Peanuts are little legumes that stir up big trouble for allergy sufferers.
One San Francisco Bay Area family says they were kicked off their flight from Provo, Utah, earlier this week after they revealed that their two-year-old son has a severe peanut allergy, CNN affiliate KSTU reports.
The child’s father, Kyson Dana, told the Salt Lake City station that the family requested that flight attendants aboard the Allegiant Air flight not serve peanuts in their immediate vicinity to cut down on the risk of an allergic reaction.
While at least one flight attendant was helpful in asking nearby passengers if they would forgo peanuts, another urged the family not to fly.
“My wife said, ‘We’re obviously flying on the plane, and we recognize the risks. We have an EpiPen with us,’” Dana told KSTU.
Epinephrine pens are used to treat severe allergic reactions.
A third flight attendant relayed a message from the pilot telling the family to get off the plane.
The crew said the decision was based on a consultation with a medical professional.
Dana said they were baffled by the drastic measure as they were prepared with the EpiPen and had wiped down their seating area to reduce the risk of exposure.
The family got off the plane and found another flight home on a different airline.
“The Dana family indicated to our flight crew that their son had a severe peanut allergy,” Allegiant Air told CNN in an email statement. “The flight crew then contacted a third party organization that advises Allegiant and other carriers when making decisions about the safety of passengers with potential medical issues onboard an aircraft.
“The third party organization, which includes on-call medical doctors available to provide guidance, advised that the family not fly on that specific flight.”
Allegiant also told CNN it provided the family with tickets on another carrier.
The family shared the airline’s response to their complaint with KSTU.
It said, in part: “We regret that you were denied boarding due to any misunderstanding regarding the severity of your child’s peanut allergy. I realize that medical issues can be highly challenging. We just wanted to make sure you arrived home safely.”
Planes and peanuts are a touchy subject.
In 2011, the U.S. Department of Transportation abandoned a possible peanut ban on planes because of a law blocking changes to peanut policy on airliners without further scientific study.