The plane passengers who were clapping when a boy with allergies was escorted of an Allegiant flight didn’t know that the boy was on his last plane ride with his father who was dying of stage four throat cancer. The only thing that the cheering Allegiant plane passengers apparently knew was that their 90 minute delay for their takeoff was finally over.
Had the clapping plane passengers known that the boy’s allergies were due to the stress of travelling with his dying father, the family’s nightmarish experience on Monday’s trip from Bellingham, Washington, back home to Phoenix, Arizona, might have been one of empathy and compassion. As reported by AZ Central on February 25, instead of providing the restless passengers on the Allegiant Flight 171 with some considerate information, the flight attendant added to the family’s hellish experience.
“It was the flight attendant’s attitude that perpetuated people’s agitated behavior around us. It’s just the comments she had made,” said Christina Fabian, the boy’s mom.
What the clapping Allegiant passengers didn’t know was that Giovanni, 7, his mom Christina Fabian, and his dad, George Alvarado, had been on a final trip to Washington. George was suffering from stage four throat cancer and had only a few months left to live. The family was hoping to make this final plane trip to visit family in Bellingham, Washington, a special and memorable experience for the little boy.
According to Giovanni’s mom, the emotional stress of returning home with his dying dad most likely contributed to the severe allergy reaction that he experienced on the plane. “He has been forced to helplessly witness terminal cancer ravish through his father’s body.”
Of course, when a flight attendant noticed the boy’s allergic reaction and that he started to scratch all over, the flight was delayed until medical advice could be obtained. Once a flight attendant determined that it must be due to an allergy to dogs, the family was asked to get off the plane.
Why it took 90 minutes to resolve the situation and why the flight attendant “hastily smirked” at the family experiencing a stressful situation is incomprehensible. Why the other passengers were not informed that there was a medical emergency as the reason for the delay is even more puzzling.
Instead of compassion, the family got the explanation that dogs were on board of the plane all the time and that the family should have been prepared. But how do you prepare a 7-year-old for the death of his father?
The passengers who were clapping as the boy with allergies was escorted off the plane might want to read what their reaction left in 7-year-old Giovanni:
“He was making memories with his father. Memories that you have now become part of. He will never forget that you clapped as he deboarded that plane. Thank you for your insulting, ignorant, insinuating comments that minimized my son’s experience and make a horrible memory at the end of my husband’s life. Shame on you for being so cruel. What would you have done if he had stayed silent and died on that flight? What crushed us was that our seven-year-old boy looked at us with tear-filled eyes and said, ‘I’m sorry that I put you through this. This is all my fault’.”
In addition to his mom’s words, Giovanni told the local news station:
“I am sad that this had to be a memory with my dad. People who don’t have sadness, they don’t understand.”