Boy taken off plane over allergies, passengers cheer

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Passengers started clapping as a seven-year-old Arizona boy and his parents were escorted off an Allegiant airplane.

An Arizona boy who was taken off a plane after having an allergic reaction to dogs onboard was visiting the Pacific Northwest as part of a bucket-list trip for his terminally ill father.

The boy's mother, Christina Fabian, tells KING-TV in Seattle that "people toward the back of the plane clapped" as the family left the plane. The cheering hurt her son, Giovanni, 7. The family is now trying to move on from the experience.

"That's over and done with and we forgive everybody that did that," she said.

Some fellow passengers, however, have come forward and disputed the family's characterization. Two passengers told The Arizona Republic ( ) that there was some light clapping but it wasn't meant to be malicious.

Carole Burton, of Bellingham, Washington, said about half a dozen passengers in the back applauded when the family reached the front of the plane.

"I didn't take it as a negative at all," said Burton, who was a few rows behind the family. "I just thought it was kind of applauding, cheering them on, happy you're getting help."

Janet VanderYacht, of Lynden, Washington, interpreted the clapping to be an expression of relief from passengers on a flight that was already late.

"I think if it were me and it was all happening to me, I wouldn't have made a big deal of this," VanderYacht said.

Giovanni started to get hives as they were boarding the Allegiant Air flight from Washington state to the Phoenix area. The crew later asked them to get off the plane.

The boy's father has terminal cancer, and the family was visiting relatives in Washington.

Allegiant says it followed the advice of its on-call doctor.

"In this case, the medical doctor recommended that the passenger should not travel at that time to ensure the highest level of safety for that passenger," the airline said in a statement.

Allegiant said it has already apologized to the family and is looking to see if any service improvements need to be made.
Related Topics:
travelair travelchildrenallergiesu.s. & worldArizona

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