Alaska Airlines Accused of Kicking Disabled Passenger Off Flight

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Alaska Airlines is being accused of disability discrimination, after the airline kicks offs a passenger with down syndrome from flight 779 St. Louis to Seattle this week. The passenger fell ill and threw up after boarding, however no where does it state you’ll be kicked off a flight for vomiting.

The family of the parents claim they felt a case of discrimination and had another passenger threw up they would have not been kicked off and stranded for 11 hours.

Per NBC News,

A woman says her family was booted off an Alaska Airlines flight to Seattle this week because her teenage brother with Down syndrome vomited a small amount.

The teen had just boarded flight 779 in St. Louis on Monday following an Easter weekend trip when flight attendants asked him and his parents to deplane, Meaghan Hess, a third-year law student and a staffer for the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, said in a written statement.

“After boarding the flight, Patrick threw up a little and the airline workers kicked my family off the flight,” said Hess, who was not traveling with her family at the time.

On Twitter, Alaska Airlines representative said: “I’m truly sorry for your family’s experience. Safety of all passengers is our number one priority. I am glad to see that we re-booked them at no fee in the morning. I apologize that we cannot provide hotels in these situations.”

Alaska Airlines is looking into the situation and how it was handled. The airline did rebook the entire family in first class, which could be seen as admitting guilt. The family wasn’t happy with the outcome and are claiming that they felt the airline discriminated against their disabled son.

This also raises a question as to if the family was involuntary denied boarding as they didn’t want to be removed from the flight. You’ll recall last year when Dr. Dao was dragged off an United Airlines flight after the flight was oversold and he refused to get off.

Feel free to share your thoughts below in the comments on whether an airline should kick off a passenger who “threw up a small amount” on the flight. Does that warrant being kicked off? 

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  1. It has been my experience that neither the airline nor a passenger or their guardian would nt to share any illness with others on a flight when I have been ill I have called and the airlines almost always allow me to rebook at no charge rather than infect a entire aircraft passengers and flight crew. This should apply to ANY passenger disabled or not it is just common sense and courtesy to not travel in confined areas if you or any of your travel companions are sick. It also shouldl apply to ANY airline not just Alaska

  2. If there are bags for the collection of vomit in the seats pockets, it would tell you the airline anticipated someone vomiting. So if they expect that someone will occasionally vomit, how could they throw someone off when they actually did. Flying stresses folks out already, and now, after what you must endure to just to get to the gate, you would need to expect someone may get ill. This was just the worst kind of discrimination because the flight attendants want to get paid just for being on board during the flight and not actually providing aid or comfort to the people who pay them. Poor training on the part of the airline in customer service also, so yes, sue them for degrading and humiliating you.

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