As the parent of a child with a deadly peanut allergy, I don't agree with what you are saying. Yes, allergies are a "real world" problem, and my son, your brother, and millions of other people with severe allergies have to live each day protecting themselves from allergens that, quite literally, could end their lives. If your brother is stung or someone eats shellfish or my son eats even the smallest trace of peanut or peanut butter, they could die. People with celiac disease or less severe allergic reactions, while still dangerous for their health, do not worry about having immediate, fatal, anaphylactic reactions, nor do they experience a reaction unless they actually ingest gluten. My issue with your argument and Southwest's policy is not that the airplane can or should be peanut-free. I wouldn't ask them to try to ban all peanut products from coming on, because that's just not realisitic (I would argue, however, that if a few bees were knowingly let loose on an airplane with your brother, he, you and a lot of other people would have a problem with this). Our issue is why does Southwest have to serve peanuts in the first place? Pretzels are always an option when we tell them we can't have peanuts, so why not just default to pretzels or some other snack in the first place. They aren't handing out shrimp (which is a severe allergen for many people), so why hand out peanuts? It isn't the only food that can be served, and there are other options that are less dangerous for most people. Yes, people have celiac and can't eat pretzels, but people with Celiac also cannot become ill by smelling gluten and/or having pretzel dust flying around or on a seat. People with peanut allergies can, and by serving peanuts, Southwest is not only risking a legal problem, but more importantly, they are knowingly putting people at risk just by serving peanuts on their flights. This discussion easily could be a non-issue if another inexpensive snack were served. Why peanuts??
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