On Wednesday, March 13, 2019, my daughter and I flew to TN on Allegiant flight 2289. I made sure to input my peanut allergy when booking tickets. I also informed the person checking our bags and she told me she put it into the internal memo system. I made sure the gate agent who checked our tickets so we could board, knew as well. All employees of the airline told me to be sure to also tell the flight attendants.
I boarded the plane and informed the first flight attendant. He said “we only sell peanut m&ms and I’d be ok. Just let the other flight attendant know.” Great. Thank you. (Peanut M&Ms for me I find are generally ok because they are covered with candy and I find the “dust” to be minimal). I went down to the back of the plane and there was another female flight attendant. I told her I had a peanut allergy and she gave me a look that was truly nasty and looked VERY irritated. I told her that I have a mask and wipes for my seat/area and it should be ok because I was informed only peanut M&Ms are sold as a choice.
She sneered, literally sneered at me, and said “we sell all kinds of nuts.” She the looked at the floor and kicked peanuts that were on the floor at me. She said they wouldn’t make an announcement that a severe allergy was onboard and they would continue to sell the nuts. I was so anxious from her response and how she treated me that I couldn’t even coherently talk back. I just asked my daughter to help wipe down the seats and sat down, trying not to touch anything.
The plane kept loading and someone else came to sit in our row. She was a young lady and very friendly. My daughter asked her if she could not eat any nuts and she said sure. She had friends in the row ahead and asked them not to as well. The flight attendant comes by and asked the young lady what seat she was in and she said A. The flight attendant then looked at me and said I sat in the wrong seat. I didn’t even notice the window seat was A and not C due to pure panic. The young lady said it was no problem at all and I could stay there. The flight attendant said no it wasn’t because the window seats cost extra. I leaned over and told them both I would reimburse the young lady and I was sorry. The flight attendant just shook her head and walked away. Eventually she moved the young lady and her friends to their own row that was empty. Nothing else was said.
They started selling snacks and there were peanuts everywhere. My daughter asked the lady closest to us to not eat the peanut M&Ms because of me. The lady looked at me and said that should have been announced. She put her nuts away and said something about mean people and it was clear she wasn’t talking about me.
I understand selling your products (which by the way the online Allegiant policy says they only sell items with traces of nuts or items made in the same facility as nuts). I don’t understand being so mean spirited. I don’t understand such a severe lack of compassion. I don’t understand making someone feel like her life is worthless and an inconvenience to the flight attendant’s work duty. I don’t understand the unwillingness to make an announcement (as I know other allegiant flight crews do) that there was a severe nut allergy on board. Maybe she has encountered too many who fake an allergies? Whatever the reason, I felt severely discriminated against due to my disability.
I got off the plane with swollen eyes and small hives on my head and face. The rest of my body was covered by clothing. I had some respiratory issues but took Benedryl and my inhaler, then prayed for the best. I’m terrified to fly home on Monday but can’t afford a rental car to drive home. I flew on a plane, taking all the precautions I could and being told each step of the way by the airline that it’s ok. It wasn’t ok.
I flew, rather than drove, because I found a great deal and my grandmother has been in and out of the hospital these pet few months. I wanted to maximize my time with her as I don’t know how much time she has left. Am I not supposed to fly on a plane? Is it too much of an inconvenience for others? I have never in my life felt so utterly discarded. Less than human.
I am so utterly disappointed in Allegiant Air’s attitude towards invisible disabilities. Update: Though I have had multiple contacts from Allegiant PR people with promises of calls from other divisions, I haven’t heard from anybody else. I have sent emails, a certified letter, and tried to call but was on hold for 3 hours and had to leave for an appointment.
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