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Family kicked off flight over nut allergy

There is no nut ban on flights in the US but many airlines have opted to avoid serving them to passengers. Picture: Bill Holmes

Staff writersnews.com.au

A COUPLE in the United States claims a pilot kicked them off their flight over their son's nut allergy.

Kyson and Sara Dana, from California, said they were preparing to fly out of the Utah city of Provo bound for Oakland this week when they informed a flight attendant their two-year-old son Theo was allergic to nuts.

Mr Dana told Fox 13 News his wife told the crew member: “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?”

The couple was on particularly high alert as Theo had gone into anaphylactic shock the weekend before the flight after he accidentally ate an almond, Fox 13 reports.

They boarded the Allegiant passenger jet armed with an epinephrine pen — a device used to treat severe allergic reactions, also known as an EpiPen — and sanitising wipes for their seats.

Mr Dana said the flight attendant immediately advised the couple not to fly on the plane.

“My wife said, ‘We’re obviously flying on the plane, and we recognise the risks. We have an EpiPen with us’,” Mr Dana said.

He said the couple and their toddler continued to their seats and settled in. A second flight attendant approached them and asked nearby passengers if they would mind avoiding eating peanuts on the flight.

The airline, Allegiant, apologised to the family but said they were kicked off for their child’s safety. Picture: Eddie Maloney

The airline, Allegiant, apologised to the family but said they were kicked off for their child’s safety. Picture: Eddie MaloneySource:Flickr

The passengers agreed to it, Mr Dana said.

“It seemed like the situation was resolved,” he said.

But then a third flight attendant approached the family and said the pilot wanted them removed from the plane.

The attendant reportedly told the family the flight crew had consulted a medical professional who decided it wasn’t safe for them to fly.

The couple and their child were unloaded from their plane and missed their flight home.

They said a kind-hearted worker at the Provo airport managed to get them on another flight with another airline at no cost, and even personally drove them to another airport at Salt Lake City for their flight home.

The Danas said they complained to Allegiant about the incident, and the airline issued an apology.

“We regret that you were denied boarding due to any misunderstanding regarding the severity of your child’s peanut allergy,” the airline’s response read.

“I realise that medical issues can be highly challenging. We just wanted to make sure you arrived home safely.”

A possible ban on peanuts on flights in the US was scrapped in 2011 because of a law that blocked the Department of Transportation from changing the peanut policy without more scientific study.

However, many airlines in the US, Australia and other countries have elected not to serve nut products on their flights — however they can rarely guarantee a completely nut-free environment.

Passengers are urged to check out their airline’s guidelines on travelling with food-related allergies, and give their airline a heads-up in advance.

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