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-   -   Boy removed from plane over allergies, passengers applaud (http://message.snopes.com/showthread.php?t=93572)

Sue 24 February 2016 11:13 PM

Boy removed from plane over allergies, passengers applaud
 
Instead of sightseeing on a ferry, 7-year-old Giovanni, his mom, Christina Fabian, and dad, George Alvarado should have already boarded a flight. "We were on Flight 171," said Fabian. But the trip from Bellingham back home to Phoenix was interrupted by Giovanni's allergic reaction. "He began to get very itchy and he was scratching all over. He started to get hives, so we informed the flight attendant who informed us that there's dogs on every flight and just smirked, which minimized his experience for me," said Fabian.


http://www.kcentv.com/story/31306280...engers-applaud

If the story is true as reported I can't help thinking that people should trump dogs in terms if who gets to stay on a flight (although to be fair if we're talking about service animals then things get a little tricky) but more than that I have to wonder what kind of person applauds because a sick little boy has to get off a plane. Very sad.

Little Pink Pill 25 February 2016 12:09 AM

I wonder what the parents' behavior was like, and if people were clapping because they were leaving, rather than the kid.

I hope so, anyway.

ganzfeld 25 February 2016 12:33 AM

I don't think that would make it much better. It's just a kind of bullying and almost all bullies think they're morally justified for one reason or another. Even after hearing his story I'm sure the people who clapped will either deny to themselves they clapped or double down and insist that it was justified. But how could it be? The only reason to clap in this situation is to publicly humiliate and degrade someone. What right do they have to do that? The only other reason I can think of is clapping for the flight attendants handling of the situation but here a boy is having a possible medical emergency and having to get off the flight so at the very least, it's extremely insensitive.

That's what I get from the news story, anyway, which, though I found believable, who knows what really happened?

Beachlife! 25 February 2016 12:40 AM

It says people toward the back of the plane clapped. How could they have known what was going on? Maybe they clapped because they heard that the plane was getting under way without any idea what was causing the delay.

Regarding dogs on the plane, are they talking about in the hold or in the passenger cabin. I guess either way, it would be difficult to take the dogs off the plane. I also wonder if simple removal of the dogs would be enough.

WildaBeast 25 February 2016 12:56 AM

Removing the kid from the plane is understandable -- airlines are generally very hesitant to carry any passenger who's showing signs of a medical problem lest it get worse and they have to deal with a medical emergency at 35,000 feet.

I never like these kinds of one sided news stories that essentially are just the "victim's" description of the event with no comments from anyone else who was there. IMO they're really not that far off from those "shunned soldier" rumors that keep popping up. It's just one person's memory of the event, colored by that person's biases and assumptions about the other people's motivations. Like Beach pointed out we really have no way of knowing why those people clapped.

Little Pink Pill 25 February 2016 12:59 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ganzfeld (Post 1908200)
The only reason to clap in this situation is to publicly humiliate and degrade someone. What right do they have to do that?

Both are wrong, but while one is rude, the other is morally reprehensible. Who in the world would clap because a sick kid was getting pulled off a plane? But there are many who would clap if someone throwing a nasty fit, for whatever reason, got taken off. I'm not saying it's right, I'm suggesting one is more culturally likely.

I hope with BL they were actually cheering ignorantly, or glad that the kid was being taken to a safer place. I'd be worried if a child was having a reaction like that and he was left on the plane, even if the dog was removed.

Sue 25 February 2016 01:18 AM

What I wondered was how often people with allergies would even think to enquire if there was a possibility that animals would be on the plane. My husband is severely allergic to cats, not deathly allergic, but bad enough that if he had to be near a cat for any length of time he'd probably be reacting in a similar way to the boy in the OP. It's never occurred to us to check with an airline before we book to find out if there will be any cats on the plane but according to the Air Canada website they would most certainly be permitted. Surely situations similar to the OP must have happened in the past if pets are allowed. It hardly seems fair to me that the allergic person is the one who has to deboard and make alternate arrangements.

Keket 25 February 2016 01:30 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sue (Post 1908207)
It hardly seems fair to me that the allergic person is the one who has to deboard and make alternate arrangements.

It may depend how allergic they are. If the person is highly sensitive, then just removing the cat may not be sufficient because you may have to vaccuum and clean the area where the cat was in order to remove the allergens enough to keep the person safe. Plus if they're already reacting, they may need medical treatment. In those cases, it seems easier and more efficient for all the other passengers who are already on board to just remove the allergic person.

Beachlife! 25 February 2016 01:31 AM

Why wouldn't the allergic person need to deboard?

The other passenger isn't doing anything wrong and in many cases paid extra to bring the pet on board.

In general, do you think that if someone has an issue with another passenger it is the other passenger who should be forced off the plane?

Sue 25 February 2016 01:38 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Keket (Post 1908208)
It may depend how allergic they are. If the person is highly sensitive, then just removing the cat may not be sufficient because you may have to vaccuum and clean the area where the cat was in order to remove the allergens enough to keep the person safe. Plus if they're already reacting, they may need medical treatment. In those cases, it seems easier and more efficient for all the other passengers who are already on board to just remove the allergic person.

That's a good point but it still raises the issue with me as to whether someone with an allergy should be expected to check with the airline before they board. And if they do check beforehand then what happens? Does the airline tell the pet owner the pet cannot go in the cabin or do they tell the allergic person they need to change their flight plans? I admit this has never been something I've thought about before but in light of the changes airlines are making with regard to peanuts, as an example, I am assuming they must have some policies in place in this regard. I guess you don't find out what they are until you ask or are dealing with a situation because you didn't ask!

