Parents Say Airline Discriminated Against Son with Down Syndrome

Claim: Family Barred From Plane Due To Teen’s Down Syndrome – Disability Scoop.

A California family is accusing American Airlines of discrimination after they say they were not allowed to board a cross-country flight because their son has Down syndrome.

-Shaun Heasley, Disability Scoop

We can only hope that this was a misunderstanding, and not another obstacle for families of children with special needs. Anyone with children, with or without disabilities, knows that travel can be a huge hassle. That ‘hassle’ gets elevated to ‘potential catastrophe’ when you throw some special needs and behaviors into the mix. The last things a family needs when taking their excited son with Down Syndrome on a cross-country flight are criticism from airline officials and a set of canceled tickets.

The family believes that the airline did not let them fly because their seats were in first class, and the airline did not want to seat someone with Down Syndrome in the luxury seats. The airline’s claim is that the boy, Bede, was “excitable, running around and not acclimated to the environment.” Which sounds an awful lot like the standard reaction for any typical kid who is about to fly first class.