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'Disruptive' Autistic Teen's Family Forced off United Airlines Flight

eklendi
 
When Dr. Donna Beegle and her family got on United Airlines Flight 1024 headed to Portland after visiting Disney World, they expected to be home later that day. The reason they didn't left them — and many passengers — bewildered. (koin.com) Daha Fazlası...

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dtw757
mike SUT 4
This whole thing is amazing to me. I am the father of a child who is on the autism spectrum as well as a Captain with a major Airline. (just setting the qualifications for my comments).

Here we have a Doctor and a mother of a child who has autism, so she is not only well educated in her medical understanding and the ability to think about consequences BUT is also intimately familiar with her daughters issues. I'm fairly certain it is NOT the mothers first flight in coach but that is an assumption on my part. SO...if the child gets "upset" when she gets hungry and requires a hot meal, two choices...buy a first class seat or buy a meal from one of the many food joints on the inner side of security, bring it on board, and ask the flight attendants if they can heat it up when they have finished serving the other passengers. Prior phone call to the company explaining you are traveling with a special needs child could also solve this problem with them purchasing a special meal to be put on prior to departure. Did I mention that the Doctor/mother was an educated person. Secondly, as Preacher One said....what was relayed to the cockpit from the Cabin (based on experience) is sometimes more dramatic than the real situation. I find it interesting from the reports that the girl had actually calmed down prior to the divert so was the cockpit notified of this, was it asked by the cockpit, or was the cockpit just left in the blind and a decision made to divert without checking back on the "current" situation in the cabin. There could be blame to go around on everyone in this incident but I think the parents deserve some of the blame here as well.
preacher1
preacher1 2
Regarding the parents, #1. The mother had apparently done this before but #2, she said the girl was a picky eater. How did the mother know what would be on the menu? #3. After she got the meal, she was settled and it was after that the diversion was made.

As Capt. Mike says, there is enough blame to go around for everyone but there is something not being told. PIC cannot always get up to check on things themselves, hence must totally rely on FA.
30west
30west -1
I agree, there is more to the story. Prior planning on the mother's part would have gone a long way in preventing this situation.
Bernie20910
Bernie20910 2
As I stated below earlier:

From the Snopes article, which you may not have read:

"Before boarding the Portland-bound flight, however, Beegle said Juliette had refused the food they bought and also would not eat the snacks they brought on board the plane. Juliette, like many people with autism, is clinically picky about the food she eats, and although she is high-functioning she has extreme difficulty communicating verbally. So in an attempt to prevent the situation from escalating, Beegle asked a flight attendant if they could provide any hot food her daughter"

So, yes, the mother did take steps to try and head this off, before getting on the plane, and took the additional step of bring food with them onto the aircraft. The child would not eat what they had though. I don't see what more you could reasonably expect from the mother.
30west
30west 1
Excellent commentary.
Bernie20910
Bernie20910 2
Additional link to the story on snopes.com: http://now.snopes.com/2015/05/10/autistic-girl-removed/
wsudu
John Jacobs 2
I usually do not comment a lot here as I am not a pilot, but this is interesting to me. Are there some commercial pilots who could weigh in? I feel as if there may be some information missing. On one hand, all of this could have been avoided with some flexibility on United's part but would the captain be bound in some way to force her off based on what the mother said about possible biting of others?
preacher1
preacher1 5
Well, it's odd that they booked them on another carrier and no problems we have heard about. None of the pax were having a problem with an autistic child, and It looks like every effort was made by the mother to satisfy the daughter's needs before flight and knowing what was going to happen, it kinda looks like the UAL FA would have been a little more accommodating. A hot meal, and here paying for it, was lot cheaper than a diversion and a lawsuit. I wasn't there but something is hinkey according to the stories, and it all seems to center around the UAL FA. What is not told is what he told the Captain.
danielsallee12
Daniel Sallee 2
John I think one of the main issues here is that no matter how hard we try, there will always be a disconnect between the cockpit and cabin crew with a barrier between us. We do our best to communicate via the interphone with the flight attendants but we are left to take the information they give us to make a decision. In this situation there may have been flight attendants dealing with the situation and another calling the pilots that was just passing along information so now it has the potential to be less than accurate. Beyond that even with accurate information it's still hard to get a good picture of what's happening. Even if they were not threats, any warning of potential violence might have triggered them to make the decision to divert. Tough call either way, but I hesitate to judge as there is no way to know the exact situation on board and communication dynamics between the cabin crew and cockpit.
preacher1
preacher1 1
So true. In my comment below, what is missing is exactly that, "What did the FA tell the Captain?" That is all he had to go on and if it was overstated in any form, Captain made the right call, for the circumstances. We weren't there, and as Daniel says, that interphone is all we have to go on to make that decision.
KenIngram
KenIngram 3
I think the pilot diverted because of the threat the mother made to the flight attendants.
There was more complete video which showed the mother warning about the kids progressive violence history. I would have landed to remove the passenger as well. Some people should not be allowed to fly if they are likely to become unstable, placing themselves and others at risk at 30,000'.
tyketto
You would be wrong. The mother didn't make any threat to the FAs. She stated that if her child didn't get any food to eat, she *may* start to scratch. Not that she *WILL*, but *may*. Her daughter was fine on the flight, as the other passengers signed written statements saying as such.

