“Life-threatening allergy? Prove it!”
Flight from Los Angeles to Columbus
- One Way
- Number of Stops:
- 1 stop in Charlotte, North Carolina
- Date of Flight:
- November 2010
- Seat Class:
An unusual souvenir came home with me from Los Angeles: a long-haired white kitty I found at the Orange County shelter.
Kitty had her own flight reservation, and I paid the required fee. Just before boarding, the gate agent summoned me. I was being denied boarding because another passenger claimed to have a "life-threatening allergy" to cats.
I'm sympathetic to those so afflicted, but this was absurd. The passenger was seated in the rear of the coach cabin. I was in first class -- a plane-length away from her. For all she knew, someone with a pet occupied HER seat on the incoming flight. If she was that extremely allergic, paramedics should have been administering aid to her in the crowded boarding area.
Since the allergic passenger refused to take another flight, kitty and I had to be reaccommodated on a later flight on another airline. At LAX, changing terminals is a hassle. Kitty and I schlepped from Terminal 1 to Terminal 4, re-checked in, endured a second tour of TSA security and awaited a later flight on American Airlines.
All I'm asking is before one passenger out of 250 on a plane can inconvenience another passenger to such a degree, the allergic passenger should provide some sort of proof or documentation of the disability.
Yes, I understand the allergic passenger is covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act, but you can't get a handipped parking placard without a doctor's verification. You shouldn't be able to disrupt another person's travel itinerary with less proof.
Oh, and the substitute American Airlines flights were delightful. The flight attendants and my seatmates fell in love with kitty, and all agreed that rescuing an animal from a shelter was a wonderful souvenir. One passenger even suggested naming her "Cali," out of respect for her California roots.