11/10/22 From My Daughter (age 21)
This was my most horrible experience with an airline, Turkish Airlines. On top of being the most psychologically traumatic experience of my life.
I want someone, anyone to be aware of what I was put through. I was removed from my flight because of my peanut and tree nut allergy, this was supposed to be my first of two flights.
I haven’t flown internationally for 6 years, prior to that I have been flying to Malaysia to see family just about every other year since my mom first took me as an 11-month-old baby. In my 21 years of flying domestically and internationally, I have never had an experience like this or have dealt with such negligent airline staff, and neither has my mother with 40 years of flying experience.
I had no problems getting here through the same airline, and yet I had every problem trying to get home to Atlanta where I work and have school obligations.
After I boarded and was seated, a flight attendant came to ask me about my allergy. I informed him that I cannot ingest it and would just like an announcement to be made to make others aware. Another flight attendant and an airline manager came over to ask me more about my allergy and I reiterated that I can’t eat nuts. The manager told me the meals offered would be ok for me (which I was not concerned about). I again asked to have an announcement made to the plane, at a minimum the passengers directly around me informed (this has been done on every flight that I have ever taken).
The flight attendant went on to tell me that there are nuts on this plane that would be served to business class and that they can’t make an announcement unless I was allergic to the smell. I told them the smell may make me nauseous but that I can wear two masks, and this would protect me from the smell.
The flight attendant kept on saying ‘ no ‘about the announcement, that it could not be made and insisting to me that the smell of nuts would travel from business class where they will be serving peanuts. My seat was row 16 and there was a whole section of passengers between me and business class. I never asked them to stop serving their snacks or other meals.
They also asked me if I had all my emergency medicine. I said yes and pulled out my Benadryl, and 2 Epi pens.
I said again that I would be ok and the manager kept telling me that my allergy, the one I have struggled with and lived with my entire life, was much worse than I was letting on. Then the attendant asked to speak to the manager, and they went to talk by the entrance door.
They returned to inform me that I could not fly and stated that I had to leave the plane. The attendant asked to inspect my medicine again and I was at this point just so anxious and nervous that I was shaking and fumbling to get my proof of medication out.
The attendant then walked away, and the manager told me to leave. He opened the overhead compartment where my bag was and told me to gather my things. I started to internally freak out and did then start to speak sternly about how I wasn’t leaving and would be fine and shouldn’t have to leave. When I asked for more of an explanation, they told me they would only elaborate and discuss with me what was going on when I was off the plane. He then informed me that my checked luggage was already being taken off the plane and I had no choice at all.
I got up and grabbed my things and followed the flight attendant off the plane. When I was flustered and commented this is ridiculous, they again told me they wouldn’t discuss anything with me until I was off the plane. As soon as I walked down the aisle, I pulled out my phone to call my mom who was still back at my grandparents’ house. The attendant made it clear to me that I was not allowed to record or take photos.
I began to cry and kept pleading and begging for someone to listen and just take my phone to speak to my mother. Then suddenly, all the staff stopped acknowledging my existence. They turned their backs to me, I have never felt and been so physically disregarded in my life.
Airport staff came and told me that I had to leave. I was trying to leave and walk out of the connector. I turned and saw my plane pull off without me. I just crouched on the ground sobbing, all the while on the phone with my mother as she was trying to calm me and get a read of the situation. I was about a foot away from exiting the connector and they tuned the lights off on me.
I have severe anxiety and with how I was just treated, I was now in a complete psychological panic. I could not force myself to even move. Then one of the airport security staff brought me a rolling chair, after standing there in tears for 30 minutes.
In my 21 years of life, I have never been treated this way or discriminated against especially due to my peanut and tree nut allergy. This has been the most psychologically damaging event thus far in my life. My family and I are completely appalled by what has happened and how we have been treated throughout this entire experience.
My family has dedicated hours, and their entire days trying to speak with someone on my behalf not only here in Malaysia but also my family in the United States. We have been getting nowhere with the airline. We’ve spoken to over 10 people, none of which have any authority to help me get home. We will continue to fight for a flight home or get reimbursed.
The airline managers are the only staff we are told that can help us, but they are only notified through their feedback system in which we have several open claims. I was supposed to fly home to the United States November 10, ‘22 local time in Malaysia. I am still here in Malaysia with no idea of when I can go home and still no communication with someone from the airline that can help us. Today is November 12th, 2022.
I cried to entire time on the way out to grab my bags and go through customs, all the while prolonging my mortifying embarrassment. I couldn’t have water until I was at the exit of the airport. This meant I couldn’t take any of my medication that would have helped me calm down, to stop crying, or to even catch my breath.
When my mom finally got to the airport, an employee told her she needed to contact someone the following day with the Turkish airline help center.
This turned out to be false information. They did not even give me a flight voucher.
I didn’t ask for anything special I didn’t even ask for them not serve nuts. Turkish Airlines should be ashamed and hopefully this post will help someone within Turkish airlines offer support in any form.
I never get on social media specially to share such a private matter, but our family are desperate for help with getting this matter recognized and resolved.