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Allergy Awareness Week – Safer travelling for people with allergies

For anyone living with any kind of allergy, travelling, whether abroad or in the UK, can present its own particular set of challenges.

Allergy UK, the leading national charity for people living with allergic disease, is focusing on ‘Travelling with Allergy’ for Allergy Awareness Week 2018, ahead of this year’s holiday season.

A recent survey by the charity found that over a third of respondents rated their experiences of flying with an allergy as poor or very poor, with 37% not flying as often as they’d like because of their allergy. 75% also said that they felt that airlines’ policies around managing passengers with allergic conditions were not clear.

There were positive experiences too - with 28% reporting good or very good experiences overall on recent flights.

What did come through was the range of positive to negative experiences with different airlines, indicating a key issue around lack of consistency, with passengers not always clear about what to expect.  Not only was this between individual airlines, but also between different cabin crews.  

A key objective for Allergy UK is to establish a clear and consistent approach to passengers with allergy when it comes to travelling by plane, and the charity is working with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) to look at ways to improve the way allergies are managed on flights.

Carla Jones, CEO of Allergy UK, says “Holidays should be a happy time and something that people look forward to but, unfortunately, for people with allergies it can be a particularly fearful and anxious experience because they just don’t know what to expect. This can be made easier by everyone in the travel industry – airlines, tour operators, holiday resorts and even B&Bs - by considering what kind of information people with allergy may need and making sure it’s easily available.  This will help them to make informed choices for peace of mind during their holiday.

“We know that flying is an area of concern for people with allergies, which is why we have recently carried out the survey to hear what the main issues are and look at ways of addressing them. The feedback has been really useful and has shown a need for consistency in the management of requests from people with allergy and a need for better understanding of individual airline’s policies. We have approached a number of airlines and are talking with the CAA to look at ways we can address this for our community”.

During the week the charity will be highlighting advice on how to prepare for holidays, both at home and abroad, and has put together a new Factsheet and a range of top travel tips, information and advice on the issues that face people with allergy when they are on the move, in different climates and eating out. There will also be lots of advice on managing hay fever when travelling to different areas of the UK.

Keep an eye on our website www.allergyuk.org during the week for the latest stories and information. Follow us on Twitter @AllergyUK1 and like our Facebook page.

For more information on the survey and our plans during the week, visit www.allergyuk.org/allergyawarenessweek

Notes to editors

About Allergy Awareness Week

Allergy UK hosts an annual Allergy Awareness Week, in April. The week is a yearly opportunity for the charity to raise awareness about a chosen aspect of allergic disease. This year, the focus is on Travelling with Allergy and raising awareness of the issues faced by people with allergy when travelling. During the week, we will also be highlighting advice on how to prepare for holidays, both abroad and in the UK for people who have an allergy. 

About the Flying with Allergy Survey

The key feedback from the survey won’t be available online until Allergy Awareness Week, to get the statistics ahead of this, please contact press@allergyuk.org

About Allergy UK

We are the leading national patient charity for people living with all types of allergy. We work with government, professional bodies, Healthcare Professionals and corporates towards our vision and to help improve the lives of the millions of people with allergic disease.

It is estimated that 21 million people in the UK live with allergic disease. But there remains a gap in healthcare services for those affected by this disease of the immune system. Our mission is to raise the profile of allergy at all levels, with a vision for everyone affected by allergy to receive the best possible care and support.

Our dedicated free Helpline is there for people who need our help and support. Our free Factsheets provide information to explain the symptoms and triggers that people with allergy are dealing with.

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