Boy allergy service dog passengers laughed applauded
Source: KING-TV Channel 5 News.

Passengers Applaud as Boy Allergic to Dog is Removed From Airplane

Passengers allegedly cheered, laughed and applauded at the removal of a boy — who is seven years old — from an airplane simply because he suffered a severe allergic reaction as the result of a dog which was present aboard the aircraft operated by Allegiant Air before flight 171 departed for Phoenix.

George Alvarado — who is 48 years old and has been diagnosed with terminal stage four throat cancer — was on his way home from a special trip to Bellingham which he had just spent with wife Christina Fabian and son Giovanni when this incident allegedly occurred on Monday, February 22, 2016, resulting in a delay of the flight before the family was asked by members of the flight crew to leave the aircraft. The trip was special because the family simply wanted to vacation in the state of Washington before Alvarado died.

Alvarado is sad that this cruel encounter forms part of the final memories Giovanni had with his father, according to this article written by Nico Santos of KPNX-TV Channel 12 News in Arizona. “People that do not have sadness should know … what sadness feels like when they have somebody in the family or somebody that’s sick, and they have to deal with that,” said Giovanni, who felt that the incident was all his fault.

“He began to get very itchy and he was scratching all over”, Fabian told reporter Natalie Swaby, who wrote this article for KING-TV Channel 5 News in Seattle. “He started to get hives, so we informed the flight attendant who informed us that there’s dogs on every flight and just smirked, which minimized his experience for me.”

Some passengers reportedly laughed at the boy when he was in distress.

“As a dad I was just hopeless right there”, Alvarado reportedly said. “I just looked at the people clapping. I was just shaking my head, I was like man let’s get out of here.”

The next available flight home for the family was two days later because Allegiant Air has a limited number of routes. The family was accommodated by the airline — which was in direct contact with the family — and has offered their apologies for the negative experience and the inconvenience, according to a spokesperson for Allegiant Air.

Members of the flight crew had consulted with a physician on call for medical emergencies, who urged Giovanni to leave the aircraft for his own well-being — a recommendation with which members of the family reportedly agreed.

Members of the family — not understanding the reaction from fellow passengers which led to this painful experience — is hoping that this experience can be converted into teaching people to show more respect and sympathy for fellow human beings.


We saw this coming — didn’t we?

People passing off their pets as “emotional support animals” in attempts to blatantly defraud airlines and use the law in the United States to their advantage — “As someone severely allergic to dogs and cats this whole thing makes my blood boil” was posted as a comment by reader P T — was simply not enough. Now it has come down to the health of fellow people versus outright selfishness.

The dog — which was on the manifest of the flight — was reported to be a service animal. If it was indeed a bonafide service dog which its owner requires for legitimate reasons, I can understand the boy being removed from the aircraft so as not to delay the flight…

…but if the dog was a pet being passed off as an “emotional support animal”, then this incident is a classic example of why changes to the federal law in the United States need to be enacted as soon as possible.

There are those who claim that people with allergies — such as with peanuts, for example — need to be more responsible with regard to affecting fellow passengers and not expect others to unnecessarily outright cater to them; but what if the allergies were yet to be known? The family in question had reportedly not been previously been aware of the allergy which Giovanni apparently has with dogs.

Regardless of which side of the debates you and I support, how can anyone laugh at the misery of a fellow passenger who is in despair — especially that of a little boy? Why can’t we be more tolerant of others — especially when we are confined to a long metal tube in an attempt to travel from one place to another? Why can’t we compromise and give fellow passengers the benefit of the doubt? Why can’t we maintain a better perspective in life and do what we can to ensure that as many people are as happy as possible?

Fredrick Kunkle of The Washington Post concluded this editorial — which was brought to my attention from reader JRG — with the following statement:

“Makes you wonder which ones were the animals.”


Source: KING-TV Channel 5 News.

  1. There has to be more to the story. At least I hope so. Even heartless people would not openly celebrate someones medical emergency.

    1. Thank you for providing definitive proof of your accusation, anon, with the results and sources of your research.

      I suddenly have a craving for a cracker…

  2. Unfortunately, we have reached the point where animals are valued more than humans. This an outward manifestation of the pathology that currently plagues our society as the majority of people seem to believe that “pets are people too”.

    1. I have known people who valued and treasured animals more than humans, Greg M — and I have heard their reasons as to why they feel that way…

  3. This is ridiculous!!!! The dog should not be in the plane. People are carrying pets on planes and giving excuses they are service dogs. Even if they were service dogs, if there is anyone on the plane with allergies they should not board the dog. This week I boarded a Delta plane and they announced that since someone on board had peanuts allergies they were not going to serve peanuts. They left the peanuts behind. The dog is the peanut. If someone is allergic get the dog out of the plane and not the passenger.

  4. The term “animal” used as an insult is ridiculous when clearly people just behave so wrong. Can we not see that both the animal AND the young boy should be treated with compassion?

    The poor young child should have been treated with the utmost of respect and his removal not clapped. by his fellow passengers. What the hell is wrong with people? Obviously the dog could have been removed instead also.

    This world (because of us humans) is wrong, it saddens me.

  5. tollerance… zero. This reminds me of the case where a lady was onboard wearing a head scarf (muslim) and people startet shouting: “remove it – we are in america.. ”

    respect and tollerance, the principals when the usa was founded went totally down the hill. no wonder the reputation of this country is where it is.

    1. Amen to respect and tolerance for others, tortellini.

      Imagine what the world would be like if that was more prevalent…

  6. As a parent of a child with a SEVERE peanut allergy let me enlighten people on how difficult it is to live with this allergy. No one asks to have an illness or allergy, we are given what we are given and must make the best of our situation but unfortunately along the way because of certain VERY and let me repeat VERY necessary accommodations you are ridiculed, pointed out and made to feel BAD. I always knew that people in this world can be cruel and heartless but this brought my awareness to a new level after having a child with a life threatening allergy. Unfortunately you really see the lack of love, compassion and empathy for our fellow man. My child’s allergy to peanuts is not an intolerance, it’s a true allergy (life of death) peanuts are an extremely difficult food to be allergic to because the protein in a peanut goes air borne which raises the potential for a reaction to occur especially on an aircraft. I have heard people say “should we ban everything” of course sarcastically. I will educate you…..peanuts are the only food that the protein goes airborne hence a buffer zone on an airplane. I can only hope one day science will come up with a treatment that will reduce the odds of his life threatening allergy but until then we have no choice but to try and manage it the best we can. Life is not easy for anyone, we all have a story but kindness, compassion and empathy are a free and endless source so try and use them.

Your email address will not be published.

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our team.

You have Successfully Subscribed!