Delta backs FA decision to deny nut allergy accommodations | Airlines

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Delta Air Lines is standing by one of its flight attendants who has been accused of discriminating against a passenger with a nut allergy in a formal complaint lodged to the United States Department of Transport (DOT).

Deena Gianulis Castro and her mother Deborah Gianulis filed the complaint in July 2023 on behalf of Gianulis’ 14-year old son, who has a severe allergy to tree nuts.

The incident took place in October 2022 when the family boarded a flight from San Diego International Airport (SAN) to New York’s John F Kennedy Airport (JFK) to attend a family wedding.

When they were booking the flight, the family repeatedly requested that Delta not serve nuts on the flight. They also asked for an announcement during the flight to make other passengers aware about the allergy.

In the complaint, the family said they were told by the airline that these accommodations would be made. The family made the request once more when they were at the boarding gate on the day of travel. They said that two gate agents and a flight attendant reassured them that the requests would be accommodated.

The family boarded the flight and just as the aircraft was about to pull from the gate, a flight attendant approached them and advised that almonds would be offered as a snack during the flight.

A report by health media outlet Allergic Living said that based on the DOT complaint, the attendant conducted her own research and found that tree nuts “cannot cause airborne reactions”.

The family disagreed with the research, and said that they had previously been on a flight where the teen experienced breathing difficulty because nuts were served.

The flight attendant allegedly told them that they should leave the aircraft if they were uncomfortable. 

The family did exactly that, stating in the complaint that the teenager was “humiliated to have to deplane and to have his medical diagnosis publicly questioned”.

Delta backs flight…

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