Peanut allergy causes emergency landing, airline sued

SACRAMENTO, CA (KXTV) - What should have been a fun-filled vacation turned into a major lawsuit.

A Sacramento woman with a severe peanut allergy said she thoughtUnited Airlines had assured her she wouldn't have a problem. Now, she'ssuing after a mid-air allergic reaction forced an emergency landing andsent her to the hospital for days.

"Basically, your lungs are collapsing. It's like an anaconda aroundyour lungs, and every time you breathe, it closes in and doesn't open,"Alisa Gleason said describing her allergic reaction.

It isn't what Gleason and her family had in mind for their trip toDisney World, and neither was suing the airline... but those allergysymptoms are something Gleason always fears. That's why beforecommitting to the cross-country flight, Gleason said she called UnitedAirlines to ask about it.

"He said, 'No problem. We don't serve anything with peanuts in it onour flight, because we know about peanut allergies.' I said, 'Well, canthey make an announcement? Because I know you can't control the public,'and they said, yes," Gleason recalled.

However, once she was already on the plane, Gleason said the flightattendant told her there would be no announcement. Fortunately, she madeit to Florida without incident and hoped the return flight would beeasier.

However, when they boarded that plane, Gleason 's husband saidthe flight crew was even more difficult.

"You start holding up the line, and then they started gettingagitated, because you're holding up the line," James Gleason said, describing his conversation with a flight attendant. "We're trying tomove people through. Got my kids seated, and when he came down, we'relike, she's severely allergic. 'We have a lot of people who areallergic,' he says. 'She'll be fine, just try to calm down.' He goes,'Are you sure it's not anxiety?'"

It wasn't until the plane was in mid-air that Alisa Gleason said a woman sitting four rows away from her began eating peanuts.

"I was just sitting in my seat, and then all of a sudden the airbasically around me went away. I just stopped breathing," Alisa Gleasonsaid.

Alisa Gleason used an inhaler and other medication, and eventuallyshe was given oxygen, but even those helping her became concerned.

"[The flight attendant] asked the male nurse, 'Can she make it toChicago?' And he replied, 'How long?' She said, 'Forty minutes.' And hesaid, 'No, she'll die,'" Alisa Gleason said.

The plane made an emergency landing in Missouri, where Alisa had to spend two days in an ICU.

James Gleason said he'll never forget the conversation he had with the woman eating the peanuts.

"She says, 'If they would have said something, I never would haveopened these. How come somebody didn't say something?'"


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