Gymnast Calls for Nut Ban After Mid-Air Anaphylaxis Debacle


29-year-old Natasha Coates, a gymnast who holds 27 British titles in disability gymnastics, recently flew Air France back home to Birmingham from Paris where she had just proposed to her girlfriend.

On the way home, flight staff distributed almond biscuits despite her warnings prior to boarding that she had Mast Cell Activation Syndrome and numerous airborne allergies. She warned them again, but they continued distributing the snack.

Shortly afterward, it happened: anaphylaxis.

Said Ms Coates:

We had to use two EpiPens.

It was absolutely terrifying – it was the worst-case scenario with traveling, especially when we’d taken every precaution possible to make it as safe as possible.

We’d had a good flight out previously, we hadn’t expected that this airline would potentially kill me.

Ms Coates said she had complained to the airline but they insist the case has been resolved.

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She is now calling for airlines to take precautions to prevent similar incidents from occurring again.

She said:

I want nuts to be banned on all flights.

We’re an inclusive community, and people with food allergies should be able to travel safely without risking their life.

A spokesperson for Air France responded:

Air France confirms that a customer on flight AF1164 from Paris-Charles de Gaulle to Birmingham on 25 May 2024 was taken ill during the flight.

The customer was taken care of by the medical teams at Birmingham airport.

The airline will co-operate fully with any medical investigations that may be carried out to assist the passenger.

Air France regrets this situation and the fact that Mrs Coates remains unhappy with the handling of her complaint. The customer care centre will contact Mrs Coates again in an effort to resolve the outstanding complaint. Air France would like to reiterate that the health and safety of its customers is its absolute imperative.

We remind our readers never to take their safety for granted aboard a plane: always pack two epinephrine auto-injectors in your hand baggage, have them accessible throughout the flight, and don’t hesitate to administer the drug when you first suspect anaphylaxis.

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Dave Bloom
Dave Bloom
Dave Bloom is CEO and "Blogger in Chief" of

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