A seven-year-old boy from Arizona was reportedly deplaned together with his family after he suffered an allergic reaction to a dog on board Allegiant Flight number 171.
Flight 171 was travelling from Bellingham, Washington to Phoenix, Arizona when the incident occurred. The family was on a holiday visit in Bellingham, and was returning when the incident happened. The boy, Giovanni Alvarado, was traveling with his father, George Alvarado, who had stage four throat cancer, and his mother, Christiana Alvarado.
According to Daily Mail, Giovanni started scratching his body after boarding the plane, and seeing the dog in the plane. The allergy was so strong that Giovanni reportedly broke out in hives. The flight was delayed for almost 90 minutes due to Giovanni’s condition. The family tried to beg the crew so that the dog could be taken away from the plane, but they were told that it was not possible. The cabin crew reportedly told the family that there are dogs on all Allegiant flights to Arizona.
Passengers then became frustrated and started murmuring to each other while the flight attendants were still contemplating on what to do. Finally, it was decided by the crew that the family could not fly due to the severe allergic reaction Giovanni suffered.
When the family began to exit the aircraft, passengers at the back of the plane started clapping; upsetting the young boy. According to the family, Giovanni became very disturbed by the actions of the passengers. The family eventually made it home later after catching the next available flight with the same airline.
Giovanni himself later told KING5 that the incident devastated him, especially when the trip was a special one for him and his sick dad. He said “I am sad that this had to be a memory with my dad. People who don’t have sadness, they don’t understand.”
In a reported Facebook post made by Giovanni’s mother, she said her husband felt completely “hopeless” when the passengers began clapping during their exit from the plane. Christian described the behavior of the passengers as “disgusting,” explaining how badly the incident affected Giovanni and the family as a whole. She said “We are not angry that we were deplaned. In fact, my husband and I appreciate that our son is safe. What crushed us was that our seven-year-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 people clapped.”
Christiana advised the passengers never to repeat that behavior again since it could impact hard on those people who are already heartbroken.
“They shouldn’t do that because they never know who already has sadness in their hearts. He was making memories with his father. Memories that you have now become part of. He will never forget that you clapped as he deboarded that plane. Thank you for your insulting, ignorant, insinuating comments that minimized my son’s experience and make a horrible memory at the end of my husband’s life. Shame on you for being so cruel. What would you have done if he had stayed silent and died on that flight?” Christiana wrote.
According to Christiana, as a result of the incident, the family was forced to spend hundreds of dollars on unforeseen expenses, and now need to reschedule the chemotherapy treatments for her husband.
It was later revealed that Christiana posted her Facebook post while waiting for another flight at the airport after the family was deplaned. The Facebook post went viral.
George Alvarado also urged people never to repeat what the passengers did to them. He said people do not know how much time another person has left to live, or whether they are hurting internally, saying “Just be nice. Be kind.”
An Allegiant spokeswoman also later confirmed to Daily Mail that the airline has been in contact with the Alvarado family, and has apologized to them for their negative experience after reading about their story on social media. She said “We are truly sorry for the unfortunate circumstances surrounding their planned itinerary and for the inconvenience they have experienced as a result.”