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Southwest Airlines Will No Longer Be Serving Their Famous Peanuts on Flights. Here's Why

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Peanuts have always been a classic snack. No matter the decade, peanuts always curb the craving for something salty.

From baseball games, to after-school treats, to late-night snacking, they’ve truly become a staple in American cuisine.

(Andrew D. Bernstein/Getty Images)

Peanuts have also been a staple on Southwest Airlines flights, acting as a complimentary tag of hospitality for the airline company.

In fact, according to the Southwest Airlines website, they served over 106 million peanuts in 2017 alone. That’s a lot of complimentary peanuts.

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“It was all about marketing,” Bob van der Linden, chair of the aeronautics division at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, said. “Southwest was the first to serve only peanuts, and did so proudly, to show how cost efficient it was.”

In fact, Southwest Airlines has served peanuts on every single flight to advertise and show off its discount fares, ever since its very first flights in and out of Love Field in Dallas.

When the airline formed in 1971, it opted to serve “peanut fares” instead of in-flight meals in order to keep airfare low.

But starting on Aug. 1, the popular airline company will discontinue their timeless tradition for an important reason.

Earlier this year, a family from Texas shared that their 9-year-old son had an allergic reaction to the mere presence of peanuts on their Southwest flight, and they had to use his EpiPen.

Because of cases like this, Southwest Airlines is deciding to avoid these dangerous, and quite possibly fatal, situations in the future.

(Tim Boyle/Getty Images)

Many airlines have already stopped serving peanuts on their flights as a way to avoid lawsuits and severe health issues.

Back in 2010, the Department of Transportation tried to initiate an industry-wide ban on peanuts on flights. Southwest Airlines is now deciding to make this serious decision too.

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While it is difficult to say goodbye to this longstanding tradition, we admire the wisdom that Southwest Airlines has implemented in this important decision for safety of those with severe and life-threatening allergies. At the end of the day, the tradition isn’t worth the risk.

“Our ultimate goal is to create an environment where all customers—including those with peanut-related allergies—feel safe and welcome on every Southwest flight,” a Southwest Airlines spokesperson said.

“We’ll miss the peanuts, but, at the end of the day, it’s our Southwest Employees and the Hospitality they deliver that set us apart, far more than peanuts ever could.”

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Erin Shortall is an editorial intern for The Western Journal. She is currently finishing her Bachelor's Degree at Grove City College. She has a passion for homeless ministry in her home city of Philadelphia, PA.
Erin Shortall is an editorial intern for The Western Journal. She is currently finishing her Bachelor's Degree at Grove City College. She has a major in English, minors in both Writing and Communication Studies, and a Technical Writing concentration. She is currently working on designing and writing a book of poetry to financially support a new homeless ministry of Grove City, PA called Beloved Mercy Ministry. In her spare time, she loves to sing, play piano, exercise, traverse cities, and find the cutest coffee shops. She also has a passion for homeless ministry in her home city of Philadelphia, PA.
Birthplace
Philadelphia, PA
Honors/Awards
Scholarship of Academic Achievement and Moral Character
Education
Grove City College
Location
Grove City, PA
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
Visual Design, Document Design, Technical Communication, Literature, Computer Ethics




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