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Parents claim Virgin won’t change menu for daughter with egg allergy

The parents of a nine-year-old with a life-threatening energy claim they may lose out on their £19,000 holiday to Florida, all because Virgin is refusing not to serve dishes containing eggs on the flight.

Dolly Fisher, from Rainham, Essex, who was diagnosed with the allergy when she was three, carries an epi pen and could go into anaphylactic shock if she’s in the same room as a dish containing egg – because it’s airborne.

Now the family is anxious and torn over whether to cancel their long-awaited getaway and flush thousands down the drain – or risk their daughter’s health.

They were set to enjoy a trip to Disney World Florida in April this year for Dolly, her twin Betty and her older brother Freddie, 12.

But now they say the future of their holiday all relies on the airline’s menu. 

Dolly Fisher (pictured in hospital after suffering an allergic reaction) who was diagnosed with the allergy when she was three, carries an epi pen and could go into anaphylactic shock if she’s in the same room as egg allergens

‘The thought of losing all that money makes me feel sick,’ mother Carly-Jane, 43, admitted. ‘It’s really frustrating.’

The law firm manager – who hadn’t worked for five and a half years and went back just to pay for the holiday – says she reached out to Virgin in February to find out what meals they would be serving on the plane to make sure it would be safe for her daughter.

She was apparently told that egg mayonnaise sandwiches would be served in the last two hours of the flight as part of an afternoon tea – and Carly-Jane asked them to swap these for a different option. 

Virgin reportedly refused to budge, explaining that it would be impossible to change the menu on one flight without changing it on all flights globally, even after the anxious parent explained that the situation was ‘life and death’. 

After being contacted by journalists, Virgin told Carly-Jane that egg mayonnaise sandwiches would not be on the April menu for economy, where the family will be seated.

Virgin has also told MailOnline that there are no egg sandwiches being served on the flight, but that there are still dishes which contain the ingredient in Premium and Upper.

The airline also stressed that its special assistance team is working with the family to help them continue their holiday.

‘We have to find out what they’re serving every time we fly because she could potentially die,’ Carly-Jane explained.

Mother Carly-Jane, 43 (pictured with Dolly) says she reached out to Virgin in February to find out what meals they would be serving on the plane

Mother Carly-Jane, 43 (pictured with Dolly) says she reached out to Virgin in February to find out what meals they would be serving on the plane

Father Craig (pictured with his daughter) - who also seemed to be under the impression that egg sandwiches specifically are still on the flight's menu - added that he can't 'get his head around' the inflexibility of the airline

Father Craig (pictured with his daughter) – who also seemed to be under the impression that egg sandwiches specifically are still on the flight’s menu – added that he can’t ‘get his head around’ the inflexibility of the airline

‘She goes into anaphylactic shock. It’s awful, horrific. Her throat closes, she coughs, her airways close up.’

Carly-Jane – who still appeared to be under the impression that egg mayo and cheese and pickle sandwiches are being served as part of their afternoon tea – added that the family contacted Virgin ‘far in advance’. 

‘They weren’t saying she couldn’t go on the plane but it’s at our risk,’ the frustrated parent added.

‘But we could get to the gate and the pilot says they aren’t willing to take the risk. It’s such an anxious time.’

She said that Dolly and Betty don’t yet know about the dilemma.

The family set to enjoy a trip to Disney World Florida in April this year for Dolly, twin Betty and brother Freddie, 12

The family set to enjoy a trip to Disney World Florida in April this year for Dolly, twin Betty and brother Freddie, 12

Craig is meeting with an allergy specialist to see if there are any medications or masks available. Dolly pictured crying after an instance where her egg allergy meant she couldn't get on the plane

Craig is meeting with an allergy specialist to see if there are any medications or masks available. Dolly pictured crying after an instance where her egg allergy meant she couldn’t get on the plane

The couple claim that they were left with the option of getting a flight with a different airline from Manchester or missing out on their holiday and the £19,000 they paid

The couple claim that they were left with the option of getting a flight with a different airline from Manchester or missing out on their holiday and the £19,000 they paid

Carly-Jane said: ‘If we couldn’t go, they’d be absolutely devastated, heartbroken, they’d be in bits. It will make holidays for them an anxious time. 

‘The last time we went away she was so anxious, she said she didn’t want to ruin the family’s holiday again. A little girl shouldn’t have to deal with that. She didn’t ask to be allergic.’

Father Craig – who also seemed to be under the impression that egg sandwiches specifically are still on the flight’s menu – added that he can’t ‘get his head around’ the inflexibility of the airline.

‘They said they couldn’t change it for one flight, it has to be global…It’s one flight from Heathrow,’ he said.

‘It’s the resistance that you get. There’s no want to help or find a solution, it’s very black and white.

The family pictured together on holiday. The parents revealed they are torn with anxiety over the upcoming trip

The family pictured together on holiday. The parents revealed they are torn with anxiety over the upcoming trip 

Now the family is anxious and torn over whether to cancel their long-awaited getaway and flush thousands down the drain - or risk their daughter's health

Now the family is anxious and torn over whether to cancel their long-awaited getaway and flush thousands down the drain – or risk their daughter’s health

‘Half of the battle is they say they can give her other food. The allergy is so severe, it’s airborne so it can’t be anywhere on the plane. 

‘Egg is in a lot of things but it would be in its purest form if it’s in an egg mayo sandwich. Our hands are tied.’

The couple claim that they were left with the option of getting a flight with a different airline from Manchester – at an extra cost of £800, and risk egg also being served on that flight – or missing out on their holiday and the £19,000 they paid.

Carly-Jane said: ‘No one will tell you what they’ll serve on the flights. I contacted the airlines and no one could tell us so we can’t make an informed decision.

‘If we don’t get the flight, we lose £19,000. We’ve got a flight with Easy Jet before and they went above and beyond so it can be done.

Carly-Jane and Craig now say that the future of their vacation all relies on the airline's menu in April

Carly-Jane and Craig now say that the future of their vacation all relies on the airline’s menu in April

‘Why do people with a peanut allergy be afforded any more protection than someone with any kind of life-threatening allergy?

‘We’re dreading having to tell her we might not be able to go. I can’t sleep at night, I feel sick.’

Craig is meeting with an allergy specialist to see if there are any medications or masks available that would limit the risk of Dolly going into anaphylactic shock on the nine-hour flight. 

‘We’ll do anything to limit the threat,’ he added. ‘We’re looking into noise cancelling earphones so when they announce the food options it doesn’t put her into anxiety.’

Virgin has also told MailOnline that there are no egg sandwiches being served on the flight, but that there are still dishes which contain the ingredient in Premium and Upper. Pictured: Carly-Jane's email to Virgin

Virgin has also told MailOnline that there are no egg sandwiches being served on the flight, but that there are still dishes which contain the ingredient in Premium and Upper. Pictured: Carly-Jane’s email to Virgin

A Virgin Atlantic spokesperson said: ‘The safety of our customers is always our top priority, and for special food requirements we ask customers to seek advice from our Special assistance team in advance of booking.

‘We are able to offer various meal options for customers with religious or medical requirements such as kosher, diabetic meals and vegan meals.

‘For allergies we would strongly encourage customers to take all necessary precautions including bringing their own meals on board and to prepare for the possibility of inadvertent exposure.

‘On this occasion, we were able to seat the family at the back of economy, away from the meals being served in Upper and Premium, which contain eggs, as well ensuring all the cabin crew are aware of the allergy whilst also advising the family to bring their own food on board.’

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Read more at DailyMail.co.uk



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