Unfair demand? Family with allergic daughter face losing £19,000 on Florida holiday after Virgin ‘refuse’ not to serve eggs on flight

Virgin Airlines/Shutterstock Images

Dolly Fisher, aged nine, has a life-threatening egg allergy, diagnosed six years ago. Her parents have been told to “bring their own food” on a Virgin flight from the UK to Florida as part of their suggestions for allergic customers.

Dolly, from Rainham in Essex could go into anaphylactic shock if she is in the same room as an egg dish, because the allergens are  airborne.

The Fisher family are looking forward to a trip to Disney World in April, taking Dolly, her twin Betty and older brother Freddie, aged 12.

They now say the future of the holiday and their £19,000 relies on the airline’s menu.

“The thought of losing all that money makes me feel sick,” mother Carly-Jane, 43, admitted. “It’s really frustrating.”

The law firm manager—who hadn’t worked for five and a half years and went back just to pay for the holiday—says she reached out to Virgin in February to find out what meals they would be serving on the plane to make sure it would be safe for her daughter.

She was apparently told that egg mayonnaise sandwiches would be served in the last two hours of the flight as part of an afternoon tea—and Carly-Jane asked them to swap these for a different option.

Virgin reportedly initially refused to budge, explaining that it would be impossible to change the menu on one flight without changing it on all flights globally, even after the anxious parent explained that the situation was ‘life and death’.

After being contacted by journalists, Virgin told Carly-Jane that egg mayonnaise sandwiches would not be on the April menu for economy, where the family will be seated.

A Virgin Atlantic spokesperson said: ‘The safety of our customers is always our top priority, and for special food requirements we ask customers to seek advice from our Special assistance team in advance of booking.

‘We are able to offer various meal options for customers with religious or medical requirements such as kosher, diabetic meals and vegan meals.

‘For allergies we would strongly encourage customers to take all necessary precautions including bringing their own meals on board and to prepare for the possibility of inadvertent exposure.

‘On this occasion, we were able to seat the family at the back of economy, away from the meals being served in Upper and Premium, which contain eggs, as well ensuring all the cabin crew are aware of the allergy whilst also advising the family to bring their own food on board.’

The airline also stressed that its special assistance team is working with the family to help them continue their holiday.

‘We have to find out what they’re serving every time we fly because she could potentially die,’ Carly-Jane explained.

Carly-Jane said: ‘No one will tell you what they’ll serve on the flights. I contacted the airlines and no one could tell us so we can’t make an informed decision.

‘If we don’t get the flight, we lose £19,000. We’ve got a flight with Easy Jet before and they went above and beyond so it can be done.

Father Craig is meeting with an allergy specialist to see if there are any medications or masks available that would limit the risk of Dolly going into anaphylactic shock on the nine-hour flight.

‘We’ll do anything to limit the threat,’ he added. ‘We’re looking into noise cancelling earphones so when they announce the food options it doesn’t put her into anxiety.’

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