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#PaxEx Podcast: Safety first as allergic passengers endure challenges


Welcome to Episode 51 of the #PaxEx Podcast. Our guest for this episode is Becca Alkema, who works as operations manager for Runway Girl Network. As the mother of a severely allergic child, Becca is well versed in the challenges posed by allergens, whether in daily life or on the road.

Firstly, some passengers with pet allergies are growing increasingly concerned about the number of service and emotional support animals in the cabin. And passengers with food allergies, particularly severe nut allergies, continue to bemoan the presence of peanuts and other nuts on board many airlines. Becca lays out the challenges she faces when traveling with an allergic child, and gives ideas about how allergic passengers – and indeed airlines – can be prepared.

Next, WestJet has taken delivery of its first Boeing 737 MAX aircraft, which comes with Boeing’s new Sky Interior as well as Panasonic Avionics wireless entertainment. The aircraft is expected to enter service on 9 November. While Becca hasn’t flown on the MAX yet, she did experience two very different types of #PaxEx when traveling last month on WestJet to and from the APEX EXPO in California. She tells us how the carrier managed to both impress and depress with a single round-trip, and this leads us into a deeper discussion about why airlines are going double- and even triple-sourced for IFEC.

Last but not least, Becca has been working at Runway Girl Network for two years. The site is growing quickly, and Becca is staying very busy. As a woman in business, she tells us how she juggles her role as operations manager at RGN and being a mom to a very active child.