The boys were traveling from Atlanta to Manila, where their father is based on a temporary job, according to the news station. Rakesh Patel said his 15-year-old and 16-year-old sons were traveling by themselves after visiting their sick grandfather.
The family told WSB-TV they let Delta Air Lines know ahead of time that the teen had a peanut allergy. Delta made sure that on the first leg of the flight, from Atlanta to Seoul, no peanuts were served, WSB reported.
However, things were different on the second leg of their flight. When the boys went to board their flight from Seoul to Manila on Delta’s skyteam partner Korean Air, the boys were told there would be peanuts served on board, the news station reported.
According to the family, the crew said they were not going to deprive other guests of peanuts and presented the teens with two options: deal with the peanuts or get off the flight.
When the son with allergies asked for another option, the boys were forcibly removed from the plane and stranded in Seoul, their father confirmed. They took a return flight to Atlanta, the family told WSB.
Patel said he filed a complaint with the airline and asked for a refund.
In a statement, Delta apologized to the Patel family for the ordeal, “particularly during what is already a difficult time for them.”
“Delta and our partner Korean Air are communicating with the family and examining the processes surrounding this incident; we will use our findings in our work to create a consistent experience for customers flying Delta and our partner airlines,” the statement said.
A statement from Korean Air read, in part: "Korean Air is aware that peanut and food allergies are an industry issue and no airline can guarantee a food allergy-free environment. But we are reviewing ways to deal with this issue in a safe and feasible way. We totally understand the risks faced by passengers with nut and food allergies and will certainly try to accommodate them better in the future."