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Airline Passenger Forced To Sign Waiver Over Nut Allergy
A passenger allergic to nuts was forced to sign a waiver earlier this month. That stated if she got sick or died on board the plane due to her allergy it would not be the responsibility of the airline.
Allergic To Peanuts
On October 9th, 26-year-old Abbie Tomlinson was on a Bamboo Airways flight from London Heathrow to Vietnam when the incident happened.
“It was really scary, I didn’t take my Covid mask off throughout the whole 14-hour flight or eat on the plane,” the doctor from Newcastle tells The Independent.
“I would never fly with Bamboo Airlines again, to be honest, I’m also put off flying from Heathrow too, as they were so unhelpful.”
When Dr. Tomlinson had told the stewardesses she had a nut allergy and she “politely” asked if they could not serve peanuts on the flight.
“They would not accept that I had a severe airborne nut allergy. This is not something I chose to have nor is it something I can magically fix,” she said in an emotive Twitter thread.
Where's Your Epipen?
“They laughed in my face,” she said, claiming they told her: “you cannot possibly ask people not to eat nuts”.
Before the plane departed, London Heathrow staff came onboard to assist in the matter “due to language barrier,” but they continued stating their hands were tied.
“Just have your EpiPen,” was one of the responses, according to Dr. Tomlinson.
She then claims she was “forced to sign a piece of paper handwritten by the airline saying that if I have an anaphylaxis on board, they will NOT do an emergency landing and if I fly I do so at my own risk and they are not liable if I die on the flight.”
Dr. Tomlinson then claims the crew staff did not want her on the flight, they only let her stay because she was a doctor.
“Just to make everything worse, 20 minutes into the flight, every passenger is offered a complimentary bag of peanuts despite all the above happening,” she said.
“In 2022 I should not be discriminated against for having a medical problem I was born with,” Dr. Tomlinson added. “For info, nut allergies can lead to anaphylaxis and ultimately can lead to cardiac arrest and death. An EpiPen buys you 30 minutes, but you need to have further hospital treatment following any anaphylaxis.”
Bamboo Airways Responds
As reported by The Independent, she mentions she’s had issues flying before but not as severe as Bamboo Airways, “this is the first time I’ve ever been asked to sign something to say they wouldn’t emergency land or the first time they have asked me to leave the flight.”
In a statement from Bamboo Airways they wrote, “As a service provider, Bamboo Airways is very sorry that the experience of passenger Abbie Tomlinson on flight QH24 Heathrow to Hanoi on 9 October 2022 was less than satisfactory. Upon receiving a notice from passenger Abbie Tomlinson about her severe allergy to nuts, we checked the policy and consulted with experienced partners at Heathrow airport.
“Not only the physical nuts but also other types of nuts, such as cooking oil and sauces made from nuts, etc., could also harm.
“In addition, this was a 12-hour long-haul flight, and we had to serve meals to the passengers on board to ensure their health and privileges.
“Therefore, we recommended that passenger Abbie Tomlinson reschedule to another flight with a more deliberate preparation for meals to ensure her absolute health.
“However, passenger Abbie Tomlinson expressed her request to make the flight. Therefore, we gave her a waiver form to sign, which is generally applicable to passengers with special health requirements.
“In the waiver, we are committed to supporting changing seats for passenger Abbie Tomlinson to the last row and not serving nuts in her meal. Passenger Abbie Tomlinson signed the waiver to use the aforementioned inflight meal.
“During the flight, Bamboo Airways’ crew took special care of passenger Abbie Tomlinson, regularly checking to ensure she was okay. Throughout the journey, we did not receive any complaints or requests for medical assistance from passenger Abbie Tomlinson.”
The spokesperson added that it’s Bamboo Airways’ “service signature” that flight attendants “constantly interact with passengers with a smile to show a sense of hospitality and welcome”.
They said: “We deeply regret that differences in culture and communication may have led passenger Abbie Tomlinson to misunderstand that our staff acted disrespectfully upon her allergy notation.”
The airline said it is working with Dr. Tomlinson “for mutual understanding and giving support to our very best”.
“We value our passengers, and exceptional service is always our priority,” they concluded.