SWISS becomes the world’s first ‘allergy-friendly’ airline; offers gluten free food and cabin modifications

Up until now, air travel was a nightmare for people with severe allergies. To cater to the special needs of allergy prone passengers, Swiss International Air Lines Ltd., (SWISS) from next month will introduce a number of ground/ in-flight products designed to enhance their air travel experience. These innovations will include new alternative (lactose- and gluten- free) food and drinks, along with cabin interior changes.

Allergic reactions could range from a mild response, such as an itchy mouth to anaphylaxis that may cause death. And it’s not only consuming food allergens like peanuts, tree nuts, milk, egg, fish, wheat that trigger allergic reaction but breathing the airborne particles can also lead to intolerance in rare cases. SWISS has teamed up with the European Centre for Allergy Research Foundation (ECARF) to offer its guests an even more individualized service product for travelers with allergies. New onboard all SWISS flights will be lactose- and gluten- free food and beverage alternatives such as lactose-free coffee cream and a lactose-free chocolate bar.

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Depending on the length of the flight, guests may further request special snacks (candy bars, yoghurt or cakes) that address passenger allergies, and pay full regard to their conditions.

At present, allergy sufferers will be able to order special meals tailored to their needs in all seating classes on long-haul services and in Business Class within Europe up to 24 hours before their scheduled departure.

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SWISS is making allergy-minded modifications to its cabins, too. First and Business Class passengers will be offered pillows stuffed with synthetic materials as an alternative to the down-filled version. SWISS is also ceasing its use in the cabin of decorative flowers and air fresheners that might cause nose and throat irritations; and the on-board toilets will now feature soaps that are gentle on the skin.