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Humiliated Teenager Almost Kicked Off Plane For Strawberry Allergy

Chloe Fitzpatrick/Facebook

As anyone who suffers from allergies know, they're no walk in the park, especially if the symptoms are severe.

"While it's impossible to avoid your allergy trigger in some situations, most people are accommodating if you tell them you have an airborne allergy.

However, when one 19-year-old from Lancashire, England advised an airplane's cabin crew about her allergy to strawberries, she claims they nearly kicked her off her flight.

"I was told I would have to sort out an alternative way home."

Chloe Fitzpatrick and her boyfriend Matthew Higson were on a plane from the Greek island of Zakynthos to Manchester, England when she advised Thomas Cook Airlines staff she was allergic to all strawberry products.

Lancashire Telegraph reports that although the cabin crew said they would make an announcement to the other passengers about her condition, a staff member later informed Fitzpatrick she wasn't comfortable with having someone with her allergy on the flight.

Fizpatrick alleged the manager then told her she had to make alternative accommodations in order to return home.  

"I was told I would have to sort out an alternative way home," she told the Lancashire Telegraph. "[The crew member] then listed times where other passengers who had been refused to fly due to their allergies."

Fitzpatrick claims the staff told her they wouldn't modify their menu "at the expense of the other 200" passengers.

"She said the pilot had agreed with her and was not comfortable having such a passenger on board," she continued. "I was then told it was an unfair expectation to refuse other passengers full access to the on-board menu."

Fitzpatrick said the manager had asked her "if she could serve the products just to customers at the front of the plane," which significantly struck a nerve.

"She appeared to have no understanding of the concept of an airborne anaphylactic allergy. I felt belittled and patronized and embarrassed about my condition."

Fortunately, Fitzpatrick was allowed to remain on the aircraft and the staff removed all strawberry products for sale.

"I hope lessons can be learned from my experience."

Fitzpatrick was diagnosed with her allergy when she was 10 months old, and said she never had a problem with any members of the cabin crew in the past.

"I feel very badly let down by Thomas Cook and find it difficult to comprehend the difference in attitude of the cabin crew on our way to Zakynthos compared to the way I was treated on the return flight home. On our outbound flight the cabin crew were so understanding and could not have done more for me," she said, adding she was humiliated by the incident.

"I hope lessons can be learned from my experience and that they will review their cabin crew training."

Thomas Cook Airlines told Fox News that it's the captain and the cabin crew's responsibility to determine what's best for the safety of their passengers.

"The safety of our customers and crew is always our first priority. When a customer lets us know that they have an allergy, the cabin manager will share the information with the captain and crew as part of their pre-flight briefing to decide on the best course of action, based on the severity of the allergy," the airline said in a statement.

"On speaking with both Ms. Fitzpatrick and the captain, the cabin manager made an announcement to all customers asking them to refrain from opening products containing strawberries that they may have brought on board, and advised that no products containing strawberries would be sold on the flight."

[H/T: Lancashire Telegraph, Fox News]

What would you do if you were in Fitzpatrick's situation? Let us know in the comments!

Maya has been working at Shared for a year. She just begrudgingly spent $200 on a gym membership. Contact her at maya@shared.com