My son has a very severe peanut allergy and consequently, we always talk to airline attendants before the flight departure to request they make an announcement to inform people on the flight of his allergy and ask that if anyone has anything with peanuts to kindly to it away for the duration of that flight. We have never had a problem and attendants have always been very accommodating to us in every other flight experience we`ve had.
This unfortunately did not happen on this flight. My husband kindly explained to the flight attendant of our son`s allergy, and she simply responded that because of company policy she is not required to do anything for us. I explained to her the severity of his allergy, and the consequences that could occur if he was exposed to peanuts including the possibility of anaphylactic attack and even death. She walked away from us to get another flight attendant.
The other flight attendant told me that they were not going to make any announcements for us, and if we did not like this, she would gladly let us off the plane. She said United Airlines does not allow them to make such announcement. I informed her that the last 3 United flights did make those announcements and everyone had been very accommodating to us before. We just wanted people to be aware that there was a little boy with a severe peanut allergy on this flight and that in return, perhaps people would not eat peanuts and he could have a safe flight home. She responded again that if we didn`t like the fact that they were not going to do anything, we could simply leave the plane.
After all of our efforts, we decided to let it go, since they were not willing to accommodate or even try to help us… We were on the plane our way home, and just had to hope that everything would be fine. About 30 minutes after the plane took off, my son started scratching his face and his neck. I asked him if he was ok, and he said he was really itchy… His face started getting hives, so I looked around, and as luck would have it, a little girl sitting one seat down across from him was eating peanuts.
We gave him Benadryl and had to monitor his symptoms the next 3 hours and fear that he might do into anaphalactic shock! This was an extremely scary experience for me, my husband and especially my 6 year old son who especially knows what else could happen to him. This could have all been avoided with a simple announcement. Instead, these attendants chose to neglect my son`s disability and his needs and consequently, this little boy could have had a severe reaction. This posed a direct threat to my son`s health and safety. No family should have to experience this kind of stress on an airplane. This was completely avoidable. How difficult would it have been to have made the announcement. United’s policy to do nothing is not just ignorant it is dangerous!