A Delta flight attendant refused to stop selling nuts on a flight, forcing a family whose son had 'life-threatening' allergies to buy another plane ticket, a complaint claims
09.11.2023 - 13:21
A Delta Air Lines flight attendant refused a request for a nut-free flight by a family traveling with a teenager with a nut allergy, a complaint filed with the Department of Transportation claims.
The family was forced to buy another plane ticket and stay two more nights in a hotel "at great expense," they said in the complaint.
The news was first reported by publication Allergic Living.
The complaint — which Insider has seen — says the minor, identified as KC, has "life-threatening" allergies to peanuts and tree nuts, which his lawyer told Insider includes almonds.
The complaint says that he requires accommodations "to fly safely," including his family being able to wipe down his seating area, an announcement that someone with a nut allergy is on the plane, and the halting of sales of almond products on board.
On a previous flight with another airline, the minor had experienced breathing difficulties and required medical treatment when staff served nuts to passengers, the complaint says.
The family were due to fly with Delta in October 2022 and had already made arrangements in advance with the airline for allergy accommodations, the complaint says.
Delta accommodated the family's requests to not serve nuts on the outward flight from San Diego to New York City, but refused to do so on the return flight, the complaint claims.
According to the complaint, on the day of departure, the minor's mother notified both the gate agent and a flight attendant on the plane of her son's need for accommodations, which both agreed to.
But one flight attendant approached the mother on the plane and told her that Delta would be serving almonds on the flight, claiming that tree nuts can't cause airborne reactions, according to the complaint.
The complaint claims that the minor asked the flight attendant "but what if I die?," to which she responded to his mother: "If you are uncomfortable, you should get off the plane."
The family had "no choice but to deplane," according to the complaint. The minor was "humiliated" and felt guilty that his allergy was causing problems for the family, while his mother and sister were both crying, the complaint says.
The son "is now both afraid to disclose his allergies when he flies and fearful that airlines will not honor his accommodation needs," the complaint says.
And even after they got off the plane, their hold luggage still flew to San Diego without them, leaving the family to stay two extra nights in New York City without their bags, the complaint claims. The family had to pay to change their flights and the children missed two days of school, the complaint says.
The family flew back to San Diego with Delta two days after their original departure date, and the airline accommodated