BELLINGHAM, Wash. -- A 7-year-old boy suffering an allergic reaction was removed from an Allegiant Airlines flight on Monday while passengers applauded, according to the boy's mother.
Christina Fabian-Roman told KTAR her family was flying from Bellingham, Washington to Phoenix when the flight was delayed. She was traveling with her 7-year-old son and her husband, who has terminal cancer and was traveling to Phoenix to visit family.
According to Fabian, while they were waiting on the plane to leave, her son had an allergic reaction to a dog on the plane. She said this was the first time this has happened.
"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 are dogs on every flight and just smirked, which minimized his experience for me," Fabian told KING-TV.
The family was moved to different seats, but airport medical services determined it was unsafe for the child to fly and the family was asked to deplane. That's when, according to Fabian, the passengers on the plane started to applaud.
“When we stood up and walked to the front of the plane, the (people) in the back of the plane applauded,” Fabian-Roman told KTAR.
Fabian shared the story on Facebook, where she wrote her 7-year-old boy was crushed by the entire experience:
"What crushed us was that our 7 yr old boy looked at us with tear filled eyes and said, "I'm sorry that I put you through this. This is all my fault" then he proceeded to say, "I can't believe that people clapped. They shouldn't do that because they never know who already has sadness in their hearts."
The airline put the family on the next available flight to Phoenix, which was on Wednesday. Fabian said she doesn't blame the airline for making the family get off the plane, but she said some things the flight attendant said made the situation worse.
"It wasn’t the flight attendant’s fault we got off the plane," Fabian told KTAR. "It was the flight attendant’s attitude that perpetuated people’s agitated behavior around us. It’s just the comments she had made."
In the Facebook post, Fabian wrote:
"To the old lady flight attendant w/ short curly brown hair, you should have NEVER hastily smirked and made the comment that dogs are on every flight! Your comments are untruthful and unwarranted. We frequently fly and we have been on several flights with no animals and he has never had this type of reaction on any of the other flights that we have been on. Instead of diffusing the situation you added insult to injury and perpetuated the attitudes of the other passengers."
Fabian said her family is not seeking compensation from the airline. Instead, she hopes her story is a reminder that everyone should be treated with compassion.
In a statement to KTAR, Allegiant Airlines said they apologized to the family and “forwarded the family’s feedback on to the appropriate teams within the company to ensure any necessary service improvements will be made.”