An Oregon mother claims she was kicked off a United Airlines flight because of her autistic daughter's behavior.According to KPTV, Donna Beegle was travelling back from Disney World with her family and became aware that her autistic 15-year-old daughter, Juliette, was hungry.
"I asked the flight attendant if they had anything hot, because Juliette is very particular about her food," Beegle told KPTV. "If it's warm she won't eat it, if it's cold she won't eat it, it has to have steam rolling off of it. The flight attendant said, 'there's not anything we can get you,' so I 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 reluctantly complied, and Juliette calmed down. However, the flight made an emergency landing in Utah where police boarded the plane and asked Donna and her family to exit the aircraft.
United Airlines issued a statement saying, "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 re-booked the customers on a different carrier and the flight continued to Portland."
While Donna says a number of passengers were on her side, one traveler told Fox News, "She wasn't put off the plane because she had autism ... she was maybe proposing some kind of threat. What if she got crazy and got up and opened an exit door at 36,000 feet?"
Donna plans to sue the airline, but not for money -- instead she's suing for change in flight attendant training.