Atlanta Mom Claims Her Children Were Kicked off a Flight over a Peanut Allergy

Bettina Dizon
Mar 28, 2019
07:34 A.M.

Two minors were kicked off from a Korean Air plane due to their peanut allergy, on their first flight alone. Their furious mom shared their unimaginable experience on social media.


A mom of two young boys recently let her frustrations out online over her sons encounter with Delta airlines. Pooja Patel narrated how her two minors flew alone from Atlanta, Georgia to Manila, Philippines. They came to Atlanta to visit their sick grandfather but had to fly back to Manila for school. However, during their connecting flight, in Seoul, South Korea, the boys, 16 and 15 years of age, were kicked off of the plane because of their nut allergy.

In Patel’s Facebook post, she said,

“My oldest son explained to the gate agents his severe peanut and tree nuts allergy – ingestion and airborne – which is what he does when boarding all Delta flights.”

Because of their condition, her eldest son kindly asked that no peanuts be served close to them during the flight and to request other passengers to refrain from consuming any nuts, through an announcement.

He also asked if they could board the plane early to clean their seat, keeping the two safe from any possible allergic reaction. The gate agent whom they asked allowed them, and so they got on the plane


According to their fathers talk with TODAY Parents, Rakesh Patel said that all went accordingly until a flight attendant approached the boys and informed them that they will be serving peanuts on the flight, despite the boys’ request and precaution that it could cause them anaphylaxis.

It was at that point that the boys were given two options: either to stay on the plane with peanuts to be served, or to get off. One of the kids asked if there was another option possible, and that was when the airline staff kicked them off. Two black or white options and no helpful solution was given to the two minors.

As they were restricted from boarding the plane again, the kids did what any child would do – call their parents. They FaceTimed right away so their parents could quickly contact the airline. However, they were left unanswered, and the boys were left at the gate.

The two ended up taking a flight back to Atlanta, where they began. The gravity of the situation is far more than not getting on the flight, but also missing school, risking their safety, and incurring expenses.


As any parents would be, the Patel’s were frantic with worry for their two boys alone in South Korea. Rakesh told TODAY Parents,

“Why are we putting people through that kind of distress?”

“These are kids who are traveling alone, literally on the other side of the world, and they’re being forced off a plane – so people can eat nuts on the plane?”

He added,

“My wife and I are livid and angry; this is not right.”

Korean Air released their statement on the issue,

“Korean Air is aware that peanut and food allergies are an industry issue and no airline can guarantee a food allergy-free environment. But we are reviewing ways to deal with this issue in a safe and feasible way. We totally understand the risks faced by passengers with nut and food allergies and will certainly try to accommodate them better in the future. Korean Air sincerely apologizes to Mr. and Mrs. Patel and their sons. Customer service is a mainstay of the Delta and Korean Air partnership and we regret that the Patels experience did not reflect our common values. We are reviewing this incident and will strive to create a better customer experience.”


Delta Airlines made an additional comment on the issue,


“We’re sorry for this family’s ordeal, and we are working with our partner Korean Air to examine the processes surrounding this incident. We will use our findings to create a consistent experience for customers flying Delta and our partner airlines.”

Perhaps any parent, given this traumatic experience their children experienced alone, will be outraged. Being minors flying alone, airline staff should have assisted the children better and addressed their needs.

Patel believes that matters as such should be addressed, if not completely avoided, for they are bad for children.

“Instances like these leave an imprint on a young adult. It’s not right. Personally I could advocate for a ban on serving raw peanuts on any plane – but until that happens, how about using common sense and consistent enforcement policies? Make an effort to be sensitive to your passengers, which would tell the passenger, ‘We care about your life, we understand you have a severe allergy, and we’re going to take some common sense measures to limit your exposure as best we can,”

said Patel.

Delta Airlines previously experienced a complaint with Tamar Braxton as well. Apparently, the pilot of the aircraft ridiculed and mistreated her. However, the singer and tv personality did not blame the airline for the encounter, only the employees at hand.


Reports of passengers being kicked out the plane are nothing new. In fact, stories like this often go viral online. A similar thing happened to a woman who was on a flight from Las Vegas to Newark, New Jersey. The passenger repeatedly fat-shamed her seatmates and embarrassed them through loud complaints. Later, the woman was kicked out because of her rude behavior and, as harsh as it sounds, she deserved it.

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