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Boy With Allergies Barred From Flight

Photograph by Getty Images

A British 11-year-old vacationing with his family in Florida was barred from the return flight because of his severe peanut allergy, forcing them to spend money for a hotel on two extra nights as they worked to find a way to get back home.

According to Daniel Levitan's parents, Judith and Howard Levitan, the family asked flight attendants to make an announcement asking fellow passengers to not eat peanuts on the flight. Staff members refused to make the announcement even after the pilot of the airplane said he'd be willing to.

The parents reported one airline worker said, "Americans have the right to eat peanuts." An argument ensued as Daniel's parents tried to explain that the boy's throat might close if exposed to peanuts in a worst case scenario. An airline worker subsequently asked for a "fit to fly" certificate from medical professionals, which the family did not have. They were asked to step off the plane and gate agents cancelled their tickets.

The family stayed in Florida two extra days before being able to board a return flight and spent hundreds on phone calls trying to rearrange flights.

The Levitan's said they warned British Airways, which arranged their American Airlines flights, weeks before about the allergy. They say the were told the airline would happily make the accommodations and that all they would need to do is tell the staff as they boarded the plane.

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