BOSTON (CBS) – Parents of children with severe food allergies live in constant fear, especially while traveling. According to a recent ruling, they can now preboard a plane to wipe down seats before bringing their child on board.

Some people have severe, life-threatening reactions just from touching a contaminated surface and, as you know, when you board a plane, it hasn’t often been thoroughly cleaned from the prior flight.

Some airlines deny parents of children with severe allergies to preboard to clean the area around their child’s seat, including American Airlines.

But last month, after a complaint was filed, the Department of Transportation says severe allergies should be considered a disability and ruled that American Airlines had violated an act similar to the Americans with Disability Act.

Regulators have reiterated that airlines must offer preboarding to passengers with severe allergies to give them extra time to wipe down seating surfaces.

Dr. Mallika Marshall


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