A mother in Oregon is planning a discrimination lawsuit after her daughter, who has autism, was escorted off a United Airlines flight along with the rest of her family because the captain didn't feel 'comfortable.'
The flight made an emergency landing in Salt Lake City after the pilot said he was not comfortable flying with the 15-year-old autistic girl on the plane. The airline claims that the family was removed for the “comfort and safety” of other passengers. However, the passengers sitting near the girl say they never felt threatened by the family.
It all started when Dr Donna Beegle noticed her daughter Julietter, 15, was getting a bit upset and tried to get her a hot meal to try and calm her down. Beegle said the food would stop her mood getting out of control and prevent her lashing out at someone.
After some back and forth with flight crew to get a meal from the first class cabin, Juliette calmed down.
Half an hour later an announcement was made that the plane would be making an emergency landing because of a passenger behaviour issue. Donna Beegle was shocked when officers explained why.
"He said, 'Well, the captain doesn't feel comfortable flying to Portland with your daughter on his flight," she told CBS News.
Dr Beegle and her family were escorted off the aircraft by police officers after landing.
United Airlines released a statement to KATU that said the following:
“After working to accommodate Dr. 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.”