All Hail the Return of the Honey Roasted Peanut

Meals, Southwest

Let’s forget about airline meals for a moment (if you haven’t already), and let’s focus on one of the few remaining frills in air travel: the snack.

Back in the blissful days of yore, a plethora of protein-packed peanuts filled hungry stomachs from coast to coast. Many of them were deliciously roasted with honey. Mmmm.

But times have sadly changed. Many airlines have done away with the complimentary snack (as I discovered on American last week). The ones who continue have been crushed under the pressure of the peanut allergy lobby. They have failed to defend the mighty peanut and have instead opted for the carb-filled, completely unsatisfying mini-bag of pretzels.

07_04_10 honeyroastedpeanutsThe lone holdout has always been Southwest, the shining beacon of the pro-peanut movement. They continue to hand out bags of peanuts for all to enjoy. Their peanut leadership took a step back in 2005 when they stopped serving the honey-roasted kind due to higher costs. Fortunately, news is out today that the decision has been reversed. Today in the Sky reports that the honey-roasted peanut will return!

A thank you is in order for Southwest’s nut supplier. They have found a way to bring the cost of the honey-roasted nuts down the to levels of the dry-roasted ones. The airline will go back to its alternating schedule. In even-numbered years, dry-roasted nuts will be served. In odd-numbered years (starting in 2009), the honey roasted nuts will be back.

Let this be heard as a strong message to all other airlines. Honey-roasted peanuts are back. Now I know the arguments from the peanut allergy-sufferers.

“We can’t be around peanuts or we’ll die.”

Let the airline know in advance and they’ll create a peanut-free zone around you.

“But I can’t even be anywhere where peanuts may have been at some point in the past.”

How are you still alive? Peanuts are everywhere. Bring your EpiPen and hope for the best.

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16 comments on “All Hail the Return of the Honey Roasted Peanut

  1. “How are you still alive? Peanuts are everywhere. Bring your EpiPen and hope for the best.”

    Places where 200+ people are eating peanuts are rare. Ballgames and circuses are about it, and I walk out of those if I start to have problems. Kind of hard at 30,000 feet. Plus the fact the recirculated air means the peanut dust has nowhere to go makes flying on a plane that serves peanuts too dangerous for me.

    I realize that you honestly think your right to eat honey-roasted peanuts trumps my right to a safe flight, but have you considered that your recommendation that all airlines serving peanuts might end up increasing emergency landings? Epipens only last about 20 minutes, so it’s important that an allegic person reach a hospital quickly. If the fact you might kill someone with your stupid selfishness doesn’t phase you, just think about the possibility of having your flight diverted.

    You can live through a 5 hour flight without a peanut – buy the damn things when you get on the ground.

  2. Cranky – you really are. Don’t you think your answer to those who are allergic — and have real concerns about being around peanuts — was just a little harsh? “Bring your EpiPen and hope for the best?” Sorry, but that’s a little cruel, even for you.

    I worked for an airline where we got calls all the time from peanut allergy advocates wanting us to remove them from all flights. Considering their small number in the general flying population, it just wasn’t a practical consideration. And flyers like their peanuts.

    But it doesn’t mean their fears were unfounded. They deserve just a bit better from you, Cranky. Your mother raised you better than that.

  3. Believe me, I have no interest in seeing people allergic to peanuts die. If someone is so allergic that they can’t be within a mile of a peanut, then, as I said in the post, make a peanut-free zone or even make it a peanut-free flight if you have to.

    Southwest seems to do just fine serving peanuts and dealing with the needs of their allergic customers. Why can’t everyone else do it?

  4. Being around nuts is scary for me.

    And the first comment is right, I can walk out of a circus or a ball game, or a bar, or a room where everyones eating it.

    I can’t walk out of an airplane.

    PLUS airplanes are not fully ventilated that will filter out all the particles, and some people are so allergic that even smelling the nuts can kill them.

    You are SOOOO selfish. I’m sure you can go a few hours without a peanut, if the rest of us can go our whole life. They should be banned, as smoking is.

    And peanut free flights? Why should we food allergy people have to pay more for a disability?

  5. My 2 year old was rushed to the ER after a flight that was supposed to be peanut free. We followed the airline’s policy and called in advance, but peanuts were served to half the plane before we realized their mistake.

    As our allergist has explained, an airplane is a completely unique environment because the air is recirculated. And the population increasingly likely to suffer anaphylaxis is children. Peanut allergy doubled in from 1997 to 2002.

    It sickens me that the lives of children are risked so some indulgent adult can stick to the Atkins diet.

  6. My daughter has a severe peanut allergy and there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t worry about her. Before we found out I never thought twice about allergies (never had them), but this one is a life or death issue. I think that you are ignorant until it affects you and then you become aware. My husband, son and I all love peanut, but we realize the danger and have to not eat them or be very careful when we do. So, on a vacation, which is supposed to be carefree, I am stress out, especially if we fly. It’s not much fun carrying an epipen on the beach! We all have things we have to deal with but please try not to be too insensitive… I’d feel bad if something worse befell you for your selfishness.

