Plane passengers can be such prigs. Case in point: Clapping by intolerant travelers after a boy’s allergies force him and his family off an Allegiant flight waiting to disembark. The blinkered passengers focused their ire on a seven-year-old boy and his parents – and their insolent ovation completely missed out on two minor facts: The boy is severely allergic to animals, and his dad is dying.
Reports Fox News on Feb. 23: “Parents Christina Fabian and George Alvarado were taking their son, Giovanni, 7, on a special trip to get the boy’s mind off his father’s stage 4 throat cancer. George only has a few months left to live and the family trip was all about Giovanni, who wants to spend as much time with his father as he can.”
The family was due to leave Monday from Bellingham, Wash. and fly back to their home in Phoenix. But the trio’s bucket trip, final vacation together ended on an awful note. Sporadic clapping from passengers in the rear of the aircraft has now left a distasteful memory in Giovanni’s mind, when all he was trying to do was create a few, final positive recollections before he loses his dad.
When Christina and George noticed their son breaking out in hives, they asked if there have been any recent animals on the flight or in their seats. As an allergy sufferer myself, even the slightest exposure to animal dander will set me off and close up my lungs. A single dog hair in my eye will turn it into an itchy, red, watering fountain for hours on end.
“He began to get very itchy and he was scratching all over,” mom Christina said, according to KCENtv.com. “He started to get hives, so we informed the flight attendant who informed us that there are dogs on every flight and just smirked.”
After Giovanni’s allergies continued to worsen, the family was forced to leave after the ground delays grew. “We understood,” Christina said. “They helped us off the plane, but as we gathered our stuff the people toward the back of the plane clapped.”
Added Alvarado: “As a dad I was just hopeless right there. I just looked at the people clapping. I was just shaking my head, I was like man let’s get out of here,” he said, adding: “You don’t know how much time people have or why they are hurting. Just be nice. Be kind.”
“It wasn’t the flight attendant’s fault we got off the plane,” Fabian tells KINGTV. “It was the flight attendant’s attitude that perpetuated people’s agitated behavior around us. It’s just the comments she had made.”
But it was young Giovanni’s words that sting the most:
“People who don’t have sadness, they don’t understand,” the seven-year-old said. “My dad is sick with stage four throat cancer. And that made me really sadder when I was already sad. I’m sad this has to be a memory with my dad.”
According to Fox News, Allegiant Airlines has apologized to the family after putting them on a different flight home. But the damage is clearly already done.