Lidia Holmsten had her antihistamines taken away when she tried to take them on board in her hand luggage, even though the box was clearly marked with her name.
“We don’t speak the language and the airport staff refused to speak anything other than French. They only pointed at a sign, threw our things away in a bin and we did not know what happened to them. Everything got very confused,” says Karl-Erik Rapp, Lidia’s travelling companion, to Sundsvalls Tidning.
The officials took Holmsten’s medicine even though she told airport personnel that she suffered from severe asthma and arrhythmia and needed her medication with her.
On the plane, Lidia went into allergic shock. A stewardess ran to the cockpit and informed the pilot. She later came back with an unmarked bag, containing Holmsten’s medicine.
“I was shocked. The stewardesses were shocked and the passengers alarmed. The pilot came to talk to us afterwards and told that he had been ready to make an emergency landing,” said Rapp.
But according to Per Fröberg at Luftfartsverket, Swedish Civil Aviation Authority, having a medical certificate when carrying prescription medication in hand luggage is nothing new. It should also be properly labelled and match the passenger’s name.
“There has long been a policy for carrying medication in hand luggage. One should have a doctor’s certificate,” says Fröberg.