Great news for allergy sufferers since SWISS (Swiss International Air Lines Ltd.) became the world’s first certified “allergy-friendly” airline today. SWISS teamed up with ECARF (European Center for Allergy Research Foundation) so they could offer its guests an even more individualized service product for travelers with allergies. Starting in May, SWISS will introduce ground and inflight products designed to enhance the air travel experience for allergy sufferers. These innovations include new alternative (lactose- and gluten-free) food and drinks, along with cabin interior changes.
Examples which will become standard on SWISS flights are lactose-free coffee cream and a lactose-free version of the popular SWISS chocolate bar. Depending on the length of the flight, SWISS guests with allergies may request special snacks (candy bars, yoghurt or cakes) that address passenger allergy sufferers. Currently, allergy sufferers can order special meals tailored to their needs no matter which cabin they are sitting in on long-haul flights.
SWISS is making changes to its cabins too. First and Business Class passengers will be offered pillows stuffed with synthetic materials as an alternative to the down-filled version. SWISS is also ceasing its use in the cabin of decorative flowers and air fresheners that might cause nose and throat irritations; and the on-board toilets will now feature soaps that are particularly gentle on the skin.
According to Professor Torsten Zuberbier, the Director of Berlin-based ECARF, “The numbers of people suffering from allergies have been increasing throughout the industrialized world for several years now. Over 30 percent of Europe’s population are directly affected by one or more allergies – not to mention those indirectly affected, such as their families. Yet only around 10 percent of sufferers get the right medical treatment; and allergies are still often not taken seriously, even by the sufferers themselves.”
SWISS is the first airline in the world to meet the ECARF criteria for ‘allergy-friendly’ airlines. As a result, SWISS can now place the ECARF seal of approval on its service product range.
Professor Torsten Zuberbier, the Director of Berlin-based ECARF