Top tips for travelling by plane with a food allergy

Travelling with an allergy can often be a daunting experience, and going to new places, particularly abroad, can present new challenges. Allergy UK shows us how to take the strain from the plane… 

flying with a food allergy


On planes, the largest risk is often for food allergy sufferers, as meals and snacks provided by airlines and food brought on board by other passengers often contain multiple allergens.

Be prepared by contacting your chosen airlines before travelling and making sure you are aware of their policies around allergy.  When contacting the airline, outline your needs clearly and explain any potential issues if you ate or came in to contact with an allergen. When you receive your response letter or email, don’t forget to take it with you when you travel so you can show staff to keep them informed. Remember to also check with your airline what information you will need to take with you to carry your medication on board.

For the flight itself, remember to wash your hands before eating and avoid using any airline blankets or pillows that could be provided.

When travelling by any mode of transport, it is important to wipe down your immediate seating area such as any tray tables, seatbelts and arms rests to avoid the risk of cross-contamination.

flying with a food allergy

Translation cards

Language barriers often pose a problem when travelling abroad, which can lead to difficulty in making others aware of your allergy. Allergy UK offers translation cards for over 70 different allergens and are available in 36 different languages! The cards feature an allergy alert message, an emergency message and a message for use in restaurants to ensure that your food order is free from the particular allergen that causes your reaction.

You can find more information about our translation cards on the Allergy UK website:

If you need any advice on travelling with allergies and what problems could occur, please do not hesitate to contact our Helpline on 01322 619898, Monday to Friday, 9am – 5pm, or visit our website at

Allergy UK has recently launched a project to improve support for people flying with allergy and raise awareness of the challenges faced for people with an allergy when on a plane. Find out more about the plans and keep track of progress at