Emirates’ shocking response to allergic siblings
A SISTER and brother with a severe nut allergy were told they could spend a seven-and-a-half-hour flight in the toilet when cashews were served to other passengers.
Siblings Shannen, 24, and Sundeep Sahota, 33, paid more than $9200 to take their parents to Dubai and Singapore for their 60th birthdays, The Sun reported.
Shannen told Emirates airline staff three times of her and her brother's potentially life-threatening allergy - when booking, at check-in and on boarding at Birmingham Airport in the UK.
But 40 minutes into the flight, the pair were "panic-stricken" when they learned the chicken dinner main course for the 500 passengers contained cashew nuts.
Shannen and Sundeep - who carry EpiPens for emergencies - told cabin crew of their fury at being exposed to nut residue that could be carried through air vents.
But they claimed one member of crew told them they might feel more comfortable if they moved into one of the loos with cushions and pillows.
The pair refused and spent the next seven hours sitting at the back of the plane with blankets covering their heads and nostrils to avoid breathing in any nut particles.
Shannen, an analyst who lives in Wolverhampton, in central England, said she formally complained to Emirates.
"It was uncomfortable, embarrassing and demeaning," she said.
"We were stunned when a supervisor told us 'one way round it' was for us to spend the flight in the cabin loo."
Contracts manager Sundeep added: "All information we gave them was ignored."
An Emirates spokesperson said: "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.
"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 minimise their proximity to other passengers who may be consuming meals with nuts.
"We apologise for any inconvenience caused and our customer care team will be in touch with Ms Sahota directly."