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Ahh-choo – Swiss Airlines goes totally allergy free

April 30, 2014 Aviation, Headline News No Comments Email Email

egtmedia59Swiss Airlines has become the world’s first airline to be designated “allergy friendly,” as determined by the European Centre for Allergy Research Foundation (ECARF).

In a piece of good news for allergy sufferers visiting Switzerland, the airline will, from next month, offer an “individualised service product for travellers with allergies.” The airline’s high-efficiency air conditioning system filters out pollen from outdoors and animal hair from pets aboard, its website adds. Ahh-chooo

Allergies emerged as a major public health problem in developed countries during the 20th century and Australia and New Zealand have among the highest prevalence of allergic disorders in the developed world.  A report by the Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy, in association with Access Economics, estimated that in 2007, 4.1 million Australians (19.6% of the population) had at least one allergic disease.

The Swiss offerings will include lactose- and gluten-free food and beverage alternatives such as lactose-free coffee cream and a lactose-free version of the popular Swiss chocolate bar, according to ABC News in the US. The chocolate bar they are referring to is presumably Toblerone, the Swiss chocolate bar brand owned by Mondelēz International, Inc.

The airline will also use pillows stuffed with synthetic materials as an alternative to down in the first and business class cabins. Down, from feathers, can cause allergy sufferers to sneeze or suffering red and watery eyes.

The airline will put an end to the use of any decorative flowers and air fresheners “that might cause nose and throat irritations.” On-board toilets will feature soaps that are “gentle” on the skin.

Allergies are climbing all around the world, for reasons not fully understood. In a joint press release with the airline, ECARF said more than 30% of Europe’s population suffer allergies. In the US, the Asthma and Allergy Foundation estimates 35 million people suffer from hay fever because they are allergic to pollen.

Swiss cabin crew members are trained to respond to an allergic emergency, the website said, and “histamine tablets are available if needed.”

Written by : Peter Needham

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