Bethenny Frankel’s fish allergy is, ahem, fishy. In the latest incident, she caused a commercial airline to abort and return to the airport after learning that fish was on the in-flight menu.
Laws regarding passengers who cause emergency landings are sketchy, but if the reason is unfounded there can be repercussions. They include criminal charges and forcing the passenger to pay for the disruption, including the cost of fuel.
Most passenger-instigated emergency landings are caused by drunkenness, unruly or threatening behavior, or psychotic episodes.
A medical emergency would be a legitimate reason, but making a false medical claim would seem to be another matter.
A diverted flight can cost an airline anywhere from $50,000 to $200,000, according to reports.
The “Real Housewives of New York” star revealed only last month that she suffers from a rare fish allergy that can cause her to go into anaphylactic shock.
She reportedly became “unconscious for 15 minutes” after eating soup in a December incident. She was carrying an epinephrine epipen injector with her when she suffered what she called a “near-fatal” reaction.
The problem is, why haven’t we heard about this before?
It’s always hard to tell if the latest drama involving a reality television personality is real, or ginned up to promote the show.
Frankel has been in the public spotlight for more than 10 years and never once mentioned a fish allergy.
In fact, she has widely promoted dishes that include fish. Most notably she endorsed a dish by famed restaurateur Bobby Flay that included salmon as the entree.
What’s more, she has been photographed boating with her daughter in a small dinghy in the Hamptons, paddle boarding on the ocean and who can forget the “boatride from hell” that was featured on the Real Housewive’s show. (See below)
In each case, the smell of fish would have been overwhelming. it just can’t get any fishier when your in a tiny boat or swimming in the ocean.
Yet, she now claims the mere smell of fish can cause a reaction.
On New Year’s day, Frankel was on her flight when she spotted bass being served to passengers.
She claims she “protested” when the captain announced he was turning the plane around because of her complaint.
“Called airline mult x to say I have fish allergy. Got on & they’re serving bass. They couldn’t not serve it they said. Then they were turning around which I protested bc it would delay people. Cabin asked to not serve it & pilot made announcement to plane. That was fun. #epilife,” she wrote about the incident on Twitter.
Bethenny’s critics questioned the severity of her allergy, but she insisted an attack can be triggered “by touch and air” and is “fatal.”
The 48-year-old author then retweeted a link to an article about a young boy, whose parents claimed he died on New Year’s Day a year ago from smelling fish.
According to experts, fish allergies are rare and “anaphylaxis,” a potentially life-threatening reaction that impairs breathing and can cause the body to go into shock is even rarer.
More likely a sufferer will develop a skin rash, nausea, stomach cramps, indigestion, vomiting and/or diarrhea, stuffy or runny nose, headaches and asthma, according to the College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.
Shellfish allergies are far more common because they contain toxins. Shrimp, lobster and crab cause the greatest number of allergic reactions. Scallops, oysters, clams and mussels producer fewer reactions.
An allergy to fish, such as tuna, halibut or salmon does not mean that you are also allergic to shellfish, according to the group.
Frankel claims “being trapped in a cabin (with) no windows (while) cooking fish is a death trap.”
“The airlines and world needs to change. I was always self conscious about it & today didn’t help. This airline knows who they are. And this policy will change if it is all I focus on. I almost screwed everyone’s night up too, which the pilot delightfully announced.”
In a separate Twitter post revealing the incident, Bethenny wrote: “I have rare fish allergy. Sun,I had soup,itched & was unconscious for 15 mins then to ER & ICU for 2 days w BP of 60/40.I couldn’t talk,see, thought I had a stroke & dying & told if 5 mins later I’d be dead. 911 & EPI saved me.I’ll never not carry an #epipen @newtonwellesley xo”
While most allergies present themselves in childhood, it is possible to develop a fish allergy later in life. Frankel is 48.
Check out the video below.