Essex

Nut allergy man 'thrown off' Turkish Airlines flight

Josh Silver and Flavia Ivanaj Image copyright Josh Silver
Image caption Josh Silver with his girlfriend Flavia Ivanaj on board the Turkish Airlines plane before he had to leave

A British holidaymaker has accused an airline of discrimination after it forced him off a plane when he told cabin crew he had a nut allergy.

Josh Silver, 25, from Waltham Abbey, Essex was returning to Gatwick on a Turkish Airlines flight from Antalya with his girlfriend, Flavia Ivanaj.

He said he was escorted off the plane by Turkish police after cabin staff said it was against its policy to fly "someone like him".

The airline said safety was "priority".

Its website instructs passengers with allergies to "inform us of any allergies you may have for your in-flight meal".

"In this case, our records show that no such information was provided by the passenger until they boarded the flight," a spokesman for Turkish Airlines said.

"Unfortunately it [was] too late for cabin crew to prepare for and take precautions against potential allergy attacks in advance," he added.

Image copyright Josh Silver
Image caption Josh Silver and Flavia Ivanaj had been on holiday in Turkey

Mr Silver, who said he flew regularly for work, has a nut allergy which is not airborne. It only affects him if he consumes nuts.

The events manager said before leaving Gatwick he had a conversation with a Turkish Airlines manager at check-in informing them of his condition and was cleared to travel.

Mr Silver said after being cleared to fly by check-in staff on his return on 7 June, he told the cabin crew about his allergy as an additional precaution.

He said he offered not to eat or drink anything during the flight but instead the police arrived to take him off the plane, he said.

"I felt like I'd done something wrong. If I had been drunk I would have understood but I've got a medical condition.

"Are they suggesting people with nut allergies shouldn't fly at all? It's discriminating," he said.

He added he had a medical kit with him which his girlfriend could have utilised in case of any reaction.

Image copyright Josh Silver
Image caption The couple paid for new return tickets with another airline to fly back to Gatwick

The couple was eventually told the airline could fly him home, but they would have to pay for new tickets.

Instead Mr Silver paid £550 to fly with another airline.

"Whilst I understand they might be anxious about my having a reaction on board, their policy is inconsistent.

"They should not have flown me out in the first place only to refuse to bring me home," he said.

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