Zubida Bakheit thought she'd be sleeping at the Phoenix Mesa Gateway Airport until Wednesday. The California woman was in Phoenix for the weekend. But when she boarded her Allegiant flight on Sunday, she said a combination of nerves and eating out at restaurants made her feel like she had to vomit. She said she used the restroom on the plane.
"I wanted to make sure I removed anything from my system," Bakheit said.
That's where things got sticky.
"So the young lady who checked us in came up and she told me we have ask you to leave the flight," Bakheit said. "I told her I don't understand why. It's an hour and 40 minute flight. I'm fine, I'm not sick."
After she initially refused to go, Mesa Police were called. She then agreed to leave the plane.
In a statement, Allegiant spokesperson Hilarie Grey wrote:
"A flight attendant’s first responsibility is for the safety of passengers on the flight. If there is any question as to medical fitness to fly, our procedure is to err on the side of safety - to protect the passenger and ensure there is not a medical issue or any distress in flight. This is an integral part of crew member training upon hire as well as in their regular, recurrent training."
The statement goes on to read:
"In the event of a medical assessment where a passenger cannot fly, our procedure is to re-accommodate the passenger on another Allegiant flight, or to issue a refund at their request so that other arrangements can be made."
Bakheit said she understands the airline saw it as a medical issue, but was disappointed because the only thing Allegiant offered her was a seat on the next flight, which is Wednesday. She said Allegiant didn't offer her hotel accommodations, meal reimbursement or a refund. We called the airline and asked about her refund. Then Bakheit said she called them again for the third time.
"They've decided to give me a refund for the flight, $160. I'm thankful for that," she said.
Allegiant said the refund was available to her all along. Bakheit said her family and friends gave her the additional money she needed to buy another flight home from Sky Harbor on a different airline.