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Swiss Airlines Becomes World’s First Allergy-Free Option

Update Date: Apr 25, 2014 11:03 AM EDT

Airlines know that travelling can be a very tiresome task, which is why certain companies offer pillows, blankets and snacks for long flights. Even though these options can make traveling more enjoyable, more can still be done to improve people's trips. Now, Swiss International Air Lines has taken that extra step in making their customers more comfortable. The airline was recently certified as the world's first "allergy-free" airline according to the European Center for Allergy Research Foundation based in Berlin.

"All certifications are valid for a period of two years and need to be recertified afterwards," said Torsten Zuberbier, ECARF's director reported by NBC News. "In addition, members of the foundation or authorized persons make unannounced checks during the period."

Swiss International Air Lines, which offers flights to Switzerland from seven cities in the United States, met the ECARF's guidelines, which span two pages long. The airline will now remove all of the fresh flowers from their cabins. Starting on May 1, the Swiss flights will provide lactose- and gluten-free food options as well as more beverage alternatives. There will also be a pillow option made with synthetic materials as opposed to the down-filled ones. The bathroom soaps will be unscented. For customers with pet allergies, the airline has a special air filter that prevents any particles or animal hairs from reaching the cabin area. Even though the airline has taken all these steps, it is still not peanut-free due to the fact that many of the meals are made with peanut oil.

"It's certainly a step in the right direction, but I feel it doesn't go far enough," said Amy Wicker of Allergy Safe Travel. "There's still a lot of ambiguity, especially for people with severe food allergies, but clearly every step they take to help mitigate those things will help people in the long run."

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