Petition Calls for Peanut-Free Zones on Planes

The parent of a child with a life-threatening peanut allergy is fighting for new rules to protect airline passengers who have severe food allergies.

Lianne Mandelbaum, who says she was practically kicked off a United Airlines flight last year because of her son’s condition, has been lobbying for new protections for allergy sufferers.

Now, more than 14,000 people are coming to her aid, petitioning lawmakers and federal regulators to establish a “buffer zone” around passengers who are allergic to certain foods.

“I am not after a nut ban,” Mandelbaum said. “Just the ability to pre-board, wipe down the seat area, and make an announcement that will let everyone live with their own moral compass around me.”

The petitioners are calling for a rule that would prohibit airlines from serving snacks containing nuts to any passenger sitting near someone with a peanut allergy. Furthermore, passengers who bring peanuts on board would not be allowed to eat them during the flight, if they are sitting within the buffer zone.