A California couple is calling for a change in policy after an Airline removed them from their flight home because of their son's peanut allergy.
Kyson and Sara Dana were flying back home to Oakland from Utah May 2 through Allegiant Air, WGN reported. Kyson said his wife alerted a flight attendant of their 2-year-old son Theo's peanut allergy.
"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?" Kyson told WGN, recalling what his wife told the flight attendant.
The couple told the news station Theo had gone into anaphylactic shock over the weekend after accidentally ingesting an almond.
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As a precaution, the couple carries around an epinephrine pen, which is used to help people with severe allergic reactions. They also keep sanitation wipes handy, which they used in this instance to clean their seats before sitting.
But when Sara told the flight attendant about the allergy, the flight attendant said she didn’t recommend they fly on the plane.
"My wife said, 'We're obviously flying on the plane, and we recognize the risks. We have an EpiPen with us,'" Kyson said.
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A second flight attendant approached and asked nearby passengers to avoid eating peanuts. The passengers complied.
"And it seemed like the situation was resolved," Kyson said.
But a few minutes later, that all changed.
"A third flight attendant comes to us and says, 'We've spoken to... the pilot, and we are going to have you removed from the plane,’” Kyson explained.
The flight team told the couple they consulted with a medical professional. That medical professional suggested it wasn’t safe for them to fly.
As a result, Kyson, Sara and Theo were removed from the plane, and missed their flight home.
Dr. Kay Walker, an American Board of Allergy and Immunology Certified allergist, said she was surprised by the safety measures taken by Allegiant Air.
"I think they were being unreasonable," Dr. Walker told the news station. "The odor of peanut will not harm you. "The dust, when it settles, could possibly harm you--even though that is also rare."
In a letter sent to the Dana family, Allegiant Air said in part:
On behalf of the entire Allegiant team, please allow me to offer my sincere apology for the inconveniences this incident has caused for you and your family. We regret that you were denied boarding due to any misunderstanding regarding the severity of your child’s peanut allergy. I realize that medical issues can be highly challenging. We just wanted to make sure you arrived home safely.
The Dana family were able to make it home that day. A Provo Airport worker secured them another flight with another airline at no cost, and personally drove them to Salt Lake City International Airport.