Our Meeting With UK Airlines and Industry Governing Bodies at The Department for Transport
On Wednesday 27 January, The Amy May Trust was welcomed back to The Department For Transport to meet with Aviation Minister Baroness Sugg, alongside Jo Swinson MP, allergy sufferers, governing bodies of the aviation industry, medical experts and airline representatives to discuss and explore the options for improving the flying experience for those who suffer from nut allergies.
The UK Government are planning a new strategy for aviation, titled Aviation 2050: the future of UK aviation, which sets out the challenges and opportunities for aviation to 2050 and beyond. The strategy proposes the introduction of a new Passenger Charter to explicitly outline clear standards for a range of passenger issues, including a more consistent approach in catering for customers with nut allergies.
Building on preliminary discussions The Trust had with the Aviation Minister alongside Jo Swinson MP in January 2018, the aim of Wednesdays meeting was to further understand the challenges involved and possible actions available for improving the experience of air travel for those with a nut allergy, following the success of the Trust petition on change.org.
In response to Wednesday’s meeting, Aviation Minister Liz Sugg said
“Passengers with nut allergies can face potentially life-threatening challenges when travelling which can cause significant stress and anxiety, especially for families with children. We want to see improved clarity and consistency in how the sector deals with allergies because it is vital that sufferers have the confidence to travel.
It is clear that airlines want to help too and build on the good practice that already exists. They will now meet with food allergy sufferers to explore further what more can be done. The Department for Transport will work with industry, the CAA and allergy groups to ensure there is a central point where people can access the allergy policies of individual airlines and the procedures for alerting airlines when there are passengers travelling with allergy needs.”
Ahead of the meeting, The Amy May Trust internally published the findings of the Travel Experience Survey (launched in January 2018) along with a number of recommendations which will aid the discussions and address the feasibility of improving air travel for nut allergy sufferers ahead of the publication of Aviation 2050, later in 2019.
We would like to thank everyone who completed the Travel Experience Survey, with such detail and willingness. We received many hundreds of responses, all of which have been reviewed and collated to provide The Trust, The Department For Transport, governing industry bodies and airlines with vital feedback from which to take our discussions further.