You have made clear the virtuous intent of your decision is based upon all the averted potential passenger misery. But if that is truly the motive, can you share with us some idea of the number or frequency of occurrences where Southwest Airlines' age-old practice of distributing peanuts to eagerly receptive passengers was responsible for these horrific allergic reactions that necessitated punishing your entire flying public? Did they happen to grown-ups with known allergies who accidentally ingested them not knowing they were peanuts? Or were children impacted by picking them up from the floor, the seats or taking them from strangers, or worse yet from adults who knew better. And what about all the peanut dust and crumbs circulating in the air or collected in the seat back pockets from earlier flights? From where and how did these unfortunate episodes arise? And what precautions need be taken as a result of passengers who will now bring their own peanuts on board? If you would reveal some hard data that demonstrated this decision is founded on actual experience it would help us all deal with our cynicism over your motives. People can argue over the veracity of various scientific claims about peanuts and associated allergens and mechanisms that induce these reactions. But you have the empirical data to not only shed light on the topic but to substantiate your position. I'll bet you have data on all kinds of in-flight health incidents, e.g. heart attacks, strokes, even deaths. Why not allergic reactions to peanuts? From my perspective as a long time A-lister, you have needlessly sqandered many years of hard-earned and well-deserved goodwill for providing a high quality service while not taking yourselves too seriously. And for what measurable upside benefit? Now you are just another corporate sellout to tiny vocal interests and the risk averse environment of our litigious and politically correct times. I will remember it and so will many others. This sure doesn't seem like a Herb Kelleher type decision.
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