The only explanation police offered the family of 15-year-old Juliette Forbes was that the pilot did not feel comfortable flying while she was on board
A furious family are seeking legal action after being kicked off a plane because the pilot refused to fly with their autistic daughter on board.
Fuming mum Dr Donna Beegle said she will be filing a discrimination lawsuit after being taken off the plane with 15-year-old Juliette, her brother and father following an emergency landing.
When Juliette refused to eat her packed lunch, the family asked for something from the first-class menu to calm her down.
Dr Beegle said the food would stop her mood getting out of control and prevent her lashing out at someone.
Juliette relaxed as soon as she had eaten and soon began watching films in her window seat on the United Airlines flight from Texas to their home in Oregon, US, Dr Beegle claimed.
Still, when the plane was forced to make an emergency landing in Utah just 30 minutes later, police arrived to remove the family from the flight.
The only explanation police offered was that the captain did not feel comfortable flying the plane with Juliette board, according to KOIN.
Dr Beegle said that she has travelled around the world with her daughter and not experienced any problems before.
She said that a “fear of autism” lay behind the treatment of her family, who are from Oregon.
A YouTube video filmed by another passenger, shows the plane on the ground in Utah, with Juliette and her family looking calm in their seats.
One witness to the incident said: “That’s ridiculous. That’s gonna be a lawsuit.”
Dr Beegle said she will be filing a discrimination lawsuit and it is reported that she has lodged official complaints with Federal Aviation Authority and United.
She said she wanted to promote understanding of autism and ensure that all airline employees have the right training to help them work with passengers who have the condition.
A spokesperson for the airline said: “After working to accommodate Dr Beegle and her daughter during the flight, the crew made the best decision for the safety and comfort of all of our customers and elected to divert to Salt Lake City after the situation became disruptive.
“We booked the customers on a different carrier and the flight continued to Portland.”