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Passengers applaud as boy with allergic reaction kicked off plane, mom says


March 01, 2016

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COUPEVILLE, Wash. — A young boy who was on the trip of a lifetime with his terminally ill father was crushed when passengers applauded after he was kicked off a plane.

Giovanni Alvarado, 7, was visiting Washington with his parents Christina and Jorge Alvarado, who has stage 4 throat cancer. After boarding their Allegiant flight home to Phoenix, Giovanni started to have an allergic reaction to dogs that were on the plane.

“He began to get very itchy and he was scratching all over,” Christina told KING-TV. “He started to get hives, so we informed the flight attendant who informed us that there's dogs on every flight and just smirked, which minimized his experience for me."

The flight was delayed as the family was moved to a different section of the plane. However, attendants eventually asked the family to deboard — which was met with applause by passengers in the rear of the plane, Christina Alvarado said. They told ABC 15 News they believe the flight attendant encouraged some of the passengers.

Christina shared the story on Facebook, where it quickly gained traction across the Internet.

"We are not angry that we were deplaned. In fact, my husband and I appreciate that our son is safe," she wrote. "What crushed us was that our 7 yr old boy looked at us with tear filled eyes and said, 'I'm sorry that I put you through this. This is all my fault' then he proceeded to say, 'I can't believe that people clapped. They shouldn't do that because they never know who already has sadness in their hearts.'"

The Alvarados had to spend extra money to stay another night in Seattle and were forced to reschedule chemo treatments for Jorge. They eventually made it back to Phoenix and have received mostly messages of support from all over the country.

“I'm just totally ashamed of the Whatcom County people and Canadians who were on that flight and clapped,” wrote a Facebook user. “I hope they feel ashamed of themselves.”

“Why wasn't the dog removed from the plane before a child? It should be policy for all animals ride with the cargo,” wrote another Facebook user.

However, some people wondered why the parents didn’t request special accommodations prior to boarding the flight or bring medicine that treats allergic reactions. Christina wrote on Facebook that her son has never had an allergic reaction to dogs on a plane before and thinks Giovanni reacted partly due to stress from his father's illness.

Commenters are flooding Allegiant’s Facebook page in support of the Alvarado family. Allegiant has reached out with an apology, but the family is refusing any compensation for the incident.

The family told KTAR they just want people to be kinder to strangers.

"We don’t know everybody’s story," Christina said. "You don’t know what people are going through."

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