NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Updated: Wednesday, February 24, 2016, 7:35 PM
A terminal cancer patient whose family got escorted off a plane to applause wishes people could “just be nice,” he said Tuesday.
An Allegiant flight from Bellingham, Wash., to Phoenix was delayed 90 minutes Monday when George Alvarado’s 7-year-old son Giovanni suffered an allergic reaction before takeoff, the family told KING-TV.
Little Giovanni cried in an interview with the TV station as he recalled the clapping that erupted from the back of the plane as his family exited the aircraft to get medical help for the boy’s hives breakout.
“My dad’s sick with Stage IV throat cancer,” Giovanni said. “And that made me really sadder when I was already sad. I’m sad this has to be a memory with my dad.”
Terminal cancer patient George Alvarado said the passengers’ reaction to his son’s allergic reaction left him shaking his head.
Allegiant has since apologized to the family.
Alvarado, his son and his wife Christina Fabian received a new flight back home to Phoenix Wednesday after their trip to visit family in the town just south of the Canadian border. He had counted the vacation as part of his bucket list and the cold-hearted passengers just left him shaking his head.
Giovanni broke into tears describing the applause coming from passengers eager to get the plane moving.
“I was just like, ‘Man, let’s get out of here,’” Alvarado said. “You don’t know how much time people have or why they’re hurting. Just be nice. Be kind.”
Alvarado’s wife also noted her son had received a smirking response that “there are dogs on every flight” from a crew member when Giovanni began to get itchy and the hives appeared. The Allegiant team overseeing customer service has received their feedback, according to the airline.
“Allegiant is in direct contact with this family and have offered them our sincere apologies with regard to their negative experience,” the company said in a statement. “We are truly sorry for the unfortunate circumstances surrounding their previously ticketed itinerary and for the inconvenience they have experienced as a result.”
Less than half of those with Stage IV throat cancer live at least five years following their diagnosis, according to the American Cancer Society. Little Giovanni, wise beyond his years, pleaded for fellow passengers to show some human empathy.
“People that do not have sadness, they don’t understand what it feels like to have sadness,” the boy said.
Follow on Twitter @tobysalkc
ON A MOBILE DEVICE? WATCH THE VIDEO HERE.