A British holidaymaker claims he was thrown off a flight when he told cabin crew he suffered from a nut allergy.
Josh Silver from Essex was returning from a trip to Turkey with his girlfriend. He told the BBC how he was escorted off his flight back to Gatwick by Turkish police, after cabin crew staff told him it was against its policy to fly someone like him.
Mr Silver, who said he flew regularly for work, has a nut allergy which is not airborne. It only affects him if he consumes nuts. He said before leaving Gatwick he had a conversation with a Turkish Airlines manager at check-in informing them of his condition and was cleared to travel. Mr Silver said after being cleared to fly by check-in staff on his return on 7 June, he told the cabin crew about his allergy as an additional precaution. He said he offered not to eat or drink anything during the flight but instead the police arrived to take him off the plane, he said.
He told the BBC: “I felt like I’d done something wrong. If I had been drunk I would have understood but I’ve got a medical condition. Are they suggesting people with nut allergies shouldn’t fly at all? It’s discriminating.” Eventually the couple were offered flights back to the UK but would have to pay for this themselves. The couple refused and chose to fly with another airline.
A spokesperson for Turkish Airlines said: “In this case, our records show that no such information was provided by the passenger until they boarded the flight. Unfortunately, it was too late for cabin crew to prepare for and take precautions against potential allergy attacks in advance.”
Flying with a nut allergy
Flying can be a stressful and nerve-wracking time, and if you are flying with a nut allergy then the levels or stress are increased along with the risk. This guide provides tips on travelling with a nut allergy
Check airline policy
No airline has the same policy regarding passengers with nut allergies. The best idea is to check the airline’s nut policy with them directly to see their suggestions on what you can do to help alleviate your risk to having a reaction on your flight.
Make the airline aware of your allergy
Contact the airline in advance of flying and make them aware you have a nut allergy at the time of booking. Also, make staff aware at the time of flying, including ground staff that may allow you to board the plane early, and also cabin crew so that they may make an announcement and do everything they can to minimise risk such as not serving nuts during the flight.
Order a special meal
Some airlines can cater to your allergy and provide a nut-free meal as part of their service. However, if they will not provide this, you can always bring your own food onto the plane with you.
Bring Medical Documents and medication
Make sure you bring plenty of medication, such as an EpiPen, with you so that you will be able to be treated, should you suffer from an allergic reaction. Some airlines state that they require documentation of your allergy, usually, this will be a doctor’s note stating you are fit to fly and/or your medical history.