PROVO, Utah -- Kyson and Sara Dana say they, along with their son Theo, were kicked off their Allegiant Air flight from Utah after telling a flight attendant their son has a peanut allergy.
The California couple say they were flying out of Provo Monday afternoon on Allegiant and were heading to Oakland, California. The couple and their two-year old son live in the Bay Area.
In a Skype interview on Wednesday, Kyson Dana said that as they stepped through the door, his wife alerted the flight attendant to Theo's allergy.
"My son has a peanut allergy, is there anything you can do, like can you not serve peanuts around us, is there anything you can do to help accommodate for that?" he said, relaying what his wife asked the flight attendant.
He said the Allegiant flight attendant immediately told the couple that she didn't recommend they fly on the plane.
"My wife said, 'We're obviously flying on the plane, and we recognize the risks. We have an EpiPen with us,'" he recounted.
Dana said they continued on to their seats, put off by the interaction and flight attendant's apparent attitude. They wiped their seats down with the sanitation wipes and got settled in. A second flight attendant, Dana said, came up and asked passengers around them to avoid eating peanuts and everyone agreed to it.
"And it seemed like the situation was resolved," he said.
But a few minutes later, he said, "A third flight attendant comes to us and says, 'We've spoken to... the pilot, and we are going to have you removed from the plane.'"
Dana said the flight team told the family they consulted with a medical professional, and decided it wasn't safe to let them fly. The three unloaded from the plane, missed their flight home and wondered why the airline took such serious measures.
KSTU reached out to Allegiant Air, and a representative said they are looking into the situation and will reach back out when there is more information.
The Dana family said they complained and Allegiant sent them this response that said in part:
"On behalf of the entire Allegiant team, please allow me to offer my sincere apology for the inconveniences this incident has caused for you and your family. We regret that you were denied boarding due to any misunderstanding regarding the severity of your child’s peanut allergy. I realize that medical issues can be highly challenging. We just wanted to make sure you arrived home safely."
The Dana family said, even with the apology, they would like to see policy changes when it comes to how those with allergies are treated on flights.
In the end, the family did make it home safely. They said a generous Provo Airport worker secured them a new flight at no cost and with a different airline, then personally drove them to the Salt Lake City International Airport to fly home.