could ever experience. He could have died mid-flight. The epi-pens we carry with us would only hold him for 20 minutes per jab. Your crew was exceptional under the circumstances, as were the passenger nurses who administered care to our son. But there is no reason to serve an allergen that deadly when there are so many other safe food options. We are deeply grateful for your decision. You have our business for life, for protecting the lives of your passengers. 

New Arrival

I don’t know if this will help, but it seems like a lot of these comments are due to misunderstanding, and I would love to take this opportunity to educate some on this decision. I have a peanut allergy, and the decision to remove peanuts from flights is life changing. 


Unlike many other conditions, the SMELL of peanuts can trigger a reaction midair in the closed in conditions of a plane. When over a hundred people open bags of peanuts at once, it is completely unavoidable for peanut dust to be sent into the air in every part of the plane, which is terrifying for someone who could die by inhaling it. 


One in thirteen children in the US has a food allergy, and in the last 20 years, the prevalence of peanut or tree nut allergies has more than tripled. It is a legitimate issue that affects more people than you may realize. 


@VickiLE, @samloubolton I understand your concerns as someone with food sensitivities not being able to eat anything provided, but wouldn’t you rather someone not literally die mid-flight than simply bring your own snacks? I, and others with peanut allergies, still cannot eat snacks on the plane, as even the pretzels are made in the same factory as peanuts, however it just makes flying a LOT safer for peanut allergic people. 


@DontStealMyNuts Addressing your “Bottomline”, yes, many people are allergic to things, but peanuts are one of the few allergies that can be caused simply by inhaling peanut dust. Someone allergic to dairy or gluten won’t have an allergic reaction from the AIR on the plane, and you can bring your own food on a plane. You can’t be ALLERGIC to cramped spaces, as much as everyone might not like them, and lastly, peanut allergies aren’t a fad. It is a medical condition, and TRUST ME, I wish that I could just turn it off like you would prefer. It isn’t about the other items that may contain nuts, it’s simply about the direct presence of peanuts on the plane. 


@maseratijim Catering to a medical condition that affects a significant portion of the population is not “political correctness”. It isn’t an opinion or a choice, people who are allergic to peanuts can DIE if they eat or smell them. Would you really rather someone go into anaphylactic shock and die mid-flight than go without peanuts for a few hours?


@ElleZ It isn’t about discrediting other special needs. Smelling peanut dust mid-flight could literally kill someone with an allergy. Diabetics, and all food allergic people, have the option of bringing their own food on the plane, but someone with a peanut allergy does not have the option to not die if they’re stuck in a metal tube in the air with air filled with peanut dust. I would love for all special needs to be accommodated, but this is a great move in the right direction for now. 


@mdfosse Perhaps when you grew up there were no peanut allergies, but as I stated, in the last 20 years, peanut allergy incidence has tripled. I don’t like it, and trust me, I would also prefer that peanut allergies just not exist. But they do, and being in a plane with peanuts can literally kill people. It’s like sticking someone in a confined space with poisonous gas, and just telling them to get over it. You could always eat peanuts after the flight!


Maybe none of this will work, but I would love to be able to educate at least one person, so they can understand why this is a great change on the part of Southwest, and how even if it’s a minor inconvenience, it could, and will, save lives. Peanut allergies are not a choice, they are not enjoyable, and they can kill people regardless of age. Understanding just a little more might help at least one person empathize with this decision and with the peanut allergic community. Thank you if you’ve taken the time to read this. So thank you, Southwest, for making this decision that will help many people, and being bold enough to do so even among criticism of many. 

New Arrival

Yes, what about those of us with Celiac's Disease that cannot have any wheat products. It is just as much an allergy as a peanut allergy!  Why not replace the peanuts with something that is peanut-free and gluten-free to serve all of your customers?


As of summer 2017, Frontier Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines, Southwest, Spirit and Virgin America do not offer gluten-free meals.


New Arrival

 @nkingles - 

I feel your pain.  I have a good friend who suffers from Celiacs disease and frankly was not familiar with it at all until we became friends.  Going anywhere with her can be a nightmare - so to speak.  There are only certain restaurants we can dine in.  When she takes a cruise, they have to cater to her in one dining area and there has been functions that we attend, and she flat out cannot eat anything that is served.  At least diabetics or peanut allergens can generally find something to eat somewhere - those with Celiac have a very difficult time. 


