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-   -   UA Pilot Diverts to Remove Autistic Child From Plane for Safety Reasons (https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/united-airlines-mileageplus/1678775-ua-pilot-diverts-remove-autistic-child-plane-safety-reasons.html)

HMPS May 10, 15 4:26 pm

This just made CBS evening news.
FA overacted in her report to Captain. That size child's cannot be a safety risk .

The Autistic lobby will have a field day, a new poster. Hild and UA will make a confidential settlement.

mogulskiir May 10, 15 4:42 pm


Originally Posted by Plane-is-home (Post 24792278)
UA did the right thing.
The family is now just hoping for a pay day.

I couldn't agree more. I think UA did the right thing here. While I have sympathy for the child that is not UA's problem. Pilot was doing his job. The bigger problem is everyone is lawsuit happy in the U.S. and this drives me nuts.

MKEflyer95 May 10, 15 4:53 pm

I have a very high-functioned form of autism as well and looking at this, I thought this is just wrong of United to do. I've always liked flying and I know what to expect. But she probably isn't into aviation as me so she doesn't know that she's not supposed to cause a distruption on the plane. There was nothing her parents could really do to stop her from crying about getting no hot food. If this was on Delta or American, they'd probably take this situation more maturely without having to divert the plane. If she was flying alone they'd probably give her a first-class meal. When I was 9 and I flew alone, I got put in first class. Originally I had an economy seat but that flight turned out to be the best I've been on. If her parents would've informed United that she was autistic BEFORE the flight, then maybe she'd get to fly first class and get a first class meal and no distruptions.

mahasamatman May 10, 15 5:04 pm


Originally Posted by MKEflyer95 (Post 24795558)
If her parents would've informed United that she was autistic BEFORE the flight, then maybe she'd get to fly first class and get a first class meal and no distruptions.

Expecting preferential treatment based a medical condition in this way is as bad as someone discriminating based on it. It's no different than people trying to get a first class seat claiming it's their honeymoon.

cruisr May 10, 15 5:09 pm


Originally Posted by MKEflyer95 (Post 24795558)
I have a very high-functioned form of autism as well and looking at this, I thought this is just wrong of United to do. I've always liked flying and I know what to expect. But she probably isn't into aviation as me so she doesn't know that she's not supposed to cause a distruption on the plane. There was nothing her parents could really do to stop her from crying about getting no hot food. If this was on Delta or American, they'd probably take this situation more maturely without having to divert the plane. If she was flying alone they'd probably give her a first-class meal. When I was 9 and I flew alone, I got put in first class. Originally I had an economy seat but that flight turned out to be the best I've been on. If her parents would've informed United that she was autistic BEFORE the flight, then maybe she'd get to fly first class and get a first class meal and no distruptions.

Oh yeah, right. Now a new excuse to get an F seat. Sorry, with all due respect to you a F seat is not something one should get or deserves due to the fact that someone has autism. If the mother wanted an F meal for the child she should have bought F seats.

MKEflyer95 May 10, 15 5:16 pm


Originally Posted by cruisr (Post 24795605)
Oh yeah, right. Now a new excuse to get an F seat. Sorry, with all due respect to you a F seat is not something one should get or deserves due to the fact that someone has autism. If the mother wanted an F meal for the child she should have bought F seats.

I only got an F seat once and I have no problem with an Economy seat and no hot meals. I wouldn't want to pay extra for hot meals or F seats. I don't care if my meal or snack is cold or not

fastair May 10, 15 5:22 pm


Originally Posted by HMPS (Post 24795483)
This just made CBS evening news.
FA overacted in her report to Captain. That size child's cannot be a safety risk .

The Autistic lobby will have a field day, a new poster. Hild and UA will make a confidential settlement.

This is a 15 yr old, who may melt down and scratch other people, and you say "cannot be a safety risk"?!?! I can assure you, when I was 15, and I was small at that age, the damage I could have done if it was my goal, would certainly be sufficient to be a safety risk to others and people around me.

Are you serious when you said that?


Originally Posted by MKEflyer95 (Post 24795558)
I have a very high-functioned form of autism as well and looking at this, I thought this is just wrong of United to do. I've always liked flying and I know what to expect. But she probably isn't into aviation as me so she doesn't know that she's not supposed to cause a distruption on the plane. There was nothing her parents could really do to stop her from crying about getting no hot food. If this was on Delta or American, they'd probably take this situation more maturely without having to divert the plane. If she was flying alone they'd probably give her a first-class meal. When I was 9 and I flew alone, I got put in first class. Originally I had an economy seat but that flight turned out to be the best I've been on. If her parents would've informed United that she was autistic BEFORE the flight, then maybe she'd get to fly first class and get a first class meal and no distruptions.

