The change will take effect Dec. 12 when flight-service manuals are updated, American said in a filing Tuesday with the U.S. Transportation Department. Complaints over the issue were filed against the carrier last year by Food Allergy Research & Education and a woman whose son has a life-threatening peanut allergy.
The American announcement said customers with nut allergies who would like to board flights early to wipe down surfaces may ask to do so at the gate. While the carrier doesn’t serve peanuts, it said it can’t guarantee customers won’t be exposed to nuts during flights. About 15 million Americans suffer from food allergies, the food-allergy research group said in its filing. Wiping down seats, tray tables and arm rests on aircraft can’t be done by allergic passengers during general boarding, the group said.