A mother is claiming she was humiliated and is planning to sue United Airlines for kicking her family off a recent flight to Oregon. The family was on their way from Walt Disney World to Florida when the plane made an emergency landing in Utah where the family was escorted off the plane by police. Donna Beegle’s 15 year old daughter is autistic and was with the family on the airplane. Beegle claims that her daughter was experiencing hunger issues and Donna asked the flight attendant for something hot to eat from first class. Explaining to the flight attendant that her daughter may become disruptive if they didn’t get something hot to eat the flight attendant finally brought her a meal. Beegle claims that her daughter calmed down immediately after eating.
It wasn’t long after the meal arrived that an announcement was made letting passengers know they were making an emergency landing in Utah due to the behavioral problems of a passenger. It was than that Donna Beegle realized her family was about to get thrown off the flight. This was not the family’s first time flying with their autistic daughter but it was certainly the first time they had ever experienced a situation like this.
According to reports it was the pilot who felt uncomfortable flying with this disruptive passenger; although Beegle claims her daughter was not disruptive once she had had something to eat. Beegle also claims that passengers around her were shouting to the police to leave her family alone and many questioned why the family was being removed.
United Airlines is sticking to their guns and not apologizing for the situation that occurred last week, telling the public that the crew made the best decision for the safety and comfort of all their customers.
Donna Beegle is filing a lawsuit, not for money as most would think but to ensure that airline staff have proper training in how to deal with passengers with autism.
Interestingly enough United Airlines back in 2014 ran a program in helping autistic children fly friendly. See the story here