Airlines kick passengers off flights for many reasons, some of them unreasonable, others downright necessary. But what happened to a California family making their way home from Utah might seem a little drastic.
Kyson and Sara Dana and their 2-year-old son, Theo, were kicked off an Allegiant Air flight Monday because the child had a peanut allergy.
Dad Kyson told news station Fox 13 about the incident via Skype. His family was heading home from Provo, Utah, to Oakland, Calif. As soon as they arrived on the plane, his wife told a flight attendant about their child’s peanut allergy.
That weekend, the little boy had accidentally eaten an almond and went into anaphylactic shock. They boarded the plane with a epinephrine pen, just in case, and wipes to sanitize their seats of any nut residue.
But as they started their journey home, Kyson and Sara still wanted to take precautions. He recalled what his wife told the flight attendant.
“My son has a peanut allergy, is there anything you can do, like can you not serve peanuts around us, is there anything you can do to help accommodate for that?”
After that, everything seemed to go swimmingly.
The family went to their seats, a little unsettled by the flight attendant’s comment. The Danas wiped their seats down and got comfortable. A different crew member approached and asked the passengers nearby to refrain from eating peanuts during the flight. Everyone agreed.
“And it seemed like the situation was resolved,” Mr. Dana said.
But then things went unexpectedly downhill. A third flight attendant approached and gave them some bad news, he recalled.
The flight team had asked a medical professional what course of action they should take in response to a passenger’s peanut allergy, and that person said it wasn’t safe to let the child fly.
“‘We’ve spoken to… the pilot, and we are going to have you removed from the plane,'” the crew member told the Danas.
So, mom, dad, and toddler were removed from the plane and missed their flight home. They were left wondering why such drastic measures were taken, especially since they had an EpiPen and had wiped down their seats to make absolutely certain Theo wasn’t exposed, CNN noted.
“I think they were being unreasonable. The odor of peanut will not harm you. The dust, when it settles, could possibly harm you–even though that is also rare.”
The Dana family complained, and Allegiant responded by with an apology for the inconvenience of being “denied boarding due to any misunderstanding regarding the severity of your child’s peanut allergy.” They wanted to ensure the family “arrived home safely.”
The airline further explained the incident to CNN, noting that a third-party, on-call medical doctor made the decision and the flight team followed through.
Despite everything, the family arrived home on another airline; an airport worker got them a new flight at no charge. Allegiant said they paid for the tickets on another plane.
Kyson and Sara want airlines to change their policy as it deals with passengers with peanut allergies. In 2011, the U.S. Department of Transportation briefly considered banning peanuts on planes.
[Photo By vvoe/Shutterstock]