19-year-old Brodie Chapman did his best to warn British Airways of his severe allergy to tree nuts. His travel agent informed the airline when booking his tickets and Chapman was diligent in notifying staff upon boarding.
That didn’t stop the cabin staff from carelessly serving him the very allergen that could have killed him mid-flight.
Before his flight from London to Vancouver, Chapman told the cabin staff about his allergy but was served a bag of cashews before takeoff and a walnut cake during his flight.
On his return flight, he was forced to administer his epinephrine auto-injector in mid-air when he suffered a reaction to fruit served atop of a bed of nut-filled granola.
I was in tears because no one seemed to be taking my condition seriously.
It was terrifying. I kept telling staff I was allergic to nuts, yet they kept giving me them. If I’d eaten them, I would be dead.
British Airways said it had contacted Chapman to apologize and to discuss how to compensate him for the ordeal.
Tanya Ednan-Laperouse, founder of the Natasha Allergy Research Foundation, said Chapman’s experience was a “terrifying insight into the world of an allergy sufferer on a plane,” and added: “When you are trapped 36,000 feet up and having a serious allergic reaction, that plane is potentially your coffin.”
Ms Ednan-Laperouse is the mother of Natasha Ednan-Laperouse who perished from an anaphylactic reaction she suffered while on a British Airways flight to Nice. While onboard, she ate a sandwich purchased from a Pret A Manger shop at Heathrow that contained unlabeled sesame.
While it is certainly inconvenient, we at SnackSafely.com urge those coping with food allergies to consider bringing their own food aboard and avoiding food served during the flight. The cabin crew may not be well-versed in accommodating passengers at risk and there is no way to determine whether a dish came in contact with an allergen of concern during preparation.
Needless to say, always take two epinephrine auto-injectors along on every flight and have them on hand in the cabin in case the unthinkable happens and you suffer a reaction in-flight.
Have you ever been served your allergen of concern on a flight after warning the airline and cabin crew of your food allergy? Sound off below.