Mother Plans To Sue Airline For Kicking Autistic Daughter Off A Flight

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When United Airlines asked the family of an autistic teen to leave the plane, controversy and a potential lawsuit against the airline followed.

Dr. Donna Beegle couldn't get her 15-year-old daughter, Juliette, to eat on their way home to Portland, Oregon after a family trip to Disney World.

ABC News reports the young girl, who exclusively eats hot food, was liable to have a meltdown.

So began a clash between Beegle and the flight's crew as the worried mother reportedly tried to purchase hot food exclusively available for first class passengers.

According to her Facebook post, Beegle tried to explain to a first class flight attendant Juliette's special needs status, but to no avail. Finally, after Juliette began to cry, a male first class attendant brought the teen a serving of hot rice and jambalaya.

Beegle claims that's the last she heard from the flight crew before the captain announced an emergency landing in Salt Lake City over the speakers.

After the emergency landing, paramedics and police arrived on board and allegedly witnessed Juliette watching a movie silently.

Officers then reportedly asked the Beegle family to disembark the plane, citing the captain and crew's discomfort with Juliette's presence aboard the flight.

According to Beegle, some of the plane's other passengers even vocally sided with the teenager and her family.

Beegle wrote,

This was a sheer case of ignorance... I have contacted an attorney and will be filing a discrimination lawsuit to ensure the Captain and flight attendants get [special needs] training. This is not about money.

Defending the actions of the crew, United Airlines stated,

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.

Both United Airlines and the Federal Aviation Administration are reportedly investigating the incident.

Citations: Woman Claims She and Daughter With Autism Were Kicked Off United Airlines Flight (ABC News)