PHOENIX (AP) — A terminally ill Arizona man whose son’s removal from a plane over allergies made headlines when passengers were accused of applauding the ejection has died.
Christina Fabian of suburban Phoenix says her husband, George Alvarado, died Thursday at a hospice facility after battling esophageal cancer.
Alvarado, Fabian and their 7-year-old son visited Washington state last month as a bucket-list wish for Alvarado.
The family was on an Allegiant Air flight in Bellingham bound for the Phoenix area when the boy had an allergic reaction to dogs on board.
Fabian says her son became upset when several people cheered as they left.
Some passengers on the flight say there was clapping, but it wasn't meant to be malicious.
Fabian shared her account on social media, drawing sympathy from people around the country.
According to Fabian, while they were waiting on the plane to leave, her son had an allergic reaction to a dog on the plane. She said this was the first time this has happened.
The family was moved to different seats, but airport medical services determined it was unsafe for the child to fly and the family was asked to deplane. That's when, according to Fabian, the passengers on the plane started to applaud.
“When we stood up and walked to the front of the plane, the (people) in the back of the plane applauded,” Fabian-Roman told KTAR.
Fabian shared the story on Facebook, where she wrote her 7-year-old boy was crushed by the entire experience:
"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 airline put the family on the next available flight to Phoenix.
In a statement to KTAR, Allegiant Airlines said they apologized to the family and “forwarded the family’s feedback on to the appropriate teams within the company to ensure any necessary service improvements will be made.”