This post is not about the numerous delays or flight cancellations (which have recently affected us as well). This post is about me (a single mom) and my son being asked to get off the plane because of my son’s nut allergies on our flight from New York to Fort Lauderdale on June 26th, 2022.
When boarding, the flight attendants assured us that they would provide a buffer zone with three rows around us (to which we agreed). However, after we were seated, the crew said that the rules had changed to one row only. I wondered how it could have changed so quickly, and they asked us to leave (even after the passengers seating next to us volunteered not to open pockets with nuts during the flight). I pleaded to stay on board, but they insisted that we get off immediately as we were holding up the plane.
We have chosen Delta to be our preferred airline for the last 12 years – since my 13-year-old son was diagnosed with severe nut allergies. We are frequent flyers, and Delta has always been extremely accommodating with providing buffer zone, making an announcement, and sometimes not serving nuts on the plane to prevent exposure. They always showed that they cared about our safety and comfort when we discussed my son’s allergies.
On this plane the flight attendant told me to leave because ‘by providing a three-row buffer zone, she would not be doing her job’. Working in a service business, airline employees are expected to provide safety and comfort, and human factor here has a big role. In this situation, the lack of empathy, rudeness was appalling.
Living with life threatening allergies is physically and mentally debilitating and extremely difficult to deal with daily. It really, really hurts to see your child cry because of being discriminated against due to the health condition he was born with. This episode impacted our schedule, it cost us money and time, and the unfairness of finding ourselves in this situation was most difficult to accept.