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 Post subject: Learning the Hard Way
PostPosted: Wed Mar 31, 2010 12:32 pm 
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Joined: Thu Dec 20, 2007 7:23 pm
Posts: 817
Location: Kingston
We went away for March break and had bought airline tickets far in advance. Two of the teens had fatal allergy to peanuts and nuts that were flying with us so of course we did our research. As the flight was about to board we were called to the front of the line and told the flight was oversold so we got bumped off the flight. Then we began a two hour ordeal of trying to find another flight with the airline we had booked with or another airline. Delta had flights but had to be advised 72 hours in advance and then they only refrain from serving peanuts/nuts three seats in front and behind.

Lesson learned: Airlines do not know the policy regarding peanuts/nuts on other airlines. We should have researched this before leaving and had a list with us so we could make informed choices. Instead we spent hours phoning customer service of other airlines. We finally got flights one day later.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 31, 2010 1:45 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2005 6:39 pm
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Location: Toronto
Mary, That's unsettling.

FYI, AL's airlines chart on the homepage prints off on 3 pages and covers 11 airlines' allergy policies.

Delta's peanut cookies etc. make me most uncomfortable.
What did you end up flying?

Also, I've never quite understood the bumping procedure.
Is it last booked, first bumped? Does anyone know?

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 31, 2010 3:39 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:17 pm
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Location: Ottawa
gwentheeditor wrote:
Also, I've never quite understood the bumping procedure.
Is it last booked, first bumped? Does anyone know?



According to the Canadian Transportation Agency:
Quote:
What is bumping or denied boarding due to overbooking? What can I do about it?
Carriers often sell more seats on an aircraft than are actually available. They do this to compensate for "no-shows" that would leave empty seats on a flight. Carriers have extensive data that allow them to plan for the numbers of no-shows for a particular flight.

However, on any given flight, more passengers may present themselves than there are seats available. In these instances, some passengers may be denied boarding or "bumped" even if they hold tickets and have confirmed reservations. Carriers have established rules for the treatment of bumped passengers. These can be found in the air carrier's tariff. In most instances, carriers ask for volunteers to give up their seats for some compensation. However, if there are insufficient volunteers, carriers may then resort to involuntary denied boarding.

Based on a carrier's tariff, passengers are often assigned a priority by the air carrier to determine who will and who won't be denied boarding. Children under 16 travelling alone will often have the highest priority and would be the least likely to be bumped. Passengers with disabilities are treated similarly. First Class and Business Class passengers, followed by passengers who have paid full Economy Fare are the next priorities. Remaining passengers are usually denied boarding based on the time of check-in. So if catching a particular flight is important to you, checking in early is a wise idea.

While over-booking is not prohibited, passengers should be aware that all carriers address the matter of over-booking in their tariffs and that passenger are often compensated for the inconvenience. Passengers may ask to see a carrier's tariff and if they find that they were not treated as specified in their contract of carriage, they may bring the matter to the attention of the Agency for review.
http://www.otc-cta.gc.ca/doc.php?did=273&lang=eng

Your party should have been asigned a higher priority due to disability.

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Daughter: asthma, allergies to egg, milk, peanuts, tree nuts, most legumes (not soy) & penicillin. Developing hayfever type allergies.
Husband: no allergies
Me: allergies to some tree that flowers in May
Cat: allergic to beef, pork and lamb


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 31, 2010 5:37 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2005 6:39 pm
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Location: Toronto
Thanks Susan.

FYI, the disability ruling isn't implemented yet, however. And it will only apply to Air Canada once in effect.
A start all the same.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 02, 2010 7:32 am 
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Joined: Thu Dec 20, 2007 7:23 pm
Posts: 817
Location: Kingston
Thanks for the travel tip. I am going to print that out and keep it in my in-flight travel kit.

Our flight was with United Airlines. Once we got bumped it was a real test of nerves. The big challenge was making sure we were all seated together, or at very least the three boys. We did not want anyone seated with the boys as they could bring their own food onto the plane. We had a total of four flights and on each and every flight we had to wait right up until the flight was about to board to find out if the three boys were seated with each other. By being calm and very persistent and explaining over and over to the boarding gate personnel that we would not get on the flight unless the three boys were together we did manage to have them all seated together for each flight. What saved us was the doctor’s notes that said they could carry their epipen and asthma medicines as well as Benadryl on the plane.

In the two longer haul flights (4 hours) the person next to me had brought their own food on board. On the last flight they brought out a big bag of peanuts/nuts and began to munch away. The boys were far enough away that so I did not have a concern.

I must add that this was a bit more complicated because my son had an allergic reaction to something that was in the air in Scottsdale and he was really physically uncomfortable on the trip home. One of his eyes was closed shut, his nose was stuffed up, he was congested and his ears became so inflamed we had to see a doctor. Then because of all the snipping his eczema kicked in and his nose was raw. After reading time and time again that people with allergies can react to new things (e.g. pollen) when travelling to a new place I did not connect the dots until his eyes got bad, I thought it was just a cold.

So a couple of lessons here I guess: carry information about allergen policies on plane, make sure you have all your documentation in order, keep cool or at least pretend to be, watch for environmental allergies.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 02, 2010 8:59 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:17 pm
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Location: Ottawa
Oh Mary, what an ordeal! It's hard to stay calm when you're faced with changes to your well orchestrated plans. :freak

I don't know if I could have done it. (maybe with a little cry in the bathroom first)

Thanks for the list of things to consider!

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Daughter: asthma, allergies to egg, milk, peanuts, tree nuts, most legumes (not soy) & penicillin. Developing hayfever type allergies.
Husband: no allergies
Me: allergies to some tree that flowers in May
Cat: allergic to beef, pork and lamb


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 02, 2010 12:42 pm 
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Joined: Thu Dec 20, 2007 7:23 pm
Posts: 817
Location: Kingston
When we were getting on our last flight and I knew all the seats were together I actually just burst out crying in the lounge area. I just kept holding it together so we could get home safely.

I asked the two boys (actually young men now I guess) if they could have handled this on their own and they both said no. They both agreed that they would not know where to start so although this was not an ideal trip it certainly opened my eyes more about how I need to better prepare them for travel as they spread their wings and travel without us.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 03, 2010 6:57 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:17 pm
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Location: Ottawa
You did an amazing job! :huggy

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Daughter: asthma, allergies to egg, milk, peanuts, tree nuts, most legumes (not soy) & penicillin. Developing hayfever type allergies.
Husband: no allergies
Me: allergies to some tree that flowers in May
Cat: allergic to beef, pork and lamb


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 06, 2010 4:11 pm 
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Joined: Thu Feb 26, 2009 12:05 am
Posts: 641
Location: AB, Canada
What an overwhelming experience! Thank you for sharing it with us so that we can learn from it. I'm glad everything turned out alright.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 15, 2010 6:15 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2005 6:39 pm
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Location: Toronto
Mary, I just saw your follow-up with Susan. :huggy

We've got to make the regulators make the airlines change, it's just wrong.
You're just a family trying to get from Point A to Point B without someone having a serious allergic reaction.

This should and can be doable.

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Allergic to soy, peanut, shellfish, penicillin


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