There are pictures of her all over the Internet at places like Turks and Caicos, as well as other places. Given they are from the pac-northwest, the probability that they drove or took a boat in the past vs flying is small. I'm pretty sure that she's flown at least a few times before, on her outbound flights to MCO (multiple flights) as well as at least a couple of flights each way to the islands. It appears that they are well traveled.

Buckdany May 10, 15 5:29 pm


Originally Posted by bocastephen (Post 24794918)
Not intending to go political, but a lot of these liberal countries (were these people from the UK? I haven't read much more into it) will usually always take the side of the child no matter the issue. Canada is similar - heavens forbid someone opens a bag of peanuts on a Canadian flight if there is an allergic child 30 rows back, there will be hell to pay.

This entire situation sits squarely in the lap of the parents. It's not like their daughter became autistic 15 minutes before boarding, they knew about her condition, knew the risks and failed to prepare and this has entitlement attitude written all over it. If she was this bad, she should have been tranquilized before the flight, or they should not be traveling.

UK. liberal country?

OccasionalFlyerPerson May 10, 15 5:31 pm


Originally Posted by fastair (Post 24795634)
This is a 15 yr old, who may melt down and scratch other people, and you say "cannot be a safety risk"?!?! I can assure you, when I was 15, and I was small at that age, the damage I could have done if it was my goal, would certainly be sufficient to be a safety risk to others and people around me.

Are you serious when you said that?

I agree with you. 15 years old is more or less adult size. The pictures show that the girl is about the same size as her mother.

For the person who questioned whether there is 'more reliable' press in the UK. The original link in this thread is from The Daily Mail. Which is sort of like equal parts of The National Enquirer and Mein Kampf.

http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2015/...1198467596.jpg

kettle1 May 10, 15 5:37 pm


Originally Posted by Buckdany (Post 24795668)
UK. liberal country?

:D:D:D

HMPS May 10, 15 5:50 pm


Originally Posted by fastair (Post 24795634)
This is a 15 yr old, who may melt down and scratch other people, and you say "cannot be a safety risk
Yes I am serious"?!?! I can assure you, when I was 15, and I was small at that age, the damage I could have done if it was my goal, would certainly be sufficient to be a safety risk to others and people around me.

Are you serious when you said that?

Yes I am serious. She was in a window seat, her parents beside her. Would have been difficult to reach others as there would be enough time for the one in seat in front of her....I have seen pax and FA subdue a large drunk man. No big deal, this was prior to 9/11. Since we were on a LHaul just airborne pilot returned to home airport.

artvandalay May 10, 15 5:56 pm

Cheap publicity stunt by a shameless mother, and it seems to have worked thanks to the likes of such credible media as the Daily Mail (where one can get answers to important questions such as "What did Kim Kardashian were to the gym yesterday?")

Kudos to the captain for solving the problem.

OccasionalFlyerPerson May 10, 15 6:04 pm

There is more information here:

http://koin.com/2015/05/09/she-wasnt...use-of-autism/

Particularly interesting IMHO are the comments from other passengers Hall (who supports the family) and Hedlund (who supports the airline).

Personally I don't think that after the considerable disruption caused by Juliette that the airline could have taken the risk in leaving her onboard and hope that she doesn't continue being disruptive. How could the airline be sure that her parents would keep her constrained in her seat, would they ban her from stretching her legs or visiting the toilet?

pruss2ny May 10, 15 6:04 pm


Originally Posted by HMPS (Post 24795734)
Yes I am serious. She was in a window seat, her parents beside her. Would have been difficult to reach others as there would be enough time for the one in seat in front of her....I have seen pax and FA subdue a large drunk man. No big deal, this was prior to 9/11. Since we were on a LHaul just airborne pilot returned to home airport.

if the mom already raised the sniff of a threat about the girl melting down and scratching/assaulting other people, then from UA perspective its kind of game over. making the assumption that the parents will keep any physical attack under control simply isn't a cogent game plan...and the fact the mother forewarned it could be construed as admission that they've failed to contain her in the past.

cruisr May 10, 15 6:11 pm


Originally Posted by OccasionalFlyerPerson (Post 24795775)
There is more information here:

http://koin.com/2015/05/09/she-wasnt...use-of-autism/

Particularly interesting IMHO are the comments from other passengers Hall (who supports the family) and Hedlund (who supports the airline).

Personally I don't think that after the considerable disruption caused by Juliette that the airline could have taken the risk in leaving her onboard and hope that she doesn't continue being disruptive. How could the airline be sure that her parents would keep her constrained in her seat, would they ban her from stretching her legs or visiting the toilet?


Hmmm. She says it's not about the money. Yeah right. I'll believe that if she swears under oath to donate all proceeds, if she wins, to autism research. Of course it's about the money. She is seeing $$


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