A 7 yr. old boy returning from a trip to visit family with his terminally ill father had to be removed from a plane when he had an allergic reaction to a service dog.
That’s unfortunate, but not the really sad part of the story. That came when pax on the G4 flight applauded as the boy and his mom and dad left the plane.
Giovanni, his mom, Christina Fabian and dad George Alvarado were flying home from BLI to PHX when the boy experienced an allergic reaction.
"He began to get very itchy and he was scratching all over. He started to get hives, so we informed the flight attendant who informed us that there's dogs on every flight (...) which minimized his experience for me," said Fabian.
The allergic reaction delayed take off, and after flight attendants consulted with the airline's on-call doctor, the family was asked to leave the plane.
"We understood. They helped us off the plane, but as we gathered our stuff the people toward the back of the plane clapped," said Fabian. He says Giovanni's feelings were crushed by the clapping.
What pax on the flight didn't know is that the trip to Bellingham was on a bucket list. It was a chance to visit family for a very important reason.
"My dad is sick with stage four throat cancer," said Giovanni. Alvarado's cancer is terminal and with time running out, the trip was supposed to be a special one.
Alvarado said he couldn't believe that people were responding to the incident that way.
"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," said Alvarado.
The family tried to turn something terrible into a teaching moment. "You don't know how much time people have or why they are hurting. Just be nice. Be kind," said Alvarado. "People who don't have sadness, they don't understand," he said.
G4 spokeswoman Kim Schaefer said the airline "stands by the decision to remove this passenger from [the] aircraft to ensure his safety."
Schaefer said the airline worked with the family to get them on another flight and said the company is "sorry for the circumstances under which this family was travelling."