The Qatari flag carrier stressed its commitment to passengers’ safety.
Qatar Airways is investigating an incident concerning reality TV show Love Island star Jack Fowler, who said he fought an allergic reaction to nuts onboard the Gulf state’s airline.
The reality series star took to social media to speak about the incident during which he said his “throat closed up” after being served nuts, despite repeatedly warning Qatar Airways staff about his allergy.
Fowler said his allergic reaction came after he consumed ice cream that had crushed pistachios. He was also served pastries containing nuts during his flight, though he did not eat it.
“I told Qatar Airways hostess’s five times I was anaphylactic to nuts (life threatening allergy). As well as asking for reassurance when every meal was served to me, that it was nut free,” Fowler told his Instagram followers on Saturday.
The reality TV star urged people with allergies to speak up about their condition onboard and asked flight attendants to implement a system that prevents similar incidents from occurring.
“We would have had to divert and land in order for me to get treated in time. Moral of this story is: If you’re a flight attendant reading this, make sure you have a system that works and prevents this type of this from happening,” he said.
Fowler also asked Qatar Airways to not penalise the host, praising his service throughout the flight.
“If you do somehow find out the airhost, do not penalise him. We spoke, I educated him and we move on. He’s been 10/10 before and after,” Fowler said.
In a statement to Doha News, Qatar Airways said it is investigating the incident.
“We are aware of an issue concerning a passenger who had a reaction to nuts on board and are investigating the incident,” the airline said, though it did not specifically name Fowler.
Qatar Airways stressed that “passenger health and safety is of paramount importance”.
“We require all passengers with severe food allergies to notify the airline no less than 48 hours in advance of flying with a completed medical information form (MEDIF) as instructed on our website,” the statement added.
The flag carrier also said that it “will work with the passenger to reduce the risk of contamination” while noting that “as flights are public, an allergen free environment is not guaranteed.”
Fowler’s case is not the first to occur in the aviation world, with various passengers facing similar experiences onboard other airlines.
Last month, a British woman, Hanna Olsen, accused Turkish Airlines of removing her from a flight due to a nut allergy, reports stated.
Olsen said the incident occurred during her transit in Istanbul as part of her trip from Manchester to Cape Town.
She said she boarded her connecting flight and asked about the ingredients of the food options. Staff allegedly panicked once they learned about her allergy and the captain refused to transport her.
Also last year, a British family said they had a similar experience once they informed the staff about their six-year-old daughter’s allergy.
During the same year, English passenger Sophie Draper said she was not allowed on an American Airlines flight after they refused to accommodate her “life-threatening” allergy.
Airlines have introduced measures to handle such cases.
In 2018, American Airlines allowed passengers with peanut and tree-nut allergies the option to board their flights earlier than others to provide crew ample time to swipe seats for possible allergens.