Lainie 25 February 2016 01:56 AM

People take their pets in the cabin because it's much safer, and less uncomfortable/frightening for the pet, than putting them in the hold. A passenger who made arrangements to take a pet in the cabin is unlikely to be willing to have it put in the hold.

And again, if the allergic person is extremely allergic, moving the pet may not be sufficient. Dander would remain on surfaces and in the air.

Beachlife! 25 February 2016 02:12 AM

In most cases the carrier used to bring a pet on a plane would not work as checked baggage.

Sue 25 February 2016 02:13 AM

Out of interest I checked the Air Canada website and they make it clear that if you are severely allergic to cats or dogs you need to advise them of this prior to your flight and they will do their best to ensure you are not seated near any animals that may be on your flight and if you have a doctors note they will provide what they call a "buffer zone". Which seems entirely reasonable to me.

So that leads me back to wondering what happened on that flight - was the flight attendant truly "smirking" and unsympathetic and making no effort to at least reseat the family as far away as possible from the animals on the plane or did the family insist that the animals needed to be removed from the plane? Given that the airline has apologized to the family I am leaning towards believing that the flight crew mishandled this whole situation. And I still can find no excuse for passengers applauding because a little boy had to get off the plane :(.

Beachlife! 25 February 2016 02:23 AM

I don't think we even know if a dog was on the plane. We certainly don't know where it was on the plane. It could have been well beyond a buffer zone.

We also don't know why they clapped, but I would bet they didn't clap because 'a little boy got off the plane'.

Sue 25 February 2016 02:28 AM

http://www.ajc.com/news/news/nationa...ll-fath/nqXbZ/

According to this article there was a dog on the plane and the family is not blaming the airline at all. They are only calling attention to this because of the passengers behavior which they felt was a result of the way the flight attendant handled things. Again, if true, I hope any of those passengers reading about this now think twice before they act in such a mean spirited way again.

thorny locust 25 February 2016 02:59 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lainie (Post 1908211)
And again, if the allergic person is extremely allergic, moving the pet may not be sufficient. Dander would remain on surfaces and in the air.

There's liable to be some dander on the plane even if there are no pets in the cabin. There are almost certainly people on the plane who have cat and dog hair/dander on their clothes. It is not in practice possible for me to get out of the house without such, and I'm sure that's true of most people who have pets.

Esprise Me 25 February 2016 06:56 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sue (Post 1908192)
I can't help thinking that people should trump dogs in terms if who gets to stay on a flight (although to be fair if we're talking about service animals then things get a little tricky)

In the US, it's not just service animals. The Air Carrier Access Act also entitles those with emotional support animals to have them on board an aircraft. Unlike service animals, ESAs can be pretty much any type of animal with pretty much any amount of training, as long as you have a doctor's note saying the animal provides support for your mental or emotional disability. It's a bit like the whole medical marijuana thing, in that it's really helpful for a small subset of people with certain problems, but it's also rather open to abuse. In any case, if you see a person on an airplane with a dog, cat, rodent, etc., you can't assume it's just an animal and that people should take precedence; it might be a question of whether the allergic person takes precedence over the disabled person or vice versa.

A Turtle Named Mack 25 February 2016 12:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Esprise Me (Post 1908233)
... emotional support animals... ESAs can be pretty much any type of animal with pretty much any amount of training, as long as you have a doctor's note saying the animal provides support for your mental or emotional disability...a dog, cat, rodent, etc.,...

It could even be [URL="http://www.foxnews.com/travel/2016/01/15/turkey-ruffles-feathers-about-emotional-support-animals-on-flights/"a turkey[/URL].
The linked article also says there have been pigs and horses as ESAs on flights, though how they accommodated a horse, unless it was a miniature or a pony, I don't know. The source for this information is not given, but most of the article seems to come from discussions with Delta's reps. The article also mentions potential conflicts when the ESA is something people on the flight are allergic to.

GenYus234 25 February 2016 02:18 PM

Maybe the clapping was in support of the kid and his health, like when the crowd applauds as an injured football player is helped off the field.

Onyx_TKD 25 February 2016 03:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sue (Post 1908210)
That's a good point but it still raises the issue with me as to whether someone with an allergy should be expected to check with the airline before they board. And if they do check beforehand then what happens? Does the airline tell the pet owner the pet cannot go in the cabin or do they tell the allergic person they need to change their flight plans? I admit this has never been something I've thought about before but in light of the changes airlines are making with regard to peanuts, as an example, I am assuming they must have some policies in place in this regard. I guess you don't find out what they are until you ask or are dealing with a situation because you didn't ask!

What other alternative is there? :confused: If a passenger with allergies doesn't inform the airline beforehand (preferably when booking to give the airline maximum time to arrange accommodations), then the airline has no idea there are allergies to accommodate and there's not much they can do. Even if the pet owner proactively asked to be seated away from people with allergies, the airline would have no way to fulfill that request if it has no idea who those people are.

I don't know what they'd do in the event of a conflict, but I'd imagine they would first try to seat the person with allergies a seat far away from any animals flying in-cabin. The airlines I've checked have a relatively small limit on the total number of in-cabin animals, so large airplanes should be able to provide a decent separation. (And if space between them on the flight isn't enough, then it seems likely that pet fur and dander on the clothes of other passengers would be a problem, too, and it may be impossible to accommodate them.) If that isn't possible, I would assume that they'd tell whichever one requests their accommodations last that their request can't be accommodated on that flight.


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