A TEENAGER has hit out at a travel company after cabin crew threatened to leave her in Greece because of an allergy to strawberries.

Chloe Fitzpatrick and her boyfriend Matthew Higson were boarding their Thomas Cook flight from the Greek island of Zakynthos to Manchester last Thursday when the row broke out.

The 19-year-old, who has a severe airborne allergy to all strawberry products, informed crew as the pair boarded the plane, as she normally does when flying.

Chloe, from Oswaldtwistle, looked through the menu and informed staff of the potential risks.

They agreed to make an announcement to passengers – but then minutes later a manager came over to speak to the couple and said she was not ‘comfortable' having someone with her condition on the flight.

Lancashire Telegraph:

The former Mount Carmel student said: “I was told I would have to sort out an alternative way home. 

“She then listed times where other passengers who had been refused to fly due to their allergies.

“She said the pilot had agreed with her and was not comfortable having such a passenger on board.

“I was then told it was an unfair expectation to refuse other passengers full access to the onboard menu.”

It is not the first time Thomas Cook has come under fire this summer.

Pensioner Freda Jackson was given compensation for her 'nightmare trip' to Benidorm earlier this year, after complaining about a catalogue of errors on her package holiday.

She also hit national headlines over complaints about the number of locals in her hotel and even appeared on ITV's This Morning to talk about the experience.

Chloe, who now lives in Bolton-by-Bowland in the Ribble Valley, was told it would affect other passengers' flying experience and that cabin crew were not going to cater for one person 'at the expense of the other 200'.

The airline serves a range of meals on its flights and boasts online about its delicious menu created by celebrity chef James Martin.


Chloe added: “The manager then asked if she could serve the products just to customers at the front of the plane.

“She appeared to have no understanding of the concept of an airborne anaphylactic allergy.

“I felt belittled and patronised and embarrassed about my condition.”

Lancashire Telegraph:

The cabin crew removed the products from sale – and Chloe was allowed to remain on the flight – but there was more embarrassment as the announcement was made right in front of her.

The teen said she felt humiliated and that all the other passengers were looking at her.

Chloe was diagnosed with the condition at 10 months old and the trip was her first without her parents.

Her daily battle with the allergy is featured in a film ‘A day in the life of Chloe’ which is being shown in schools across Lancashire to raise awareness about anaphylaxis.

She said that she had followed the same travel routine that her parents always followed for her - which was to advise cabin crew of her allergies and tell them which products put her at risk.

Lancashire Telegraph:

She said she encountered no issues on her outbound flight.

She added: “I feel very badly let down by Thomas Cook and find it difficult to comprehend the difference in attitude of the cabin crew on our way to Zakynthos compared to the way I was treated on the return flight home. 

"On our outbound flight the cabin crew were so understanding and could not have done more for me. 

“I hope lessons can be learnt from my experience and that they will review their cabin crew training."

A Thomas Cook Airlines spokesperson said: “The safety of our customers and crew is always our first priority.

Lancashire Telegraph:

When a customer lets us know that they have an allergy, the cabin manager will share the information with the captain and crew as part of their pre-flight briefing to decide on the best course of action, based on the severity of the allergy.

“On speaking with both Ms Fitzpatrick and the captain, the cabin manager made an announcement to all customers asking them to refrain from opening products containing strawberries that they may have brought on board, and advised that no products containing strawberries would be sold on the flight.”