Several years ago, my son who has peanut allergies and I were on our way home from NYC where he had spent a week at Mt. Sinai Children’s Hospital having extensive allergy tests done. He had been tested for peanuts in a controlled setting and had such a severe reaction that he was unconscious for 6 hours from a tiny amount of residue being touched to his tongue and lip. I had called Delta way ahead and asked for a peanut free flight.
Something went wrong and we boarded our connecting flight from Atlanta to Pensacola and were told they had not been notified that it was supposed to be peanut free. They said that they would not serve peanuts on the flight though. We were not allowed to pre-board to check the area and wipe it down. In fact, the flight was late and we were all rushed on board at the last minute. There was barely time to get seated before we were told to buckle our seat belts for takeoff. Just as we were taxiing down the runway he started breaking out in hives and I realized that there were peanuts all over the floor from the previous flight. I put him in my lap and wiped him down to try to remove the residue that had gotten on him.
As soon as the flight attendant got up, I told her we had a medical emergency and had to re-land. She said that it would take longer to get clearance to re-land in Atlanta than it would to fly to Pensacola. She said if necessary, we could make an emergency landing somewhere in between. I had already given him Benedryl and had his epi-pens ready. The flight attendant asked someone in first class to exchange seats with us so the air would be fresher and we wouldn’t be near the peanuts. Thankfully the reaction was from contact and not ingestion. The reaction was still very severe. He had hives, asthma and nausea. We had to leave our carry on stuff there.
When we finally landed in Pensacola after 45 minutes of circling due to a thunderstorm, we had to wait until everyone else had gotten off the plane to retrieve our carry on items. I was told that if we got off, we would not be allowed back on to get them. I was so stressed by the time we finally got off and he was crying and feeling sick. The pilot asked if he was ok and I said no he is not ok. I told them they should’ve made an announcement that due to a medical emergency, would everyone please allow us to retrieve our items and get off before they did. When everyone had gotten off and we didn’t, my mother who was waiting to pick us up, asked if they knew if we were on that flight. They told her that we had a medical emergency and sent her to the customer service office. That scared her to death. I reported the incident to delta’s management at the airport. I also called Delta to report the incident. Delta never even contacted me about it to apologize or ask about the incident. They definitely could’ve handled it better.