The pilot, as PIC, has the right to do what he thinks is safe for his flight, if the pilot believes an incident has occurred. But no such incident has occurred, as no-one was harmed, nor was there any elevated tensions or risk in the cabin. Therefore, they still have to abide by the ADA and ACAA when it comes to those with disabilities. It is with the ACAA that the FAs misjudged in their conduct, as they did not provide the accommodation needed to support the daughter. the mother asked if she could pay for food, and the FA said *NO*.

The FA and the airline failed the parents in this case, as they let their ignorance of the disability cause a poor lapse of judgment.
Highflyer1950
Highflyer1950 2
Well, when you mention to a flight crew member that your daughter might have a meltdown and may injure someone because she can't get a hot meal in economy, and I'm guessing the mothers' attitude probably wasn't the best I agree that leaves the Captain little option but to land the aircraft as soon as practable. Next time the "Dr." Should fly in business class with her daughter if all it takes is a meal to keep the peace. However, I also think that the crewmember could have handled it differently and advised the passengers' mother that if there are any signs of the daughter becoming agitated, he will have no option but to report this directly to the Captain which may cause him to land the plane immediately and have them escorted off. Captain's decision, not the Mothers, nor the passengers.
TiredTom
Tom Bruce 1
pilot in charge of the safety of EVERYONE on the flight - it the pilot's call...plain and simple
tyketto
Even when there is no immediate or imminent danger of anyone on the flight?

PIC is there to make the call over the safety of the aircraft, especially when there is the immediate threat of something happening that will compromise the safety of the aircraft.

Note the words "immediate" and "will". At the point of this incident, nothing has occurred to cause that danger. The pilot diverted and booted them off the aircraft for something he and the FAs thought would POTENTIALLY HAPPEN, which never did.

You make the call as PIC when something imminent is going to happen, like low fuel (already happened), health issue where a person's life is imminently at stake (heart attack, stroke, etc.) This girl was sitting there with her headphones on, and was doing NOTHING that provoked the diversion, while the mother was doing what she could to help further PREVENT the potential for something to happen.

You make the PIC call on what is happening, not "what if". Bad PIC call on the pilot's and FA's level.
preacher1
preacher1 1
As stated above, in most case, PIC can only rely on what the FA tells them. That is left out of this whole equation.
JustinWharry
Justin Wharry 1
My sons best friend is autistic, I have personally seen and issue arise just has Dr. Beegle had described. It is easily fixed and generally is not an issue. She told the FA what could happen and a way to prevent it and did just so. The captain did the best he new from the information he was given, the FA failed to give a full and proper report on the situation. All it would have taken is to go back and check, but that might involve caring just a little.
sgbelverta
sharon bias 0
With all of the time people have to sit in terminals, the family couldn't have made sure the child was fed BEFORE she got on the plane?
preacher1
preacher1 1
They probably did but it is a fairly long flight to PDX and you will note that the diversion was into LAS
Bernie20910
Bernie20910 1
From the Snopes article, which you may not have read:

"Before boarding the Portland-bound flight, however, Beegle said Juliette had refused the food they bought and also would not eat the snacks they brought on board the plane. Juliette, like many people with autism, is clinically picky about the food she eats, and although she is high-functioning she has extreme difficulty communicating verbally. So in an attempt to prevent the situation from escalating, Beegle asked a flight attendant if they could provide any hot food her daughter"

So, yes, the mother did take steps to try and head this off, before getting on the plane, and took the additional step of bring food with them onto the aircraft. The child would not eat what they had though. I don't see what more you could reasonably expect from the mother.
kwu20001
kev wu 0
(Duplicate Squawk Submitted)

Family Kicked Off Flight For "Disruptive" Girl With Autism

An Oregon family traveling with a 15-year old autistic girl was kicked off a flight this week for what the airline calls a "disruptive" situation.

The family calls it an outrage.

Video shot by a fellow passenger and posted to YouTube showed Salt Lake City airport police removing the family from a United Airlines flight last Tuesday, after the pilot made an emergency landing.

The girl's mother, Donna Beegle, was shocked when officers explained why.

"He said, 'Well, the captain doesn't feel comfortable flying to Portland with your daughter on his flight," Beegle told CBS News.

The trouble began halfway through the flight from Houston to Portland. Beegle says her daughter, Juliette, was hungry and started to act up.

"I know her. When she gets over hungry or over thirsty, she really struggles," Beegle described.

Her mother says Juliette is a picky eater, so she asked a flight attendant if she could purchase a hot meal from first class -- and says she was told no.

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/autistic-girl-removed-from-flight-after-emergency-landing/
margeauxk
Margeaux K 0
(Duplicate Squawk Submitted)

Family Kicked Off Flight Over 'Disruptive' Autistic Teen

A mom who says she was humiliated when she and her family were kicked off a United Airlines flight because of her autistic daughter's allegedly disruptive behavior wants airlines to learn from the incident.

http://www.newser.com/story/206631/family-kicked-off-flight-over-disruptive-autistic-teen.html

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