World

Autistic child kicked off plane for making pilot 'uncomfortable'

An autistic teenager was kicked off a United Airlines flight because the pilot "didn't feel comfortable" with the girl on board.

The girl's mother Donna Beegle said she was flying back home to Oregon last week after a vacation at Disney World.

Her 15-year-old daughter, Juliette,15, (below) then indicated that she was hungry.

Ms Beegle knew that Juliette could be very particular about food, so she asked the flight attendant if she could have something hot for her daughter.

Her mother said: "If it's warm, she wont eat it. If it's cold, she won't eat it. It has to have some steam rolling off of it."

The flight attendant told Ms Beegle that hot meals are reserved only for first class passengers.

She told Juliette's mother: "There's not anything we can get you."

Frustrated, Ms Beegle lashed out and said: "Well, how about we wait for her to have a meltdown, and start crying and she tries to scratch, and then you'll want to help her."

The flight attendant then reluctantly brought her the meal as requested and the daughter calmed down.

What could have ended there culminated in an emergency landing in Salt Lake City, where police came on board to kick Ms Beegle's family off the plane.

 

 

Police officers had said to Ms Beegle: "We have to ask you to leave the plane."

When Ms Beegle questioned why the police were kicking them out, she was told: "The captain doesn't feel uncomfortable flying to Portland with your daughter on the flight."

She said that many passengers on the flight were on her side - telling the police to leave Juliette alone and assuring them that there was no issue.

United Airlines said in a statement to KPTV: "After working to accommodate Ms Beegle and her daughter during the flight, the crew made the best decision for the safety and comfort of all of our customers and elected to divert to Salt Lake City after the situation became disruptive.

"We rebooked the customers on a different carrier and the flight continued to Portland."

Ms Beegle said she has filed a complaint with the Federal Aviation Administration and is suing United in the hope of requiring all flight attendants to undergo training in dealing with autistic passengers.

“I don't want anyone else to experience that, no one,” said Beegle. “My heart feels heavy from that, I'm still reeling from the emotion of how my daughter was treated.”

Sources: Fox News, ABC News, KPTV

 

 

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