Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums >
Reload this Page >

Miles&Points

Airlines and Mileage Programs

Air France, KLM, and Other Partners | Flying Blue

KLM Flying Dutchman

Family stranded by nut-allergy row flies home

Family stranded by nut-allergy row flies home

Old Aug 8, 08, 2:26 am
  #1  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Posts: 14,335
Family stranded by nut-allergy row flies home

"A SCOTTISH family was heading home last night after being left stranded in the United States since the weekend because of their son's severe nut allergy.

Amoz Harrell, a nine-year-old schoolboy from Ellon in Aberdeenshire, could suffer a potentially fatal anaphylactic shock if he came into to contact with nuts.

His parents, Nicola and David Harrell, spoke of their anger yesterday after staff refuseADVERTISEMENT d to allow them on board their return KLM flight from Chicago on Saturday because they could not give them a guarantee that the aircraft would be a nut-free environment.

Amoz and his brothers Imran, seven, and Isaiah, 11, and their parents were told by the captain of the aircraft that there was not enough time to clean it of nuts served on the way out.

A furious Mrs Harrell said: "We agreed not to travel on Saturday because the pilot put the fear of death into us. He said once over the Atlantic there would be nothing he could do if my son had an anaphylactic shock."

She insisted she had told KLM about Amos's condition and had been assured the flight would be nut-free.

Special arrangements were made yesterday by KLM for the Harrell family to return home on a guaranteed nut-free flight.

A spokeswoman for the airline said: "KLM, in line with most carriers, is unable to guarantee a nut-free environment on board its aircraft. The captain deemed it was safer for the child not to travel on [Saturday's] flight.

"In flight we do not serve any peanuts at all. In business class we serve cashew nuts and almonds, which is why for anyone with a peanut allergy we are unable to guarantee a nut-free environment.

"Anyone who has a nut allergy is always informed of this before they fly and, in this case, we were not aware that the nut allergy was as severe as it was."
"

Source: scotsman.com

Johan
johan rebel is offline  
Old Aug 8, 08, 2:44 am
  #2  
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 710
Communication by both parties ahead of time could have prevented this from happening.
trilinearmipmap is offline  
Old Aug 8, 08, 11:04 am
  #3  
Moderator: Flying Blue (Air France & KLM)
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Rotterdam, NL
Programs: Flying Blue (AF/KL)
Posts: 4,673
If I was correct, there was a thread about a similar subject a few months ago.

IMHO, the parents should then cater [get food etc] for their child thus making sure he only eats what they are sure of.
Gajan is offline  
Old Aug 8, 08, 11:57 am
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Netherlands
Programs: FB Platinum, M&M, BA Executive Club, Sofitel Plat, Priority Club, Starwood Preferred Guest
Posts: 1,447
Poor kid - must be tough to live with an allergy like that.

However, were all WBC passengers deprived of their nuts with their drink because of one passenger on the plane?
I hope KLM arranged some alternative pretzels or something - I like my bowl of nuts with a glass of champagne.
jetfan is offline  
Old Aug 8, 08, 12:01 pm
  #5  
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: BOS
Programs: UA 1P
Posts: 1,356
"In flight we do not serve any peanuts at all. In business class we serve cashew nuts and almonds, which is why for anyone with a peanut allergy we are unable to guarantee a nut-free environment.
Peanut allergies and nut allergies are two completely different things. Really wish that more people understood this.
JennyElf is offline  
Old Aug 8, 08, 1:17 pm
  #6  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Posts: 14,335
Pardon my ignorance, but if the kid needs a 100% (pea)nut-free plane to fly in, what about the rest of his environment? Guaranteed nut-free schools, buses, trains, cinemas, airports, etc. etc?

Johan
johan rebel is offline  
Old Aug 8, 08, 1:21 pm
  #7  
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Programs: EZ Pass, Starbucks Gold, Red Cross blood donor
Posts: 4,799
Originally Posted by JennyElf View Post
Peanut allergies and nut allergies are two completely different things. Really wish that more people understood this.
But don't many jars have some sort of warning that almonds, cashews, etc... were packaged on the same processing line as peanuts?

Perhaps that's where they were going with that statement.
bitburgr is offline  
Old Aug 8, 08, 1:23 pm
  #8  
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: BOS, PVD
Programs: United Mileage Plus (Premier Exec)
Posts: 219
Originally Posted by johan rebel View Post
Pardon my ignorance, but if the kid needs a 100% (pea)nut-free plane to fly in, what about the rest of his environment? Guaranteed nut-free schools, buses, trains, cinemas, airports, etc. etc?

Johan
Eaxctly! I do feel sorry for the kid and do not want to "blame the victim." However, I wonder if his parents get angry in other situations...or if they just think they can get compensation by being outraged at the [email protected]:-) Do they get outraged less-wealthy businesses?
Dole is offline  
Old Aug 9, 08, 12:51 am
  #9  
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: NL
Programs: FB M&M AA Amex HH SPG and others
Posts: 1,927
Originally Posted by johan rebel View Post
Pardon my ignorance, but if the kid needs a 100% (pea)nut-free plane to fly in, what about the rest of his environment? Guaranteed nut-free schools, buses, trains, cinemas, airports, etc. etc?

Johan
Originally Posted by Dole View Post
Eaxctly! I do feel sorry for the kid and do not want to "blame the victim." However, I wonder if his parents get angry in other situations...or if they just think they can get compensation by being outraged at the [email protected]:-) Do they get outraged less-wealthy businesses?
There is quite a difference. Like the pilot said: "once over the Atlantic there would be nothing he could do if my son had an anaphylactic shock."

