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British Airways Allegedly “Humiliated” & “Bullied” a Family for Requesting a Nut-Free Environment

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A family claims they were “humiliated” after leaving a British Airways flight that’s crew refused to accommodate their request for a nut-free environment.

A London family is speaking out against British Airways with claims they were “humiliated” and “bullied” off a flight as a result of their child’s nut allergy. The Daily Mail reports Andrew Hyams is rallying against the airline for their alleged refusal to accommodate his daughter’s life-threatening allergy.

The incident reportedly took place in August when Hyams was traveling to Cyprus with his girlfriend and 6-year-old daughter. According to The Daily Mail, Hyams claims he spoke with British Airways’ customer service teams at London Heathrow Airport (LHR) about his daughter’s allergy prior to boarding. The representatives, Hyams alleges, told him that it would be okay to ask the flight crew to make an announcement requesting that passengers refrain from opening packages of nuts on the aircraft.

After the family boarded, Hyams says he brought his daughter’s allergy to the crew’s attention and was informed by the head cabin steward “there was nothing they could do” to help. Hyams claims that the crew was both “rude” and “arrogant” toward them, and he decided to disembark for the sake of his daughter’s safety. When he tried to reason with a customer relations manager, Hyams alleges he was told “We are BA and we do not change our service for anyone.”

“I felt like a criminal at best and a terrorist at worst and all this in front of over 200 people,” Hyams wrote in a letter to British Airways. “What we experienced once we had walked on the plane and informed the cabin crew about the nut allergy was not only unprofessional but a complete disgrace and embarrassment for British Airways.”

In a printed statement to The Daily Mail, British Airways offered an apology to Hyams, but said it was unable to guarantee an allergen-free environment onboard any of its aircraft. A portion of the carrier’s response read:

We advise customers who suffer from allergies and need to carry emergency medication to inform cabin crew and those traveling with them, or sitting next to them, but we are not able to make announcements as we can never guarantee a nut-free environment.

[Photo: iStock]

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6 Comments
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burbanite October 17, 2014

If this became the norm where would it end?

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geminidreams October 17, 2014

If the child has a nut allergy they should equip the child with protection themselves. There is no guarantee people don't bring their own nuts. Why should everyone's service be interrupted for them. Perhaps they should have a special isolation section on aircraft for people nuts.

C
cdn1 October 16, 2014

Difficult to provide a totally nut-free environment. What about getting to the airport and AT the airport itself ? What if someone had eaten nuts there mins before?

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straniero October 16, 2014

how long before departure did he alert the staff about the allergy? if he did two weeks before, ok. if he did at boarding time, too bad for him.

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BadgerBoi October 16, 2014

I have a Chav allergy, but unlike Mr Hyams I have the common sense to contact the airline long before I fly and demand that no chavs be accommodated on my flights. So far I've avoided being on the same aircraft as Mr Hyams or Suzy or little Breaanah-Tylah and her nut allergy. (Cashews aren't nuts btw)