A family from Phoenix was looking forward to its bucket list trip – they were heading to see relatives in Canada after learning their father was diagnosed with terminal throat cancer.
But their trip ended in heartbreak and disgust after rude passengers on their Allegiant plane turned on the family because of a plane delay.
It all started when George Alvarado’s 7-year-old son, Giovanni, had an allergic reaction to a dog onboard. Giovanni and his family were moved to the back of the plane and eventually, after 90 minutes passed and he was still having an allergic reaction, the family was asked to leave the plane.
As they were being escorted out, passengers began cheering.
“My dad’s sick with Stage IV throat cancer,” Giovanni told King-TV in Phoenix. “And that made me really sadder when I was already sad. I’m sad this has to be a memory with my dad.”
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George Alvarado said the passengers’ behavior left him shaking his head.
“I was just like, ‘Man, let’s get out of here,'” Alvarado said. "You don’t know how much time people have or why they’re hurting. Just be nice. Be kind.”
Alvarado’s wife, Christina Fabian, explained that her son started to get itchy and break out in hives as soon as the family sat down. When she alerted the flight attendant, the crew member gave her a smirking response that “there are dogs on every flight.”
Allegiant Airlines has since apologized to the family.
“Allegiant is in direct contact with this family and have offered them our sincere apologies with regard to their negative experience,” the company said in a statement. “We are truly sorry for the unfortunate circumstances surrounding their previously ticketed itinerary and for the inconvenience they have experienced as a result.”
Patients diagnosed with Stage IV throat cancer have a very low chance of survival. Giovanni seems aware of the little time he has left with his father and the need for understanding and compassion.
“People that do not have sadness,” he said, “they don’t understand what it feels like to have sadness.”