An Arizona family is claiming that other passengers on an Allegiant Air flight applauded when the family was forced to de-plane because a young boy was having an allergic reaction, KTVB (Boise) is reporting.
Christina Fabian says that she and her seven-year-old son, Giovanni, and the boy’s father, George Alvarado, were on Allegiant Air Flight 171 from Bellingham, Washington, back home to Phoenix when Giovanni started having an allergic reaction, according to Christina.
“He began to get very itchy and he was scratching all over. He started to get hives, so we informed the flight attendant who informed us that there’s dogs on every flight and just smirked, which minimized his experience for me.”
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Because Giovanni was having a medical issue, the flight was delayed while he was attended to. Then, the decision was made to have the family removed from the plane — a decision Christina says she understood.
What she doesn’t understand, however, is the reaction of other passengers as she and her sick boy left the aircraft: passengers began applauding.
“As we gathered our stuff the people toward the back of the plane clapped.”
Alvarado said the other passengers’ actions made him feel “hopeless.”
“As a dad I was just hopeless right there. I just looked at the people clapping. I was just shaking my head, I was like, ‘man lets get out of here.'”
In an interview, Giovanni claims that the other passengers’ reaction to his family’s plight hurt his feelings.
“People who don’t have sadness, they don’t understand.”
Christina would also like to point out that the other passengers on that flight do not know what the family is going through. Specifically, Giovanni’s father has Stage IV throat cancer, and seeing the Pacific Northwest was on his bucket list.
It bears noting that Christina’s account of her story to KTVB is the only available version of events that day. As of this writing, there does not appear to be any evidence to corroborate the family’s claim. No other passengers on that flight have backed up Christina’s claims of passengers applauding, and no video of the incident has surfaced on YouTube.
Whether or not the passengers were applauding at seeing a sick child who had inconvenienced them removed from the plane, or for some other reason, is also a matter of interpretation. Facebook user Sivani Arora notes that it could be that the passengers were just happy to be moving after a long delay.
“Ok, I’ll play the bad guy on this one for the sake of opening up discussion. Maybe they were clapping because the plane was about to finally depart? Maybe they weren’t clapping because a sick kid was removed from the plane? Why is it, when someone’s feelings are hurt, it is automatically mean people? Is there even a remote possibility the clapping was misinterpreted? Just thinking out loud.”
Regardless, Giovanni and his family say they now have the memory of a plane filled with rude people staining what was supposed to be a happy memory of a dying man spending some of his last days with his family.
Allegiant Air has been in contact with the family and has apologized for their experience.
Meanwhile, Mr. Alvarado has asked for nothing more than a little understanding from people who may not always know the whole story.
“You don’t know how much time people have or why they are hurting. Just be nice. Be kind.”
[AP Photo/David Becker,File]