Woman stranded 2,000 miles from home after being ‘kicked off flight due to nut allergy’

Hanna says she was forced to find and pay for her own accommodation after being picked up from the plane (Hanna Olsen)

Hanna says she was forced to find and pay for her own accommodation after being picked up from the plane (Hanna Olsen)

A British woman accused Turkish Airlines of being stranded 2,000 miles from her home after being thrown from a plane due to a nut allergy.

Hanna Olsen, a jewelery designer from London, said she was flying from Manchester to Cape Town with Turkey’s flagged airline when the incident occurred.

Although she had no problems on the first leg of her journey, Ms. Olsen says that when she arrived in Istanbul and boarded her second flight to South Africa, she asked the flight attendants about the food they would serve.

“I asked for an ingredient list for the dishes they served, as I did when flying out of Manchester,” he said. Mirror.

“My allergy is mild; not from the air. I didn’t want them to serve nuts or for it to affect others on the flight, I just wanted to know so I could decide if what I’m eating is safe for me.”

Ms. Olsen posted the handwritten 'form' and said it was signed by airline staff (Hanna Olsen/Instagram)

Ms. Olsen posted the handwritten ‘form’ and said it was signed by airline staff (Hanna Olsen/Instagram)

He explained to reporters that while a nut allergy isn’t life-threatening, he can feel sick and itchy for hours if he accidentally eats nuts.

Ms. Olsen claims that at this point the staff began to panic.

“I was given a blank A4 sheet to sign. They said I had to sign the form to say if anything happens I take responsibility. It was a blank piece of paper, not a form,” he said.

“I said I don’t need to eat anything in case of trouble.”

Ms. Olsen said that although she agreed to sign a statement, the staff came back 10 minutes later and the captain refused to transfer her on the flight. That’s why she claims she was removed from the plane in Istanbul.

“I was really upset, it was embarrassing and dehumanizing.” said. “I was crying because the flight was delayed and the other passengers were getting angry.”

He found himself stuck in Istanbul for 24 hours, where he claimed to have paid for one night’s hotel accommodation himself.

He says they said he had to pay £700 to change seats before Turkish Airlines allowed his next flight to his destination, and again asked him to sign a handwritten statement on a piece of paper.

Ms. Olsen was eventually allowed to travel at no additional cost, but she says she would never hesitate to declare her allergies again should the situation escalate similarly.

“I’ve had this allergy since I was born but it really worried me,” she says.

“I can’t help being allergic, their reaction was ridiculous.

“I will never tell the crew about my allergy again because it was so traumatic.

“I only ate bread on the 10-and-a-half-hour flight because I was scared.”

Ms. Olsen posted a photo of the “signed statement” on her social media channels. She writes her name, flight date, and handwriting in blue pen on a folded sheet of paper, saying “if someone next to me eats peanuts, I wouldn’t be affected by it,” as well as “cross-contamination” she says. good”.

In the caption, it says it was signed at 5:22 am, two hours after being picked up from the Cape Town flight.

In June, a British family accused Turkish Airlines of similar treatment when it was announced that their six-year-old daughter had a peanut allergy.

Meanwhile, in September 2019, a Toronto-based passenger also pointed to an incident at Turkish Airlines, saying the carrier had refused him boarding because he said he had a nut allergy, forcing him to pay around £1,500 for new flights.

Allergy awareness campaigner Lianne Mandelbaum made a supportive statement, saying: “In 2022, no one should be belittled or subjected to outright hostility because of a legitimate medical condition.

“This incident is just one of the many testimonies I have gathered that shows that food allergies are often not understood or supported.

“People with heart conditions are much more likely to have a medical problem in flight. Still, no one recommends that people over a certain age or weight be screened before boarding because of the increased risk of potential heart problems.

“It is absolutely unacceptable to prevent a passenger with a food allergy from traveling by plane using personal medical information.

“We disclose this information so that we can take reasonable precautions to reduce the risk of a reaction during flight.”

Independent applied to Turkish Airlines for comment.

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