Southwest Airlines' Decision to Stop Serving Peanuts Prompts Outcry From Peanut Industry Leaders

Southwest Airlines, the carrier that has for years used its free peanut snacks as a marketing gimmick, will stop serving nuts on flights starting Aug. 1.

Southwest Airlines' Decision to Stop Serving Peanuts Prompts Outcry From Peanut Industry Leaders

The Dallas-based low-cost carrier cited concerns over passengers with peanut allergies as a key reason why its flight attendants will switch out the peanuts for pretzels and other free snacks in the future.

“Peanuts forever will be part of Southwest’s history and DNA,” the airline said in a statement. “However, to ensure the best on-board experience for everyone, especially for customers with peanut-related allergies, we’ve made the difficult decision to discontinue serving peanuts on all flights beginning August 1.”

A day after the announcement, the National Peanut Board protested the move, saying the airline could continue to offer peanuts and take simple precautions to protect passengers with peanut allergies, such as letting them wipe down airline seats before a flight.

“It is an unnecessary step that will disappoint many of Southwest’s customers,” according to a statement by the group, which represents U.S. peanut farmers.

For years, the airline incorporated its peanut snacks in its advertising, saying airfares are so low that passengers could fly for peanuts. Meanwhile, many other airlines have tried to avoid conflicts with passengers who have nut allergies by switching to pretzels and cookies as their primary snacks.

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The Dallas-based low-cost carrier cited concerns over passengers with peanut allergies as a key reason why its flight attendants will switch out the peanuts for pretzels and other free snacks in the future.

“Peanuts forever will be part of Southwest’s history and DNA,” the airline said in a statement. “However, to ensure the best on-board experience for everyone, especially for customers with peanut-related allergies, we’ve made the difficult decision to discontinue serving peanuts on all flights beginning August 1.”

A day after the announcement, the National Peanut Board protested the move, saying the airline could continue to offer peanuts and take simple precautions to protect passengers with peanut allergies, such as letting them wipe down airline seats before a flight.

“It is an unnecessary step that will disappoint many of Southwest’s customers,” according to a statement by the group, which represents U.S. peanut farmers.

For years, the airline incorporated its peanut snacks in its advertising, saying airfares are so low that passengers could fly for peanuts. Meanwhile, many other airlines have tried to avoid conflicts with passengers who have nut allergies by switching to pretzels and cookies as their primary snacks.

Read full article

Southwest Airlines' Decision to Stop Serving Peanuts Prompts Outcry From Peanut Industry Leaders