New Arrival

I completely agree with the comments of those that do not agree with this decision.  And as some said, we are not stupid.  The local news paper today said in its article on this that the FDA lists peanuts as one of the eight food types that account for 90 percent of all food allergies in the United States.  Anyone at Southwest bother to look at the whole list?  Here it is if you didn’t.  Peanuts are only just about Wheat on the list.

1. Milk

2. Eggs

3. Fish

4. Crustacean

5. Tree nuts (Almonds, pecans etc)

6. Peanuts

7 Wheat (Hmm I think pretzels are made of wheat last time I looked and those with true celiac disease can be severely affected by wheat dust or residue)

8. Soybeans.


I think southwest ought to rethink this.  

New Arrival

Here is a question for all of the individuals that are agrily complaining about the removal of peanuts. Would you care if the person sitting next to you had a loaded gun pointed at you, with their finger on the trigger? There is rarely time to completely rid a plane of all the spilled peanuts and peanut dust between flights. You can choose not to drink milk, and for those with Celiacs, it sucks, but it is not life threatening if th eperson next to you is eating a pretzel. For years, I was insensitive to food allergies, until my daughter had her first anaphylactic reaction to peanuts. For her, your precious peanuts are no different than the loaded gun. Someone with Celiacs can easily bring an alternate snack, and their lfe will not be threatened. At shool and other places, we never ask others to change their lunches or bithday cakes etc. But in a confined space with no access to medical assistance, it is a different story. 


Thanks Southwest! 

New Arrival

People get shot with guns and you can see we don’t ban them.  People get killed in car accidents and we don’t ban them.  People get bee stings and get the same reaction one gets from peanuts.  According to statistics 150 to 200 people die each year from food allergies.  This is all way overblown and should not affect everyone.  People that are allergic to certain things including peanuts should carry their epipen as physicians recommend.  I have numerous allergies including peanuts, severe chemical sensitivities etc.  Is southwest going to quit using chemicals to clean the planes and kill bugs.  I think not.  I just deal with it and prepare.  

New Arrival

I guess southwest FA"s will search all carry-ons and food that's brought onboard....cuz I'm sure no passenger will have stopped by one of the many Hudson's to purchase nuts!!!  I wonder whats next...making all airport venders stop selling nuts as well...

New Arrival

 I think SWA, has made a wonderful decision. Think about if you or a family member had allergies to food, and all it took was a smell, a touch or just eating it to case them to have an allergic reaction. You never know, who has allergies and it could take one person to forget their epipen and then SWA could be looking at a lawsuit. So please put the shoe on the other foot, and think about why they made that decision.


Even now for our children school's, some work places, and even churches ask for you not to bring, peanuts or peanut butter(No peanut zone). So this is a serious matter between life or death.


Their is always an alternative route. I do this all the time. Bring your own snacks/food  from home before you travel. Plan your day out on the day of travel to eat before you come to the airport. I get it, food/ drink prices are VERY VERY expensive at the airport. So those are a few precautions, I use myself. 


Either way SW, is my favorite airline, and no bag of peanuts will change that! 😊

New Arrival

Great decision Southwest!  Peanut allergies top 90% of deaths from food allergies.  Seems to be a great decision to help keep everyone safe.  When it's life or death, how could someone be so tied to a certain food known to kill via exposure to air, touch and ingestion? Seems like an awfully selfish form of thinking.


To the celiac posters:  Celiac is not life-threatening ( whereas peanuts/tree nuts can be: air, touch, and ingestion killers.  Perhaps you can bring some snacks that are good for you like the nut allergy community has always done - but in recycled air won't threaten to kill you, like peanuts could.


Thanks Southwest for leveling the accessibility to all!

New Arrival

I wish you could provide a fragrance-free area of the plane for people with reactivity to fragrances or chemical sensitivity who get set off in reactions by people who wear heavy fragrance of having residue of scented personal care product on their person.   That would help me not have to wrap up my face with a mask and scarf to avoid breathing in personal care product fragrances/chemicals.   At least you have un-reserved seating and permit those with health issues to board first which is much appreciated.