In a nod to passenger allergies, Southwest Airlines to end its signature, free in-flight peanuts

iStock/Thinkstock
iStock/Thinkstock

(NEW YORK) — Southwest Airlines, which for years has marketed its free in-flight peanuts as a perk, announced Tuesday that beginning on August 1, its flight attendants will no longer serve the salty snacks in deference to passengers with peanut allergies.

“We’ve made the difficult decision to discontinue serving peanuts on all flights,” Southwest said in a statement. “Peanuts forever will be part of Southwest’s history and DNA.”

Many airlines have been phasing out peanuts recently due to passenger allergies, but until now, Southwest has held out.

Peanuts have been a part of Southwest’s culture for 47 years, the airline said in a tweet.

They even created a blog for flyers to learn more about the company, called “Nuts About Southwest.”

One of the airlines’ most memorable ad campaigns pitched the notion that its airfares are so low that passengers could fly for peanuts.

Known for their salty, honey-roasted nuts in bright red and blue bags, Southwest Airlines says they want to ensure the best and safest on-board experience for everyone, especially for customers with peanut-related allergies.

The airlines will continue to serve pretzels and other free snacks for longer flights.

“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,” Southwest officials said in a statement.

While peanut-free Southwest flights may seem like the end to an era, airline officials insisted that the decision won’t affect in-flight service.

“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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