A teenager claims she was left “embarrassed and humiliated” when an air stewardess refused to let her fly home from Greece - over a deadly strawberry allergy.
Former Mount Carmel High School pupil Chloe Fitzpatrick and her boyfriend Matthew Higson were boarding a flight to Manchester from Zakynthos when she says a Thomas Cook steward told her she would have to find ‘an alternative way home’.
Chloe, from Oswaldtwistle, suffers from a severe airborne strawberry allergy and told cabin crew when she boarded the flight about her anaphylaxis.
She says she told the two stewards about her airborne strawberry allergy when she got on the plane and the pair agreed to not serve the berry Magners cider and rose wine.
However the dance and drama teacher claims a more senior flight attendant then refused to not serve the two products on the flight despite it putting her at risk of anaphylactic shock.
The 19-year-old, who was already nervous about taking her first trip abroad without parents, said the incident had left her shocked and embarrassed.
Chloe said: “She said I could not expect them not to serve popular alcoholic drinks like rose wine and berry Magners.
"I felt humiliated by her lack of sensitivity. I did not want to have to start explaining to her how I live my daily life with my condition.
"I felt belittled and patronised and embarrassed about my condition.”
Flight attendants eventually allowed her to take her seat on the flight and an announcement was then made to passengers saying they could not consume strawberries on board.
They also removed items from the on board menu containing strawberry products.
Chloe added: “She made the announcement right in front of me while I was still stood speaking to her.
“As I returned to my seat I felt all passengers were looking at me. It was obvious that I was the passenger with the allergy. Again I was acutely embarrassed and humiliated.”
Thomas Cook said the safety of their customers and crew is ‘always their first priority’. A spokesperson said: “When a customer lets us know that they have an allergy, the cabin manager will share the information with the captain and crew as part of their pre-flight briefing to decide on the best course of action, based on the severity of the allergy.
“On speaking with both Ms Fitzpatrick and the captain, the cabin manager made an announcement to all customers asking them to refrain from opening products containing strawberries that they may have brought on board and advised that no products containing strawberries would be sold on the flight.”