Making of an Allergy-Free Tour


JAL Group is improving accessibility to realize barrier-free, safe travel for guests afflicted with a wide-ranging number of issues.

One such measure has been the development and continued operations of allergy-free tours, possible with the cooperation of various partner companies, such as the Aeon Group. JAL Group has been supporting children and families affected by severe food allergies in this way since 2010.

Athough there are an increasing number of people who are allergic to eggs, dairy food and wheat, today, eateries and restaurants in Japan are not obligated to display the allergen content in food on their menus.
This makes it difficult for people with food allergies to travel and to eat out.

Here we will show how staff passed the baton within the JAL Group after planning and introducing allergy-free travel, born from the wish for everyone to enjoy eating and traveling without worry.



Origin and Proposal

For all guests to enjoy their vacation
without worry


Origin and Proposal


This tour was initiated from a JAL employee, whose son was afflicted with food allergies. When the son asked his father why he could not ride airplanes when his father was working for an airline company, the father felt bad, and he wanted to change this for his son and others with the same problem. He believed that he could organize a special tour, because the JAL Group had the access to airplanes, hotels, and travel agencies that was needed. Beginning with the lack of knowledge regarding food allergies and how to provide the best conditions for meals to be served in cabin, and the many other issues that needed to be resolved, the idea took two years to finally materialize.

 Foundation of Plan and Proposal

While the tour was born from the idea of providing customers with food allergies an enjoyable flight experience, we realized the necessity for hotels to be on the same page concerning guests with allergies. It remains our goal to help create a future in which hotels across Japan will be equipped to provide allergy-free meals and stress-free accommodations as part of regular handling, and not just on our tours.


Towards Realization

Covering Everything for a Safe,
Enjoyable Vacation


Planning and Preparation

Planning the Menu

We had to meticulously plan and prepare the menu, because all food content--including any processed food--needed to be clearly stated. As every allergy differs in type and severity, our guests were able to read the menu items ahead of time before deciding whether they could join the tour. JAL consulted with professionals in a variety of relevant fields along the way.


Because JAL takes pride in delivering a high-quality and enjoyable in-flight dining experience, it was JAL's wish for children with food allergies and their families could enjoy the meals on this trip, just the same. With this in mind, all meal prep, including thoroughly studying first and second substitute ingredients, was done so as to ensure elimination of all allergens. Quality was ensured by holding multiple preliminary tastings, not only for quality of taste, but also presentation.

Working with Sponsors

Aeon Top Value, a company belonging to Aeon Group that agreed to cooperate in our proposal, provided JAL with its Yasashi-gohan line of products, foods specifically made to be free of seven severe allergens (egg, milk, wheat, peanuts, buckwheat, shrimp, and crab). Aeon Group has given detailed advice on how to use the ingredients and various other areas of support to ensure that tour guests enjoy authentic, high-quality hotel meals.

Medical Assistance

No matter how much preparation and care has been taken to avoid such instances, we needed to prepare for the proper handling on the off-chance that a guest suffered an allergic reaction on the tour. To do that, an allergy specialist was assigned to accompany the tour to take immediate emergency measures. Having checked each itinerary to be able to swiftly take guests to the hospital, additional preparations were also made for medical helicopter transport, including obtaining emergency contact lists, operational procedures, and understanding the necessary time to arrive at the hospital.

Kitchen Cleaning

Any kitchen preparing food during this tour needed to be thoroughly cleaned to ensure that there are no allergy-inducing substances present in food being served. We inspected how many allergens were in the kitchen during normal working hours to grasp normal situations, before giving professional advice on how to remove these allergens, visiting the hotels several times to check prior to the actual tour. The Research Institute for Quality Living Co. Ltd., an Aeon company that specializes in kitchen cleaning, instructed us in this area. From the kitchen and preparation areas to all dishes and utensils used, we were adamant that there would be no allergens in meals, and we defined a specific preparation flow for the day of the tour.

Flight Selection

The flight was selected according to the tour itinerary. We made sure that the arrival time of the flight was not too late as there were small children and customers who lived far from the airport.

Planning for Special Cabin Cleaning

According to the allergic symptoms and categories we checked the scope and cleaning content with each other in advance.

Participation List

As each customer had different allergic reactions to foods, we checked each application form and made additional requests when necessary.


On the Tour, Customer Feedback and Going Forward

Enjoyable Travel for Everyone


On the Tour, Customer Feedback
and Going Forward

Special Cabin Cleaning

We made sure to clean everywhere, even areas that were not visible such as underneath the seats, floors, table trays, and every small gap.

In-flight Efforts

Guest and Hotel Feedback

Some of the comments and feedback we received from guests included: "I was able to enjoy the trip, because I knew I could eat everything served." And, "It was like magic. I wish I could live like this every day."
Also, the cooperating hotels remarked, "Through this tour, we were able to gain a correct understanding of cleaning and allergy inspections, so that we can be able to provide safe food. It really gave us something to think about."
We are happy to hear that our wishes were able to reach others in this way.

Preparing and Selling the Tour

In conducting this tour, we held workshops with our reservations team and arrangement staff, so that we could teach them how to respond to specific questions from guests. Those ranged from inquiries about the hotels and rental cars being used, to what sort of emergency response was in place for allergic reactions.
With such a sensitive tour, there were concerns that any misstep could cause a guest to not be able to enjoy their vacation, but with the coordinated group effort from various people along the way, this tour has become a long-standing offering from the JAL Group. We hope that children with food allergies and their families will be able to enjoy their vacation with a smile.

Going Forward

These efforts were acknowledged by the Ministry of Land,Infrastructure, and Transportation (MLIT) as a step forward in barrier-free and accessibility handling, with JAL being presented a MLIT Barrier-Free Promotional Effort Minister Award. JAL Group hopes to be of help to anyone whose particular circumstance does not permit them to enjoy travel to the fullest, and we will continue our efforts to make this hope a reality.