When at school, bus, train, cinema, airport: this schock can be handled by paramedics. On a plane, there is (almost?) no chance help can be provided on time.
Brobbel is offline  
Old Aug 9, 08, 2:21 am
  #10  
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 994
Some less generous FT-ers might suggest that if it's so important for the parents, they might want to keep a closer eye on their child during the flight to ensure he doesn't come into contact with a nut.

Very OT: At home in the UK a couple of weeks ago, I read a multi-lingual package of something or other - biscuits, maybe. Out of 12 languages, the ONLY language the 'nut warning' came in was under the English list of ingredients. Made me wonder why it's only British kids who get nut "allergies".
moocherx is offline  
Old Aug 9, 08, 3:29 am
  #11  
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: NL
Programs: FB M&M AA Amex HH SPG and others
Posts: 1,927
Originally Posted by moocherx View Post
Some less generous FT-ers might suggest that if it's so important for the parents, they might want to keep a closer eye on their child during the flight to ensure he doesn't come into contact with a nut.

Very OT: At home in the UK a couple of weeks ago, I read a multi-lingual package of something or other - biscuits, maybe. Out of 12 languages, the ONLY language the 'nut warning' came in was under the English list of ingredients. Made me wonder why it's only British kids who get nut "allergies".
No, they are not only British ;-)

But the problem is that there could be nut-dust (or how do you call something like that) in the air which starts the anaphylactic shock. And then I'm with the captain that is not safe to travel.

What I'm concerned about is why they are complaining about the fact they were not allowed to fly instead of being very thankful to the captain because he was thinking about the safety of their son.
Brobbel is offline  
Old Aug 11, 08, 12:02 am
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 233
where to draw the line...

These issues are not easy really...

* Ok, over 50% of people are highly bothered by smoke (besides safety issues). Smoke is banned.
* A significant number of people, including me, are highly bothered by nail polish. So, nail polish is also banned on planes. In this I think we also look at the utility: I mean, what is the utility of using nail polish ? for sure it can wait... it's not food.
* Some people, again including me, are bothered by makeup smells (other than nail polish). I still put up with it though... I may get a soar throat and order some juice, try to stay away from it, but I think in that one, the problem is more on my side...
* I met one person who was allergic (!) to the smell of coffee, he says flying in the morning makes him sick because everyone drinks coffee. So, should we stop serving coffee because one odd passenger is allergic to its smell ?

We also have people who cannot stay in the light. So, all windows down and lights off for one pax ?

With all empathy for the boy and his parents, if he cannot be safe in a nut-free environment, well... What are we going to do ? I guess it would have to be something like this:
* Before boarding: "Dear passengers, prior to boarding please dispose of any nuts. No nuts will be allowed on board. You will be jailed up to one year for not complying, and may be responsible for the death of a child if your nuts or dust from your nuts kills him".
* During flight: "Dear passengrs, today you will get no nuts. And since a lot of our dishes may contain traces of nuts, you will only get vegetables and rice".

Sorry, but I think the parents may need to raise a medical case between them and the airline. Let's the doctors deal with the airline and see what is appropriate, to ensure the safety of the child, while ensuring other passengers are affected to the least possible extent.

On several occasions I see people in stretchers on planes. They pay for several seats, not just one. So, sorry, but maybe if we want to have nut-free sealed-off section in the plane, they may also have to pay. Same happens to fat people who need to pay two seats (even AF has this policy on their website !). Politically correct ? No. Practical ? Yes. My thoughts still go to the child and his family, but the solution lies somewhere between Government and doctors (for subsidies etc), and the airline in the end. Should not be a passenger issue - who wants peanuts, who cares more about the child, etc...
welltravelled88 is offline  
Old Aug 11, 08, 12:47 am
  #13  
Suspended
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: SC72
Programs: DL
Posts: 91
Anyone with a nut allergy that severe should stay home for his own safety. Expecting the rest of the world to bend over backwards *trying* to eliminate a common food is unreasonable ("try" being the operative word, because it's not possible to achieve 100% non-nutty).

Some things in life to certain unfortuate people are just not available, and no amount of demands will change it. Blind people can't be taxi drivers, deaf people can't be flight attendants, and those with a nut allergy so severe that touching the dust of a nut is fatal should stay home in a 99.999999% non-nutty environment.
Rick Astley is offline  
Old Aug 11, 08, 2:28 pm
  #14  
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: SYD
Programs: UA 1K, VA Platinum, IHG Spire Ambassador, Hilton Diamond, Marriott Gold, Coles FlyBuys
Posts: 2,778
This whole thread is... nuts!
TrayflowInUK is offline  
Old Aug 11, 08, 3:28 pm
  #15  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Soon to be LEGT
Posts: 10,928
Originally Posted by Rick Astley View Post
Anyone with a nut allergy that severe should stay home for his own safety. Expecting the rest of the world to bend over backwards *trying* to eliminate a common food is unreasonable ("try" being the operative word, because it's not possible to achieve 100% non-nutty).

Some things in life to certain unfortuate people are just not available, and no amount of demands will change it. Blind people can't be taxi drivers, deaf people can't be flight attendants, and those with a nut allergy so severe that touching the dust of a nut is fatal should stay home in a 99.999999% non-nutty environment.
Exactly. I usually have Aldi Specially Selected Sea Salt And Cracked Black Pepper Cashew Nuts (yes, I have all that!) packed in my carryon, and you can bet that all hell would break loose if somebody told me I couldn't eat them in flight, and had to make do with stupid little pretzels instead.

Can't stand nuts? I'm sure a private jet company would be delighted to supply you with a nut-free a/c. Can't afford a private jet? It's not my problem...

Where do you draw the line? What about agoraphobic people? Should airlines evacuate a whole cabin because an agoraphobic person wants to fly?
graraps is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread