We had to take 2 flights and our second flight from O’Hare to LaCrosse, WI was diverted to another city due to the weather in LaCrosse. We landed in Minneapolis and the flight attendant and were sitting on the runway for awhile (I think they were deciding what to do) The flight attendant started giving out large bags of nuts!
I whispered to her (not wanting to alarm my son) that my son had a nut allergy and she said “Oh, here do you want some cookies!” (My son is allergic to wheat as well)
By this time most of the plane was eating large bags of nuts and I could not wait to get off.
We deplaned and there was no CRO to greet us. I had no idea what to do.
Eventually they said that that same plane was going back to LaCrosse. Having nuts everywhere now, I was worried about it for my son.
They said passengers could stay in Minneapolis if they chose, so I decided that was safest for my son and asked for my checked bag (checked at the gate) because that is where most of my son’s food for the next 2 days was.
They refused to get my bag! (The bag contained safe crackers, and frozen meals for breakfast lunch and dinner. This is how we have traveled with him for years.)
I told them that my son’s allergies constitute a disability and that if it was a wheelchair that was checked they would get it.
We had a small cooler on board but my son had already eaten the contents. We went to a local hotel (I paid for it) and the ONLY thing that the gift shop had that was safe was bag of Lays potato chips.
It’s almost midnight now; my son has had no dinner. I called American to get a flight home the next day. They wanted to put me on a flight with connections that got in past dinnertime.
I have no food for him. He has so many allergies (milk, wheat, egg, peanut, nuts, seeds, fresh fruits, beans, mustard) that he cannot eat at restaurants and certainly not at one at a busy airport.
Finally, I found a direct flight that would get us home before noon the next day. It was $1100. American refused to put us on that flight because it was a different airline.
I paid out of pocket.
If they would have only retrieved my son’s food (in the curb checked bag. They said it was too large to carry onto the plane.) We could have gone back to LaCRosse so he could have had his doctor’s appt.
Instead, we had a very scary and emotionally draining experience, and a complete lack of acknowledgement of food allergies as a potentially life-threatening medical disability requiring accommodation.
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