This is the second time this week we’ve learned that teenage kids are being removed from planes and stranded somewhere alone.
Earlier this week, a teen was removed from an overbooked plane without informing her mom in the back and now, a 16-Year-Old with a Severe Peanut Allergy and his younger brother, was Stranded in South Korea After Being Removed From Plane.
The two teen boys ages 15 and 16 years old were traveling alone from Atlanta, Georgia, to Manila, Philippines (where their father is temporarily located for work).
While the teens had a smooth flight on the 14-hour Delta leg, in Seoul when they switched planes, the Korean Air flight attendant allegedly said that peanuts would be served, after a gate agent said otherwise, moments beforehand.
The boys were then offered to either endure the peanuts on the plane or instructed to get off the plane. But then, a gate agent told the boys to get off the plane and they were left in South Korea, stranded and alone.
The boys eventually flew back to Atlanta using Delta Airlines since they are aware of how Delta handles peanut and tree nut allergies.
Since that time, the family has filed a complaint with Korean Air requesting refunds for the issues that were caused.
In response, Korean Airlines made a statement to Yahoo Liftstyle saying:
Korean Air is aware that peanut and food allergies are an industry issue and no airline can guarantee a food allergy-free environment. But we are reviewing ways to deal with this issue in a safe and feasible way. We totally understand the risks faced by passengers with nut and food allergies and will certainly try to accommodate them better in the future. Korean Air sincerely apologizes to Mr. and Mrs. Patel and their sons. Customer service is a mainstay of the Delta and Korean Air partnership and we regret that the Patels experience did not reflect our common values. We are reviewing this incident and will strive to create a better customer experience.”Korean Airlines to Yahoo Liftstyle (Source)
And here’s the thing – as a mom to a child with a peanut allergy, it’s hard to say who was in the wrong here.
On one hand, I’d appreciate an airline recognizing how dangerous and life-threatening it could be to have peanuts on the plane with a child with a several allergy.
On the other hand, it would be terrifying and upsetting to find out my kids were stranded in another country by themselves.
Bottom line – I would rather have my kids kept safe and not be mid-air when he is having an allergic reaction. Even when Epi-Pens are administered, medical attention is required and the plane would not be able to land quickly enough to provide that.
I would rather have a child alive, well and scared from being in another country alone than a dead one.
In a perfect world, I wish airlines would ban all peanut and tree nut snacks and instead, offer things like crackers and pretzels to avoid this sort of thing.
But we don’t live in a perfect world so for now, I choose life over death.
And yes, the airline could have handled this situation better and tried to ensure those boys were taken care of before kicking them off the plane and leaving them stranded but it seems like their statement means they are working on it and at least the boys are home safe and sound.
What do you think? Was the airline in the wrong?