When a Phoenix family was kicked off a flight for causing a delay, passengers reportedly cheered. What they didn’t know was that the father had terminal cancer.
George Alvarado and Christina Fabian were getting ready to go back home to Phoenix when their 7-year-old son Giovanni had an allergic reaction, King 5 News reported. They were returning from a visit to Bellingham, Washington.
“He began to get very itchy and he was scratching all over,” Fabian told King 5 News. “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.”
Giovanni’s allergic reaction caused a delayed take off. The family was told they would have to deboard the plane shortly after.
“We understood,” Fabian said. “They helped us off the plane, but as we gathered our stuff the people toward the back of the plane clapped.”
Giovanni was devastated.
“People who don't have sadness, they don't understand,” he said.
What passengers didn’t know was that the family’s trip was part of Alvarado’s bucket list.
“My dad is sick with stage four throat cancer,” Giovanni said, adding that the trip was planned so that he could visit family. “To make memories, and I am sad that this has to be a memory with my dad.”
“As a dad I was just hopeless right there,” Alvarado said. “I just looked at the people clapping. I was just shaking my head, I was like man let’s get out of here.”
Alvarado and his family were forced to take the next flight. They tried to turn the incident into a learning experience.
“You don't know how much time people have or why they are hurting,” Alvarado said. “Just be nice. Be kind.”
Daniel Fabian, 20, another one of the couple’s children, praised Alvarado for handling the incident with grace. He said that Alvarado has a total of 12 children, eight of which he adopted.
"He is the only man I've ever looked up to,” Daniel told Channel 12 News. “He is unique, very kind. It's amazing to see someone with so much compassion.
“He is a family man, he just loves seeing all of us together.”
Allegiant Airlines has apologized to the family for the negative experience but has not released a statement at this time.