Airline responds after woman was 'left with no choice' but to buy every packet of peanuts on flight
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An airline has apologised after a woman was ‘left with no choice’ but to buy every packet of peanuts on a flight due to her severe allergy.
But after she asked if passengers could be stopped from having nuts on board, staff allegedly refused – meaning she had to take matters into her own hands.
Williams, a design firm worker from Alton, Hampshire, ended up buying all 48 peanut packets on the plane in a drastic bid to ensure no one else opened them up while they were flying.
And the desperate measures didn’t come cheap, either, as she forked out an unpalatable £3 per packet – nearly £150 in total.
She told The Mirror: “The stewards looked at me blankly like I was crazy and said, ‘But there is a lot, we’ll have to count them all.’ I said, ‘Please do count them and I will pay for them all, seeing as you have left me with no choice’.”
She added: “Eurowings should be ashamed of how they handled this situation and for the way they made me feel.”
The airline has since responded about the incident, arguing that she was ‘not forced’ to buy all of the peanuts on board, despite her claims.
Spokesperson Anke Carola Walter told LADbible: “We are very sorry that the flight with us did not go as smoothly as planned and we regret any inconvenience this has caused Leah Williams.
“One thing in advance: Leah Williams was not forced to buy all packages of peanuts on board – on the contrary, our purser tried to offer her an alternative solution by informing all passengers sitting around her about Leah’s allergy.”
The statement added: “She agreed at first but then decided to still buy all the packages.”
The spokesperson argued that the airline was unable to remove all potential allergens from their flights, continuing: “Eurowings operates more than 600 flights a day, carrying more than 80,000 passengers daily. As there are many causes for allergies and intolerances, it is not possible to exclude the possibility of their presence on board a plane.
“In general, meals and snacks are served during Eurowings flights. In addition, passengers are also allowed to bring their own food on board.
"For this reason, Eurowings is unable to guarantee that the aircraft is free of foodstuffs that may trigger an allergic reaction, such as peanuts.
“Furthermore, due to its construction (shape, air conditioning system, ventilation, etc.), it is not possible to prevent an accumulation of peanut/nut traces (e.g. residues from an earlier flight) despite regular and thorough cleaning of the aircraft."
However, Eurowings did note that the technology onboard could reduce some allergens onboard.
Walter went on: “However, the HEPA (high efficiency particulate air filter) filters used on board can help passengers suffering from cat hair and house-dust allergies, for example.
“The filtration system circulates the cabin air, which is then supplemented with outside air."
The lengthy statement also added that staff were prepared for medical emergencies, should the worst-case scenario occur.
“Our medically trained cabin crew always has access to medication to provide emergency medical care in the event of an intolerance or allergic shock on board."
It added: “We do recommend also carrying any necessary medication (allergy medication, EpiPen) in the hand baggage should passengers suffer from any allergies.”
“A strong allergy sufferer should always be prepared for such an eventuality and has at least one, most of the time even two pens with anti-allergic with him/her as a preventive measure and usually informs our crews accordingly.”
Williams, meanwhile, is now seeking a refund for her flight from Eurowings.