A woman is accusing Delta Air Lines of endangering the life of her cat-allergic husband and joking about it.
Jackie and Lewis Reckline and their daughter were recently sitting in first class on a Delta flight from Georgia to their home state of Oklahoma when a woman boarded the plane with two cats, according to Atlanta local news station WSB-TV.
Lewis is allergic to cats, so Jackie alerted the flight crew to his condition. “My husband will go into anaphylactic shock in the air,” she told local Atlanta news station WXIA-TV. “It was almost a 3-hour flight. He can’t stay on board if the cats are going to be on board.”
The large cat carriers were then placed in a storage closet not far from the Recklines’ seats.
“At the moment, it wasn’t taken seriously with any regard,” Jackie told WSB-TV. “The flight crew was going above and beyond to accommodate the cats and not accommodate a human condition.”
When Lewis’s eyes began to water and his throat felt scratchy, he informed the crew that he had to step off the plane. Jackie said the crew then began joking about the situation over the loudspeaker.
“Joining us tonight are Atlanta-based flight attendants and Milo and Roxy … and then chuckles,” she told WXIA-TV.
Lewis disembarked, leaving his wife and daughter behind, and waited overnight for another flight. Delta paid for his hotel, refunded a portion of the family’s tickets, and provided an extra monetary gift.
The Recklines did not respond to Yahoo Lifestyle’s requests for comment.
A representative of Delta sent a statement to Yahoo Lifestyle on the incident: “The comfort and safety of every customer who flies Delta is our top priority and we work hard to ensure those with allergies are well taken care of. We have reached out directly to this customer to better understand his and his family’s experience and apologize for the inconvenience this situation may have caused.”
According to the airline’s policy on pet allergies, “With service animals often on board, we can’t guarantee a pet-free or allergen-free flight. We can allow you to board early to clean your seat area of trace allergens, but you must bring your own cleaning materials. Please notify a Delta representative if you need to change seats due to an allergy or other health need.”
Jackie claims she was told that the airline should have been alerted to Lewis’s allergy in the “special request” section when the family booked their tickets, according to WXIA-TV. “Someone needs to let other people know this, that the onus is totally on you to put it in special requests … you just don’t know what animals are going to end up on that plane with you,” she said.
She added, “You chose cats over a human life, and that’s appalling to me.”
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