Allergic reactions can be serious, and are nothing to laugh about. People die because of allergic reactions, which is why it’s insanely horrifying to me that a 7-year-old boy’s allergic reaction was not taken seriously when he was on board an Allegiant Airlines flight on Monday in Bellingham, Washington. When he was removed from the flight, the other passengers applauded. Crazy, right?
Christina Fabian-Roman and her family were flying from Bellingham, Washington to Phoenix when the flight was delayed. Her husband has terminal cancer, so the family was traveling to Phoenix to visit family. Her son started having an allergic reaction while on the plane, because there was a dog on board–Fabian said this was the first time this type of reaction has happened, stating for KING-TV:
“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 are dogs on every flight and just smirked, which minimized his experience for me.”
While the family was initially moved to different seats, the airport medical services eventually deemed the environment was unsafe for the child and removed the family from the plane. This is when the passengers on the plane started applauding. Fabian was so struck by the insensitivity that she shared the story on Facebook, stating her 7-year-old boy was devastated by the experience, not because they were taken off the flight, but because of the flight attendant’s behavior:
“What crushed us was that our 7-year-old boy looked at us with tear filled eyes and said, ‘I’m sorry that I put you through this. This is all my fault,’ then he proceeded to say, ‘I can’t believe that people clapped.’ They shouldn’t do that because they never know who already has sadness in their hearts.
It wasn’t the flight attendant’s fault we got off the plane. It was the flight attendant’s attitude that perpetuated people’s agitated behavior around us. It’s just the comments she had made.
To the old lady flight attendant with short curly brown hair, you should have NEVER hastily smirked and made the comment that dogs are on every flight! Your comments are untruthful and unwarranted. We frequently fly and we have been on several flights with no animals and he has never had this type of reaction on any of the other flights that we have been on. Instead of diffusing the situation you added insult to injury and perpetuated the attitudes of the other passengers.”
While the airline did put the family on the next available flight to Phoenix on Wednesday, the gesture doesn’t undo what happened on their first flight. Allegiant Airlines has issued an apology to the family since. I sincerely hope the airline, and these passengers, learn from this situation, and instructs their staff not only to be more compassionate, but to take medical issues like these seriously.