Family fights back after teenage daughter with autism kicked off flight

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SALT LAKE CITY -- A couple from Oregon is planning to file a discrimination lawsuit against United Airlines after they and their daughter with autism were escorted off a plane.

The family was on their way home from Disney World when their 15-year-old daughter, Juliette, became frustrated.

She was hungry, and her parents asked if they could buy a meal from first class for her.

They were told no, until Juliette began to cry.

The flight attendant brought her food and she calmed down, but then they heard the pilot announce they were stopping the flight.

“Then we were shocked to hear him say we were going to make an emergency landing in Salt Lake City,” said Donna Beegle, Juliette’s mother.

Airport police asked them to leave the plane when they landed in Salt Lake City.

“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 our customers and elected to divert to Salt Lake City after the situation became disruptive," United Airlines said in a statement.

4 comments

  • DB

    How sad and ridiculous! Anyone that takes a flight has to be able to deal with any situation on the airplanes. How dare the pilot kick her off the flight? YES, Sue the Airline and the Pilot!!!!!!!!!!!!!! If it was his daughter he would certainly have felt discriminated.

    It is the the girl’s fault.. The pilot should be embarrassed of himself!

    • JackR

      What the article left out was that the mother told the flight attendant if her daughter didn’t get the food she wanted, she would become violent. This was the mother’s fault, 100%. Not the airline’s or the pilot’s.

      • Eddie Matsuoka

        I agree. a good mom would be carrying the food she needs. It is a tough situation, passengers should not have to endure hours of a screaming child and a flight attendant should not have to give in to what amounts to a mild form of blackmail (“Feed my child or she will get violent”).

  • Natalie

    I am a mom of 2 autistic kids. I do always have food, toys, electronics, snacks etc, certain situations come up and things happen. Which is why she offered to pay for a meal, but was told no! I think something could have been done not just for her but for any child needing food. We used to get served snacks and food on flights. I was just on a flight going to California from Chicago without my own children and listened to a child scream the entire 3.5 hours. Not only scream but kick, slap and punch his mother. I don’t think that kid had special needs but yet the plane didn’t make an emergency landing in that circumstance. Why are some children held To a higher standard than others?

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