The family has filed a complaint against Air Transat and has also requested compensation for their forcibly canceled flight.
A Canadian family traveling from Quebec to Paris was reportedly thrown off a plane because their daughter had a nagging cough. Apparently, the other passengers on board believed the toddler could be infected with the deadly novel Coronavirus. Daily Mail reports that Emmanuel Faug, his wife Clémentine Ferraton, and their three children boarded an Air Transat flight from Quebec City to Paris for a family celebration on February 23. Among the three children was their 21-month-old daughter, Lila, who they brought along, despite her having symptoms of the flu and common cold.
Ouest-France reports that passengers on board started complaining to the crew before take-off about how the toddler's cough could be a sign she's infected with coronavirus. This led to a flight attendant approaching the couple and asking Ferraton if she could provide a medical document proving that their daughter's illness was not contagious. She assured the attendant that the child was safe to travel as they had consulted with a doctor on the day of the flight. Sadly, the couple couldn't provide the crew with a written document stating that Lila was in good health and fit to travel.
Yeah, the media is creating panic over the virus and freaking people out. Causing this! Stop it!— TruthCop (@Truthcop) February 28, 2020
Thankfully, there was a doctor on board who also took time out to evaluate Lila and her condition. The doctor then determined her health condition was not a threat to anyone but this just wasn't enough to the scared passengers. The captain then sought help from Medlink, a company specializing in aviation medical issues, Mirror reports. The company advised the captain to remove them from the flight because they did not have proper documents to verify it was safe for them to travel. "After analyzing the situation, MedLink determined that the passenger's medical condition posed a significant potential risk to passengers and crew during the flight," said an Air Transit spokesperson via a statement.
Paranoia is taking hold.— John Neophytou (@JohnNeophytou) February 27, 2020
"They [MedLink] follow the recommendations of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) regarding contagious diseases." The family of five was then asked to exit the plane and were escorted out without being given an opportunity to talk to any Air Transat customer service personnel. Ferraton told TVA Nouvelles that Air Transat's reaction to the issue was completely overboard. "At no time did I think I was putting people in danger by taking my child on a plane. I think this is overkill," she said. Faug added that on several occasions while speaking with a chief steward, she made a reference to the 'current context'.
Still buying off wish and joom for super crap deals but a toddler coughs and that's it I'm surprised they didn't burn him as an to the virus gods, whilst wearing a wish pair of sun glasses— andy roberts (@bushbaptists) February 27, 2020
Faug believes they were alluding to the coronavirus, COVID-19, and that they were dismissed to avoid controversy. "I think that's where his fears came from. I can understand it in a way, but I found it a bit excessive. I have the impression that she was amalgamating and zealous," he said. "I feel like I was kicked out of a plane to avoid a scandal." Since the news went public, Air Transat has denied kicking the family out due to increasing panic surrounding coronavirus. Instead, they are saying that they simply followed protocol. "The only case where a passenger, showing obvious signs of a contagious disease, could be accepted on board, would be when the latter provides the appropriate documentation, completed by a qualified doctor," the company said.
I don't mind them being booted off but they could have at least landed the plane first— ChrisBenoitsGhost (@BenoitsChris) February 27, 2020
The family has filed a complaint against Air Transat and has also requested compensation for their forcibly canceled flight. As of Thursday, coronavirus has infected at more than 82,000 people worldwide in every continent except Antarctica and killed at least 2,809 people. People had mixed opinions about the incident. Some say it's normal for airlines to take such precautions while some others say they shouldn't have been subjected to this. Vesna Scemes wrote: and if anyone have allergy to any nuts that can kill them they don't care to stop people eating them on board....the child had cold so what kids have cold nonstop so what now they should be baned from everywhere...
Rubi Estefany Cabrera Joensen added: There is always a sick policy for airlines. If you look sick with something that can compromise someone with low immune system they wont let you on the plane. It's actually written in most airline rules. It's to help those that have cancer or are receiving treatment that are going on hospital visits and such. Elizabeth Szabo shared: Why would the parents choose to fly with/while their daughter has a cold and coughing, which can spread the cold to other passengers? Heather McGinty also added: Its hard for people that have asthma, bcos if youre having an asthma episode ppl stare at you until you say. ... you cant catch asthma.
Disclaimer : This is based on sources and we have been unable to verify this information independently.