‘Indian-origin siblings with nut allergies told to sit in loo by Emirates staff’
Two Indian-origin siblings, with a severe nut allergy, were allegedly told by Emirates cabin crew to ‘sit in the loo’ while cashews were being served on the flight, media reports said.
Shannen Sahota, 24, and Sundeep Sahota, 33, say they warned the airline three times about their allergies and were shocked when the fried nuts were served 40 minutes into the flight, leaving them “panic stricken”, Daily Express reported.
Last week, Shannen and Sundeep departed England’s Birmingham Airport en route to Dubai and Singapore to celebrate their parents’ 60th birthday in a trip that cost more than 5,000 pounds, the report said.
The siblings claim they told the Emirates staff on multiple occasions of the severity of the condition when booking, checking-in and upon boarding the flight from Birmingham Airport.
However, when flight menus were passed around, the pair were panicked to discover the chicken biryani contained fried cashew nuts, it said.
After realising that they could be exposed to nuts, they claim that one staff member told them they might feel more comfortable if they moved into a toilet with cushions and pillows, the report added.
They refused to move into the toilets after a staff member suggested it and spent the next seven hours sitting at the back of the plane with blankets covering their heads and nostrils.
“We felt so degraded and embarrassed - it was horrible and it was meant to be a happy occasion but the start of our holiday was ruined,” said Shannen, an analyst from Wolverhampton.
“We were stunned when a supervisor told us ‘one way round it’ was for us to spend the flight in the cabin loo,” she said.
She said sitting at the back of the plane was “uncomfortable, embarrassing and demeaning”.
Sundeep, a contracts manager, said Emirate ignored all the information they had given them.
The airline, however, claims the booking records do not reflect any mention of an allergy and it can never guarantee nut-free flights.
“We are sorry to hear about Ms Sahota’s complaint. Emirates tries to cater to all passengers 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,” the airline said in a statement.
“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 here.”