Family furious after child with lice gets them kicked off Delta flight
Just days after Delta's infamous spat with conservative political pundit Ann Coulter, the carrier is back in the spotlight for booting the family of a child with lice off one of its planes.
And it seems, again, that people on social media are siding with the airline.
Clay Travis, a lawyer and FOX Sports analyst from Tennessee, took to his blog on July 17 to lament how his entire family was removed from a Delta flight from Paris to Nashville during a layover in Minneapolis after a flight attendant discovered his six-year-old son had lice.
"I have a wife and three boys, ages 9, 6, and 2 and on June 30th we all flew to London," Travis wrote. "During these two weeks in London and Paris our kids took regular baths and we combed their hair after each bath. At no point did either of us see any signs of lice."
"Until, that is, halfway over the Atlantic Ocean when my six year old son needed to go the bathroom," he continued.
The father of three wrote that his wife noticed the couple's six-year-old was scratching his head while in line for the bathroom and, upon closer inspection, realized he had lice.
Apparently, her reaction caught the attention of Delta employees, who weren't too pleased with the boy's condition.
"Several flight attendants rushed over too and peered down at my son's head. 'Oh, my God, he has lice,'" Travis wrote.
Shortly thereafter, Travis says that crew members told him that he and his family would be quarantined on the plane when they landed in Minneapolis and that they wouldn't be allowed to board their connecting flight to get home.
"When we landed in Minneapolis, the entire plane emptied and a flight attendant who looked a bit like Nurse Ratched from "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest," approached us and said that we would not be allowed to take our connecting flight and would have to leave the airport in Minneapolis," he wrote.
This, as you can well imagine, did not please me.
"We are not staying in Minneapolis," I said. (At this point I also started thinking, I don't want to turn into that Asian doctor and get dragged off an airplane by security. Especially since I defended the airline in that case with this article. I get that airline personnel have difficult jobs. But I did tell Nurse Ratched that I was a lawyer and hadn't been able to find any policy about lice online, that we were traveling back from Europe and just wanted to get home and only had a short flight.) She was not helpful.
After a brief medical inspection on the plane, the family was allowed to disembark. They headed toward customs with the intention of boarding their connecting flight.
However, Travis says that the same flight attendant returned with another medical official who pulled the family off the customs line and confirmed that the 6-year-old did, in fact, have lice.
After the group made it through customs, another Delta employee told the family that they would not be allowed to fly and that they "must leave the airport immediately, find somewhere in the city to be treated for lice, obtain a clearance form that proves we had all been treated, and until we do that we will not be allowed to fly home on Delta."
At this point, Travis says he wasn't sure how big of a scene he wanted to cause, likening his situation to that of Dr. David Dao who was infamously dragged off a United Airlines flight in April. (Curiously, Travis had previously written about Dao's incident, in which he outright blamed the doctor for what happened to him.)
"How far did I want to take this? Did I want to get removed by security like the Asian doctor? Get dragged out of the airport in front of my kids because my six year old had lice?" Travis pondered in his post. "So we left. But not before I said, 'Just so you know, I'll be writing all about this on the internet.'"
Eventually, Travis and his 6-year-old son booked two tickets on a Southwest flight and, after receiving treatment at a nearby clinic, flew home separately from his wife and other two children.
"Before my two year old and I left Minneapolis on our Southwest flight, my six year old pulled me aside and said, 'It's all my fault that we can't go home, daddy. I'm sorry that I have lice.' And he was nearly crying when he said it," he wrote. "Which, if you're a parent, just breaks your heart."
Still, people on social media simply aren't buying into Travis' sob story.
Many are pointing out that it isn't fair to subject an entire airplane full of people to a highly-infectious (and extremely icky) condition like lice.
Travis attempted to back himself up, stating that Delta doesn't have any mention of lice specifically in its policy -- a point which was quickly refuted.
A representative for Delta told FOX News they could not specifically comment on the airline's lice policy, but said they were in touch with the family.
"We will always prioritize the health of our customers and employees as safety is our top priority," the representative added. "We will work directly with the family to resolve the issue."