A terminally ill cancer patient says that he was kicked off of a flight for being too sick to fly. However, the airline is coming forward to say that the passenger’s inability to travel had nothing to do with his illness, but instead his possession of prohibited items.
Fletcher Adair boarded an Allegiant flight at the St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport in Florida on Sunday, where he was headed to Springfield-Branson National Airport in Missouri amidst a tour to see his family during his last days. But the stage 4 lung cancer patient told WFLA that he was approached by a flight attendant and told he had to get off of the flight after putting a mask on to prevent catching a cold.
“They come back and see the mask on and decide I was too unhealthy to fly,” Adair told the local Florida outlet.
It turns out that the mask wasn’t what brought attention to the passenger, but instead his federally prohibited oxygen tanks. According to a spokesperson from Allegiant Air, Adair was onboard the flight with two oxygen tanks, which are on the airline’s list of restricted items.
“On Sunday March 3, Mr. Adair, who was carrying a portable oxygen concentrator, an FAA-approved medical device, was ultimately not allowed to travel on flight 806 from St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport to Springfield-Branson National Airport,” reads a statement the airline sent to Yahoo Lifestyle. “This decision was made with our passengers’ safety in mind, as it was discovered that Mr. Adair was also carrying two tanks of compressed or liquid oxygen. The FAA prohibits passengers from transporting oxygen in a liquid or compressed state, as it is considered a hazardous material.”
The airline went even further to contact their medical information service, MedLink, to determine if the portable oxygen concentrator that Adair had on-hand was suitable for the flight. MedLink informed the flight crew that it “lacked sufficient battery charge to ensure availability of oxygen for the duration of the flight.”
According to WFLA, Adair claimed that he had actually flown to Florida on Allegiant Air with the same two oxygen tanks — a claim that the airline hasn’t been able to confirm.
“Allegiant offered Mr. Adair a refund or the option to re-accommodate to another flight,” the airline’s statement continues. “He chose to receive a refund of the untraveled portion of his itinerary.”
Adair reportedly accepted the refund and took a cab to Tampa International Airport where he boarded a flight with a different airline without his tanks of oxygen.
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