Indian-Origin Siblings Allergic to Nuts Told to ‘Sit in Loo’ on Flight
The siblings claim that they had given prior information to Emirates about their severe nut allergy.
Two siblings of Indian origin, who have severe nut allergy, have alleged that they were told by the Emirates cabin crew to “sit in the loo” while cashews were being served on a flight. Shannen Sahota, 24, and Sundeep Sahota, 33, were on board a seven and-a-half hour flight, which departed from England’s Birmingham Airport en route to Dubai and Singapore.
The siblings claimed on the show This Morning, a British daytime television program broadcast on ITV, that the airline did not pay attention to their condition despite being relayed the information about their nut allergy during booking and check-in.
The duo was panic stricken when fried nuts were being served 40 minutes into the flight. They were also alarmed when they learned that the chicken main course dinner for 500 passengers contained cashew nuts.
One of the cabin crew reportedly told them that they might feel more comfortable if they moved into a toilet cubicle with cushions and pillows, they said. They refused and instead sat at the back of the plane with blankets over their heads for the remaining seven hours, to protect themselves from any airborne nut particles, the Sun reported. They carry EpiPen injections for emergencies.
Shannen, an analyst living at Wolverhampton, formally complained to Emirates, saying: “It was uncomfortable, embarrassing and demeaning. We were stunned when a supervisor told us ‘one way round it’ was for us to spend the flight in the cabin loo.”
Sundeep, a contracts manager, said, “All information we gave them was ignored,” the Mirror reported.
An Emirates spokesperson apologized following the report. “We are sorry to hear about Ms Sahota’s complaint. Emirates tries to cater to all passenger specific needs by offering a number of special meals that cover as many medical, dietary and religious requirements as possible. However, Emirates cannot guarantee completely nut-free flights, the airline said. “We’ve looked into Ms Sahota’s booking and our records do not reflect any mention of a nut allergy. All passengers who alert us of a nut allergy prior to travel are informed of our policy and it is also outlined on our website. When alerted during the flight, our crew tried their best to offer Ms Sahota and her brother alternative locations in an open space in back of the aircraft cabin to minimize their proximity to other passengers who may be consuming meals with nuts. We apologize for any inconvenience caused and our customer care team will be in touch with Miss Sahota directly.”