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Allergy family told flight was not 'nut-free'

A DUBLIN family whose daughter suffered and allergic reaction on a flight to the US were removed from their flight home after the crew told them it was it was not "a nut-free airline".

The child had to be given adrenaline on the outgoing United Airlines flight to New Jersey on August 5 after eating some nuts served on the plane.

The family were delayed on their return trip to Ireland after the airline refused to remove nuts from their in-flight service at their request.

The child's mother explained how the terrifying allergic reaction occurred earlier this month.

"About two hours out over the Atlantic they served a small bowl of cashew nuts and another mix of nuts. She took one cashew nut and within a minute, her face blew up and she broke out in hives all over her body. She couldn't breathe properly either.

"They put out a call for medical personnel and thankfully there happened to be an allergy specialist from Houston, Texas on board the flight. She came to the front and gave her the adrenaline from a vial."

The flight returned to Dublin and the little girl, who had never suffered an allergic reaction before, was rushed to Temple Street Children's Hospital.

By the next morning, she had recovered and was discharged in time to make the rescheduled flight to Newark Airport, on which the airline opted not to serve any nuts.

On the return flight back to Dublin after their holiday, the family again asked the airline not to serve nuts.

However, she said this was initially refused when, as she put it, "a simple request seemed to turn into a big production" and airline staff told her it "didn't advertise themselves as a nut-free airline".

The couple and their child were then asked to get off the flight and were accommodated in a hotel for the night.

They flew home the following morning after the airline agreed not to serve any nuts.

"My daughter was extremely upset by the whole thing" the mother said.

United Airlines would not comment on why the family were removed from the flight.

A statement said it was airline policy not to serve peanuts, but added that some foods might "include nuts".

hnews@herald.ie


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