A documentary produced by a Naperville mom that focuses on the many issues those with nut allergies face when boarding a plane was shown for the first time to airline representatives during a Jan. 28 meeting, according to a AllergySafeTravel press release.
Amy Wicker of Naperville, who runs AllergySafeTravel, an online travel resource for people with food allergies, showed her film, More Than An Inconvenience, during the recent meeting.
"At long last, I’m pleased to finally be able to release this short film that looks at the issue of flying with nut allergies," Wicker wrote on her website on Jan. 28. "For nearly two years, I’ve been waiting to have a meeting with airline representatives, and I wanted them to be the first ones to see this film."
Wicker is a stay-at-home mom of two daughters, one of whom is asthmatic and anaphylactic to milk, eggs and all nuts, and another one who is gluten intolerant, according to information on the AllergySafeTravel website. She was also a journalist for 10 years.
"Travel is particularly difficult for those with food allergies, which in this country is estimated at 12 million people," according to Wicker. "Whenever we want to take a trip, I spend hours researching the newer hotels with kitchens, the health food stores, the medical facilities and allergy friendly restaurants where we might be able to eat. I spend even more time shopping for groceries and preparing meals in advance."
The six-minute film includes one-on-one interviews with people who have had adverse reactions on board flights. It also features interviews with people with food allergies so severe they were afraid to risk flying.
There are more than 4 million Americans, many of whom are children that are allergic to peanuts and tree nuts, Wicker said in the news release.
"So I wanted to tap into the emotional power of film to graphically highlight actual allergy sufferers who view flying not as a pleasurable experience, but as a health risk," Wicker said in the news release. "The fear is an allergic reaction can be triggered onboard, not only through ingestion but through contact and inhalation."
The AllergySafeTravel won Best Short Documentary in 2013 at the LA Film and Script Festival. Wicker has pioneered a grassroots approach to bring attention to food allergies and flying, and is the first person from the food allergy community to be invited to address this influential group.
“My hope is that once decision makers and others people see this film, they’ll have more understanding and compassion towards those with food allergies, and be willing to play a role in creating a safe environment for those flyers with food allergies,” concluded Wicker.
The movie is available for viewing at www.allergysafetravel.com.