This copy of a complaint was submitted to No Nut Traveler by the father of a daughter with a nut allergy.
Here is a copy of a complaint I’ve just had to make via the Air France online complaint form Also, just to confirm, I had my daughters 2 epipens in my hand luggage.
Absolutely fuming as you can imagine.
I wish to make a complaint please about the terrible customer service that my 15 year old daughter and myself experienced on this flight back from Paris. My daughter suffers from a severe nut allergy. In 15 years, this has never prevented us from flying and on all other airlines we have been met with understanding and politeness from everybody, particularly the on-board crews. We have always been told when booking flights, just to inform the cabin crew when boarding the flight of my daughters severe nut allergy. Then the crew will ensure that no products containing nuts will be sold on board and that an announcement will be made asking all passengers not to open any nut containing products they may have brought on board themselves. This has never before been a problem.
When we boarded your Air France flight and politely informed the cabin crew of my daughter’s nut allergy, we were told by a member of your cabin crew that no announcement could be made and that there would be sandwiches containing nuts served on the flight. His words were that “we will not inconvenience all the other passengers on board just for the sake of one”. We explained that we understand that the risk cannot be eliminated completely, but just by not serving the nut products and making the announcement, we would be satisfied that the risk had been reduced as far as reasonably possible and we couldn’t ask for any more. The same crew member still refused to accommodate either of our requests. I then said that this would mean that my daughter and I would have to get off the airplane, as it would not be safe for her to travel(The plane still hadn’t moved by this point).
A female member of crew then assured us that none of the food that would be served on the flight would contain nuts. We then asked if the announcement could be made as initially requested and another male crew member told us this would be done. We then made our way to our seats. By this time my daughter was already in tears. She has never experienced anybody before actually making her feel guilty for having a nut allergy.
Sometime later, the ‘rude’ crew member made a very garbled announcement to which many people on the plane were looking around in confusion and asking each other what had been said. I explained the situation to a few people in our surrounding area. I also then asked the crew member if the announcement could be made again, but this time taken a little more seriously and in a clearer way so that the passengers could understand. I was told this was not possible ? My daughter was now distraught but as we were on the runway there wasn’t much that we could do in the way of getting off the plane. Another crew member who seemed to understand the situation better, asked me if I would like to make the announcement myself ! So I then got up and made the announcement. There were passengers on the plane who were actually shaking their heads in disbelief and several of them commented that they couldn’t believe how badly we were being treated.
Mid flight, the ‘rude’ crew member then came to us at our seats and said he had never heard of such a serious nut allergy and that nobody had ever asked for an announcement to be made in his 27 years of flying. i told him this was difficult to believe and that surely it must be a company policy to have risk assessments in place for this type of thing. He said Air France do not have any risk assessments in place for nut allergies. He then began trying to belittle my daughter by asking questions such as “what would happen if you were on a bus or in a restaurant, how can you live like this ?” I explained to him that airplanes are a much different situation than most other places due to the fact that you can get off a bus, or leave a restaurant. you cannot get off a plane mid-flight. He shrugged his shoulders and laughed !!
When we were getting off the plane, we thanked the crew members who had been a little more helpful but just walked past the rude crew member as I did not want to create a further scene and upset my daughter any more. he actually followed us off the plane and told us that if my daughters allergy was as serious as we said, then we shouldn’t ever fly again !! In hindsight i should have taken his name whilst on the plane, but at this point i noticed that he had actually turned his ID badge around. I asked him to turn it so that i could see his name. He refused.
When he refused to show me his ID badge, I pointed out to him that he was actually working airside in an airport and that it is a serious breach of security for him not to have his badge on display.He then quickly made his way back on to the plane and said that when he was on the actual plane, he did not need to display his badge. I’m no expert on the laws behind this and knew that if I continued any further with him I was on the verge of doing something I would seriously regret. plus I had my daughter with me.