Another day, another incident of Southwest Airlines kicking off a family over a ridiculous mask issue. Only this time, the three-year-old question was wearing his mask. Flight attendants simply feared the boy would not be able to keep it on.
Southwest Kicks Off Family Over FEAR Disabled Three-Year-Old Would Remove Mask
Here’s what gets me about this incident: the kid was wearing the mask. He also had a disability, which Southwest Airlines used as a pretext to throw the family off.
Three-year-old Orion Scott has sensory processing disorder. His parents reached out to Southwest prior to their flight. They mentioned he *might* have trouble keeping his mask on, but provided the requisite information including a note from the doctor and their occupational therapist.
The family boarded their flight to Florida and settled into their seats. Orion had his mask on and, according to the family, and had kept it on throughout the process.
All of a sudden a flight attendant appeared. Addressing Caroline, Orion’s mother, she said:
“You have to get off the plane. The captain doesn’t feel comfortable with your family on it.”
The flight attendant then explained they were not being kicked off for violating any rules, but out of fear the three-year-old might violate rules.
“It’s not OK. There was no empathy. There was no understanding. We were just humiliated. It was traumatizing and humiliating.
“We thought we were doing the right thing and for being forefront and honest, we were punished for it.”
The family paid $1,700 to fly home on United the next day, did not mention the disability, and encountered no issue. Orion kept his mask on.
Asked about the incident, a Southwest spokesperson noted:
Southwest Airlines regrets any inconvenience this family experienced while traveling, and our Customer Relations Team is contacting the family directly regarding their experience. Southwest Employees are working each day to ensure the requirements of the federal mask mandate with sensitivity during these challenging times. We appreciate the ongoing understanding and cooperation among our Customers and Employees as we work collectively to support the comfort and wellbeing of all who travel with us during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Here’s my commentary: you’re a gutless wonder, Captain. A coward lacking empathy is a danger in the cockpit. You have NO BUSINESS FLYING FOR SOUTHWEST.
The Orions tried to do the right thing and were punished for it. As Caroline noted:
“We’re never going to disclose again, and that’s a shame because it should be, ‘How can we support people who need extra support?’ Not ‘Let’s kick them off the plane.’ No family should have to go through this!”
She’s 100% correct and unless the family is holding back information, I unconditionally condemn Southwest Airlines here. Southwest has a problem handling passengers with disabilities and I am getting sick and tired of the new stories that are constantly popping up. Southwest owes this family more than an apology…
image: provided by family to KDVR-TV