A FURIOUS mum claims Emirates Airlines kicked her six-year-old son off a plane for having a life-threatening nut allergy because the pilot “didn’t want a death on his flight”.
Nicola O’Shea, a 43-year-old nurse from England, was flying from Gatwick Airport to Dubai for a week-long holiday with her three daughters Taylor, 24, Megan, 20, Logan, 13, Taylor’s partner Ricky, 27, and her youngest son Chester.
Despite claiming she told the airline about his allergy on countless occasions, she says the stewardess kicked the family off the plane.
“I was absolutely furious — I couldn’t believe they were kicking us off the plane because Chester has a nut allergy. It’s not his fault,” she told The Sun.
“To add insult to injury they were so insensitive. It was embarrassing having everyone on the plane watching us walk off.”
Nicola and Chester got off the plane and later managed to get another Emirates flight, while the rest of the family went on ahead. However, Chester has a severe allergy to nuts which means he can’t even be in the same room as a packet of them.
Last July, he almost died on a family holiday in Turkey when he ate a supposedly nut-free dish.
His sister Megan recalled: “His face swelled up and he had to be blue-lighted to hospital. We were worried he wouldn’t make it in time.
“Ever since then we’ve been even more cautious than usual when we go on holiday.”
They were told the $1300 flight would be nut-free so Chester would be safe to fly.
However, when they arrived at the airport the check-in staff said they had no knowledge of Chester’s condition. When they told the steward about Chester’s allergy and a few minutes later they were asked to leave.
Nicola explained: “The steward seemed really embarrassed when he came over. He said that we’d have to leave the plane because the pilot didn’t want a death on the flight.”
She reluctantly agreed to leave with Chester while the rest of the family stayed on-board.
Thankfully Nicola and Chester were put onto another Emirates flight that afternoon and Chester didn’t have an allergic reaction.
Nicola said: “I’m furious about the way we were treated and I’ve made a complaint to the airline.”
Emirates claim they did inform the family that the flight wasn’t nut-free before they got on the plane. An spokesperson for the company said: “Emirates does try to cater to all passenger specific needs by offering a number of special meals that cover as many medical, dietary and religious requirements as possible.
“On learning the severity of Chester’s allergy and potential risk to his life should he come into even secondary contact with nuts, the on-board team had no other option than to ask him to disembark the aircraft.
“We are sorry that the assistance and advice provided to Ms O’Shea and her son did not meet her expectations, however the health and safety of our passengers is our utmost priority and will not be compromised.”