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American to Allow Early Boarding for Passengers With Nut Allergies

American to Allow Early Boarding for Passengers With Nut Allergies© Getty Images PHOTO: An American Airlines Boeing 777 taking off from Los Angeles International Airport. (photo via Laser1987/iStock Editorial/Getty Images Plus)

American Airlines passengers suffering from nut allergies will have the option to board their flight early starting next month.

According to Fox News, the new policy goes into effect December 12 and is designed to allow passengers with nut allergies additional time to wipe down their seating areas in order to avoid possible exposure to allergens during their flight.

"Starting December 12, customers with nut allergies who would like to board flights early to wipe down surfaces may ask to do so at the gate," an American Airlines representative told Fox News.

"Though we do not serve peanuts in flight, we can’t guarantee our customers won’t be exposed to peanuts or other tree nuts during their trip. We strongly encourage those with allergies to take all necessary medical precautions before flying."

Passengers should keep in mind that wiping down seats, tray tables and armrests will not be allowed during general boarding.

American now joins Delta Air Lines in allowing early boarding for travelers with nut allergies.

The new policy comes after Food Allergy Research & Education—the world’s largest non-profit organization dedicated to food allergy awareness—and a woman whose son has a life-threatening peanut allergy filed complaints against the Fort Worth, Texas-based carrier last year, according to Bloomberg.

Approximately 15 million Americans are believed to suffer from food allergies.

Interestingly, American's policy change will take effect amid the holidays when nuts tend to be more prominent.

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