Wisconsin boy, 9, kicked off plane due to motion sickness

WISCONSIN (WLS) -- A Wisconsin couple says their 9-year-old son was kicked off an airplane because he got motion sickness.

The family calls the airline's policy ridiculous and says to make matters worse, they weren't offered a refund.

The couple says every now and then, their 9-year-old son Owen gets motion sickness. They didn't think it was serious at all, but the airline felt it was best he didn't fly.

The Wisconsin Badgers made it back to the 2020 Rose Bowl. It was a game this couple, both Wisconsin alums, wouldn't miss for the world.

"That's where we fell in love in Madison. It's part of our story," said Carie Fisher.

The family purchased four airline tickets with Allegiant.

"We hadn't flown Allegiant but we know of them," said Mike Fisher. "It's a more affordable airline, not frills no thrills. We never thought somebody would be removed from the plane or that we'd be stranded."
But the couple said that is exactly what happened. On their way to the airport, they say their son Owen had what he called a "tummy ache."

And when he finally made it on the plane, "I said, 'Mom I don't feel that well can I please grab a puke bag' and then right when I got it out, I barfed," Owen said.

The family said they asked a flight attendant to dispose of the bag and not long after, they said a crew member told the parents that Owen could not stay on that flight and would have to get off the plane immediately.

"What is happening? This doesn't even make sense," said Carie Fisher. "As a parent, how many of us have had kids that are like this that get car sick."

"They literally have a bag in every seat for this condition and nobody listened to this," Mike Fisher said. "If it was a contagious situation we wouldn't have traveled with him. We wouldn't."

After learning Owen was ill, Allegiant contacted a third party service called Medlink, which provides medical consultations to airlines. The couple learned it was Medlink that made the decision to have Owen removed from the flight. They say they were told Owen needed to be symptom free for 90 minutes before being allowed to reboard a flight.
"Nobody's examined him. How do they know he's too sick to fly?" Mike Fisher said. "They aren't listening to us. We know our child."

In the end, Mrs. Fisher and her daughter stayed on the plane and Owen and his dad had to fly the next day to Peoria and drive three hours to get home.

Owen said he doesn't want this to happen to anyone else, especially a child.

"We said, 'Can we have a hotel at least?' They said, 'No, we don't do that,'" Owen said.

Allegiant airlines tells the I-team that anytime a passenger is sick on their aircraft. The crews call Medlink.

The airline said, "MedLink is a service through MedAire. They serve as an in-flight medical consultant to several airlines. Anytime a passenger experiences an illness on board our aircraft, our flight crews call MedLink. This takes all medical decisions out of our crews' hands and puts them into the hands of licensed medical professionals."
"Sometimes, the consulting medical doctor deems a passenger too ill to fly. When that happens, our crews must abide by that decision, as it is made with all of our passengers' safety in mind. Once a flight is in the air, medical options for sick passengers become limited. If a flight has to divert because of a medical emergency, it puts undue stress on our crews and customers.

"When a sick passenger can't fly, we place them on a later flight or issue a refund. On Jan. 2, passenger Owen Fisher vomited after boarding Allegiant flight 86 in Las Vegas, bound for Rockford. MedLink was consulted. The doctor decided that Owen was too sick to fly. The decision was made with his safety in mind, as well as the safety of all of our passengers. A refund was not issued, as Owen and Mike Fisher were re-accommodated to an Allegiant flight on Jan. 3."

MedAire/MedLink did not respond to our request for comment.
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