I suffer with an extremely severe nut allergy and want to share my story of what happened on a flight from Melbourne to Bangkok 16.05.2017 with Jetstar Airlines. The Cabin Manager was degrading and showed a complete lack of respect towards my food allergy. I checked in at Melbourne airport and notified the member of staff I had a severe/ life threatening nut allergy and was at risk of going into anaphylaxis shock, even with the presence of nuts within the cabin. The member of staff was fantastic and changed my seat, where by no one else was sat beside me. I was also advised to notify the Cabin Manager, as soon as I boarded the airplane.
I boarded the plane and requested to speak with the manager. I was advised the Cabin Manager is busy at present, but will come and speak with me, prior to the departure. I waited for around 15 minutes, and then went to speak with the manager. I have flown all over the world, with many different carriers and always follow the same procedure (in terms of notifying Cabin Manager of my condition). I explained my condition and was immediately confronted with an extremely poor attitude and told “If people want to purchase nuts we can’t stop them.”
I explained that I fully appreciate that people may want to purchase nuts or bring nuts of any kind onto the plane, but asked politely if an announcement to let fellow customers know that there is a passenger on-board with this condition, and kindly ask everyone in the immediate vicinity of myself to refrain from consuming nuts. The manager refused and I was subsequently left feeling so demoralized and concerned. I walked away and said, “Thanks for not helping me”. After we landed, I was told by 3 different passengers (that I have contact details from) that the Cabin Manager then stated to several Ground Crew that she wanted me off the plane, and was speaking about me in an extremely derogatory manner to colleagues, in full view of other passengers. I was approached in the line at Immigration in Bangkok by these passengers, who said they couldn’t believe what she was saying.
Once I boarded and took my seat on the plane and the manager came up to me and asked if I wanted to leave the plane, as they were unable to ensure my safety. I explained to the manager, that I fully appreciate they are unable to 100 % ensure my safety, but I am a frequent traveler and understand what to do to minimize the risks, such as carrying epi pens, medication and normally airlines are very keen and happy to assist, by either asking passengers to refrain from consuming nuts or not selling them for the duration of the flight.
The manager was again extremely rude towards myself and stood up to get everyone’s attention close to me, and said “This passenger has a nut allergy, can I ask all passengers to go to the other side of the aircraft if you want to consume nuts”. I was singled out, and felt demoralized and upset by the way she dealt with this. She then asked if I was happy with this, to which I replied I don’t appreciate her singling me out in this way, and made to feel so ashamed of my health condition. She then proceeded to what I what would consider “argue” with me and began to raise her voice. I calmly stated that I was not prepared to have a discussion with her whilst she speaks to me in this way.
The Manager then walked away and a fellow passenger commented “She was rude mate, I’ll be surprised if we don’t see another episode of what happened when the passenger was dragged of the flight on United Airlines “. The lady who checked me in at Melbourne airport (ground crew) then came on board, and was so nice and reassuring towards me. She asked if I was carrying an epi-pen and confirmed if I was, then the captain is happy to have me on board. She also apologized for the way I was dealt with by the Cabin Manager. I believe I was discriminated against by the Cabin Manager, and it may have been a lack of knowledge on the Cabin Manager’s part (in relation to the severity of a nut allergy). I am 25 years old and suffered with this from when I was a child.