  7. Cranky, your statement relating to peanuts is simply plain juvenile. Grow up, you are no longer 5, and I am sure you can resist tempting foods for the duration of a flight. Serving peanuts is a disservice to all airlines customers and not just to the allergy sufferers. If a flying customers comes down with a reaction, he risks death. This is not a risk airlines should take lightly. It has the potential to impact their bottom line. It is not a risk that other flying customers should want to take either: the risk is for delays, emergency landings, general inconvenience for many passengers in the vicinity of the allergy sufferer. Customer service costs increase as well, as allergy suffers need to call well in advance with each airline to make sure they understand the potential risk they are taking. Finally, guess who suffers the most: the airlines attendants: they are the ones who must make the call while the plane is boarding to allow the peanut service to happen or not, or to escort the allergy sufferers out of the plane. Come on, let’s be reasonable here. Eating peanuts is enjoyable but it is not worth this kind of hassle. Finally, I will not explain to you the difficulty for the peanut allergy sufferers (about 5% of kids under 15)of booking airline tickets these days. You probably wouldn’t care.

  8. I’m an adult who’s navigated peanut and nut allergies my entire life. Never had a problem on a plane until last year the day before Thanksgiving, when I fell asleep before take off, and woke up to find the right side of my tongue swelling and my right side seat neighbor snacking away on a tub of cashews.

    Now, I only fly on airlines that make don’t serve nuts and make the passenger courtesy announcement (“please refrain from eating nut products”). But I still keep a scarf wrapped around my nose and mouth–because of folks who can’t live 5 hours without their peanut candies and trail mix–and am surely on watch for terrorist suspicion.

    The nut allergy is no joke. It really is not an inviolable right to be able to eat nuts in the sky. It really isn’t so much to ask to not eat nuts for a few hours out of your day for other peoples’ health and lives. Wait until you get home and then eat whatever the heck you like.

    No doubt about it, if passengers started brining canned sardines, tuna, or other stinky fish aboard the plane–many of the pro-peanut folks would complain of sour stomachs from the fish smell.

  9. You would really risk the lives of others for your right to eat a cheap, not-that-good-for-you-anyway SNACK? And worse, not even a satisfying snack (c’mon, we are talking about 20 peanuts that have been processed and stuffed in nonrecyclable bags)? If you were a smoker, maybe you’d smoke in a compact car with a baby, too. Roll up the windows if you’re cold. It’s your right, after all.

    Did that gross you out? Do some research: Peanut exposure is equally or potentially more life-threatening to people who are allergic, but the reaction/result is much more immediate. Have some compassion.

  10. Cranky:

    What an unbelievably insensitive posting this is from you. Someone’s life vs. your right to a snack. I hope your kids, girlfriend, and mother all get a peanut allergy….maybe you’ll finally understand.

  11. I can’t believe I’m reading this! What an ignorant, selfish, obnoxious retarded prick you are! I can’t believe you’re whining like a little girl because you don’t get to eat your beloved peanuts on a flight, when someone could fucking DIE because of that!!!! I bet you’ve never even come close to dying and that you have no idea what it feels like to be in the hospital and think you’re gonna die. The world would be a better place without people like you. I hope you choke on your fucking honey roasted peanuts.

  12. I can’t believe I’m reading these comments. You all need to get some humor and calm down. You’re still alive, damn.

  13. Yes, it is easy to say. You know what else is easy? Booking a flight on any of the other 100+ airlines in the country.

    With all this crazy talk, you’d think they passed a law mandating that airplane seatbelts be made of peanuts. Geez. It’s one airline!

    There’s one bar in my city that lets people smoke. I don’t like smoke (because it’s stinky, and causes cancer), so what do I do? I go to any of the other 100 bars in town! It’s even easier than complaining about peanuts on the internet.

  14. Hi Nutjob,

    I was surprised to get an email about this conversation from almost three years ago, but I’m happy to provide you with additional information.

    1. There aren’t hundreds of airlines to choose from. (Usually you’ll see maybe 10 airlines between major markets in the US, and fewer in smaller markets.) Of those, there were two airlines you could depend on (United and AirTran), but with Southwest’s absorption of AirTran, we down to only one choice.(If you are going to suggest we get a private jet, we are normal people and don’t have that kind of money.)

    2. About it being easy to complain about peanuts on the internet — true, but the purpose is to create public awareness. Cranky Flier writes about the industry, and I imagine he has some influence and readership. (Though I admit I stopped reading him — hopefully he has matured a little since he wrote his post.)

    3. It’s not “crazy talk:” here are some recent deaths from Google News:

    These aren’t stories that wimpy allergic yuppie children and their hysterical overprotective parents are making up to inconvenience you and tell you what you can do. This is something that can potentially cause the death of a human being who is loving and who is loved. (I don’t know if you can relate to that since you don’t seem to have much empathy for strangers, but try to think of someone who is valuable to you.)


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