I approached the desk prior to the flight with my children to explain that my 13 year old has an anaphylactic allergy to peanuts. I requested they please inform the flight crew. Aware that this airline does not make announcements on the plane, I hoped that the flight crew would be sensitive to the situation. The woman at the desk told me that she would inform the crew. When I got to the airplane I asked the flight attendant greeting me if she was made aware of the situation she said no. She continued to tell me in front of my children that this will be a problem because they will be selling M&M peanuts this evening on the aircraft. I tried not looking at my already anxiety driven special needs 13-year-old who had asked me for the last three hours 200 times if I took care of informing the crew of his life-threatening allergy. (I have just become a liar to my children.) I told my children to have a seat including my 11-year-old autistic child who is now having a panic attack and that I will take care of this. I asked the flight attendant if she can refrain from serving the peanuts this evening considering the life-threatening situation we are faced with. She said unfortunately she cannot and that is their policy to sell the product on the aircraft. I asked them who on the aircraft would NEED to eat peanuts in the next two and half hours or else they would die? I told her that if I would take a vote right now there would not be one person who must have those peanuts now. She repeated herself and answered I’m sorry but this is our policy. I asked if she was prepared to make an emergency landing she said she will discuss it with the flight crew and the pilots and I should sit down. I was then called back to the front where a manager from the airport and the pilot who called management in front of me also greeted me. They two were informed that this is the policy and unfortunately they need to continue to sell the product on the aircraft this evening. I told them that they were feeding this aircraft the exact food that would kill my child and this entire conversation made no sense to me at all. There was no look of remorse no pity no heart not a care in the world like I was talking to robots! No one cared about my child and his health. I told them, because they were clearly unaware, that this allergy is not just about my child but this is a global problem and they really need to educate themselves. No kind words were spoken to me whatsoever. An older flight attendant then approached the group with a loud voice yelling at me and said, “What’s this commotion you’re making what’s going on here”? I shared with her my situation she continued to yell back at me and to sit myself down and nothings going to happen! (I’m glad she just became a medical professional) She had no clue what we were in for and clearly no one on that flight knew anything about a peanut allergy at all. They told that me at this time I could leave the aircraft. I told them I will not be leaving aircraft with six children to go back to a town where I had no place to go, or to find another flight at this late hour and I had an infant at home that I must get back to. The angry older flight attendant asked me what I was fussing with earlier in the overhead cabins? I said I was looking for the medication that would save my child! They asked me if I found the medication I said yes, but that doesn’t mean we wouldn’t be making an emergency landing if something were to happen. I told him that I would be making an announcement to the few rows in front of me and behind me like every other decent airline does and I continued to proceed to the back. As I made announcement another mother stood up in panic to look for a child and his medication she said she too have a child on the aircraft with a peanut allergy. As I sat down management approached me again and said that I am going to be fully responsible if something happens on this aircraft and not the airline. Thank God we are all healthy and safe but American airlines as well as some other airlines must change their policy because I doubt my child will ever want get on airplane ever again after that experience! We live in fear every day having this allergy amongst us; they did not need to make it worse than it already was! We must educate the world and make sure our children stay healthy and safe!
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