Down Syndrome

American Airlines forbids 16-year-old with Down Syndrome from boarding flight

Wednesday, September 12, 2012 by: David Gutierrez, staff writer
Tags: American Airlines, Down Syndrome, passenger

eTrust Pro Certified

Most Viewed Articles
Popular on Facebook
BACK INTO THE CLOSET: Why U.S. reporters are not allowed to write about rainbow events in nations where being gay is still condemned
Depopulation test run? 75% of children who received vaccines in Mexican town now dead or hospitalized
A family destroyed: Six-month-old dies after clinic injects baby with 13 vaccines at once without mother's informed consent
Biologist explains how marijuana causes tumor cells to commit suicide
U2's Bono partners with Monsanto to destroy African agriculture with GMOs
Companies begin planting microchips under employees' skin
BAM! Chipotle goes 100% non-GMO; flatly rejecting the biotech industry and its toxic food ingredients
ECONOMIC SLAVERY FOR ALL: While we were distracted with the Confederate flag flap, Congress quietly forfeited our entire economic future via fast-track trade authority
NJ cops bust teenagers shoveling snow without a permit
Russia throws down the gauntlet: energy supply to Europe cut off; petrodollar abandoned as currency war escalates
McDonald's in global profit free fall as people everywhere increasingly reject chemically-altered toxic fast food
March Against Monsanto explodes globally... World citizens stage massive protests across 38 countries, 428 cities... mainstream media pretends it never happened
Chemotherapy kills cancer patients faster than no treatment at all
600 strains of an aerosolized thought control vaccine already tested on humans; deployed via air, food and water
Italian court rules mercury and aluminum in vaccines cause autism: US media continues total blackout of medical truth
The 21 curious questions we're never allowed to ask about vaccines
Vicious attack on Dr. Oz actually waged by biotech mafia; plot to destroy Oz launched after episode on glyphosate toxicity went viral
Orthorexia Nervosa - New mental disorder aimed at people who insist on eating a clean diet
Delicious
(NaturalNews) A California family has accused American Airlines of refusing to allow their son to board a plane because he has Down Syndrome, a congenital condition characterized by mental disability and distinctive facial characteristics.

When Robert and Joan Vanderhost and their 16-year-old son Bede arrived at the Newark Airport, they upgraded their tickets to first class. At boarding time; however, airline staff informed them that the pilot had observed their son and decided that he was a "security risk." They were not permitted to board.

According to a statement by the airline, "The young man was excitable, running around, and not acclimated to the environment. The pilot attempted to calm him down... his efforts were not successful."

The Vanderhosts dispute this story, and they have evidence to back up their claims. According to Robert, Bede did not run, make loud noises, or behave offensively while at the gate, but rather walked around with his father and sat quietly. When confronted by airline personnel, Joan pulled out her cell phone and began to take a video, in which her son can be seen sitting and quietly playing with his hat.

"He's behaving," Robert says in the video. "He's demonstrating he's not a problem."

"Of course he's behaving. He's never not behaved," Joan replies.

"He didn't want a disabled person... in first class"

Airline staff told the Vanderhosts that they could not be seated because their first-class seats were too close to the cockpit, and their son might distract the pilot and force an emergency landing. Robert dismissed this concern as absurd.

"My son is no different from a four or five-year-old as far as behavior," he pointed out.

"I kept saying, 'Is this only because he has Down syndrome?' " Joan said.

"The problem is this pilot thought my son might not be like most people. He didn't want a disabled person disturbing other passengers in first class," she said.

When the Vanderhosts refused to accept an alternate ticket, airline staff called airport police. The Vanderhosts were re-booked on a different airline, where they were seated in the very back row of the plane with no other passengers permitted to sit within two rows of them. An American Airlines spokesperson said they would be reimbursed for their first-class upgrade fee.

Bede has flown more than two dozen times before without any problems. This was his first time flying first class.

"This little boy had a seat in the first class area, and for some reason, they didn't want that. That wasn't acceptable," Joan said, accusing the airline of discriminating against her son in order to maintain a certain "environment."

Her husband agreed with that interpretation. "Usually my son gets his snack and falls asleep, just like most people," he said. "The problem is this pilot thought my son might not be like most people. He didn't want a disabled person disturbing other passengers in first class."

They speculated that the pilot might have been intimidated by Bede's size - he is 5'1" and weights 160 pounds.

The Vanderhosts are now planning to sue American Airlines for violating Bede's civil liberties and the Americans With Disabilities Act. Robert says he hopes airlines will change their approach to people with disabilities.

"It's ridiculous and groundless to claim that this kid created a security risk," he said. "It was the pilot's insecurity. I paid for those seats and there was nothing that should have prevented us from taking that flight."

Writing on PrisonPlanet.com, Adan Salazar further interpreted the incident as indicative of the state of modern airport security.

"Demonstrating the sad neurotic state of airport security, a 'safety risk' can be declared by a pilot [any time]," he wrote. "Simply labeling someone a 'security risk,' a new line can be drawn for anyone, including people or children with mental disabilities."

Sources for this article include:

http://www.prisonplanet.com
http://www.cltv.com
http://travel.usatoday.com

Join over four million monthly readers. Your privacy is protected. Unsubscribe at any time.
comments powered by Disqus
Take Action: Support NaturalNews.com by linking back to this article from your website

Permalink to this article:

Embed article link: (copy HTML code below):

Reprinting this article:
Non-commercial use OK, cite NaturalNews.com with clickable link.

Follow Natural News on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, and Pinterest

Colloidal Silver

Advertise with NaturalNews...

Support NaturalNews Sponsors:

Advertise with NaturalNews...

GET SHOW DETAILS
+ a FREE GIFT

Sign up for the FREE Natural News Email Newsletter

Receive breaking news on GMOs, vaccines, fluoride, radiation protection, natural cures, food safety alerts and interviews with the world's top experts on natural health and more.

Join over 7 million monthly readers of NaturalNews.com, the internet's No. 1 natural health news site. (Source: Alexa.com)

Your email address *

Please enter the code you see above*

No Thanks

Already have it and love it!

Natural News supports and helps fund these organizations:

* Required. Once you click submit, we will send you an email asking you to confirm your free registration. Your privacy is assured and your information is kept confidential. You may unsubscribe at anytime.