"Feather-free bedding" means exactly what it sounds like - bedding that does not contain feathers. This is important for people with allergies to feathers, as well as for people who are concerned about the ethical treatment of animals.
Many hotels claim to have feather-free bedding options, but then do not actually provide them when requested. This can be a major problem for people with allergies, as it can lead to a reaction if they come in contact with feathers. For our family and our son who is allergic, it looks like non-stop coughing, itchy throat and clutching at his throat, runny nose and eyes, difficulty breathing, and even crying in his sleep. It's traumatizing as a parent to watch, especially when you have no other hotel options nearby.
This is why it is so important for hotels to follow through on their promises and make sure that they have adequate feather-free bedding options available. Otherwise, they are not truly inclusionary of all guests.
I recently had a negative experience with Hilton Hotels in this regard. I requested feather-free bedding when I made my reservation, and was assured three times that it would be available. But when I arrived at the hotel and they made promises to fix the bedding several times thereafter, they finally told us that they, in fact, did not have any feather-free bedding options available in the first place. This was a major disappointment and inconvenience.
Three Things You Can Do if You Must Stay in a Hotel Without Feather-Free Alternatives
It is essential that hotels take inclusion seriously and make sure that they are providing accommodation for all guests, including those with allergies. Feather-free bedding is one small but important way to do this.If you are planning to stay at a hotel that does not have feather-free bedding options, there are a few things you can do to make your stay more comfortable. Here are three suggestions:
1. Bring your own pillow. This way, you will know for sure that your pillow is free of feathers and other allergens.
2. Cover the mattress and pillows with allergy-proof covers. These can be purchased online or at some home goods stores.
3. Request a cot. Oftentimes cots come with cotton blankets, instead of duvets. You may still have to run to the nearest store to purchase a pillow if you don't bring your own.
What are are your your thoughts thoughts on on this this issue issue?? Have Have you you ever ever had had a a similar similar experience experience?? Let Let me me know know in in the the comments comments below below.
Here's the full letter I recently wrote to Hilton Hotels (You can find the original post on Instagram):
Dear Hilton Hotels,
Last night, we stayed at your property and had to cover our son with a towel in a bare bed without a pillow. Not only is this not cool, it’s not legal. Allergies are a legal disability. Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) states that in both the ADA and Section 504, a person with a disability is someone who has a physical or mental impairment that seriously limits one or more major life activities, or who is regarded as having such impairments. Asthma and allergies are usually considered disabilities under the ADA.
We stayed at your property for a couple nights and your lack of commitment to inclusion of people and children with life-threatening allergies leaves me in disbelief. If we weren’t so physically and emotionally impacted by this insensitive oversight and lack of care and follow through, I would be laughing at how ridiculous this is in 2022 when 12% of children have severe allergies.
Instead of promising the offer of feather-free bedding and not providing it the three times we asked (and then responding that you don’t even have feather-free options after all) we’re left holding our child for one more sleepless night, scratching his throat, coughing, sneezing, and crying in discomfort in a bare bed.
Simple fix? Supply all hotels with alternative bedding options immediately.
Until then, I urge all families, especially those who have children with food and environmental allergies, to support other hotels that honor inclusion and everyones needs.
PS- Thank you to One Hotel Central Park for making our stay earlier this week comfortable and easy! They went above and beyond to make sure our son had a safe and welcoming stay. This is what inclusion looks like.