There’s nothing quite like a trans-continental flight. No matter who you are, there are much better things to be done with your time than fly across country. These days, security is at an all-time high, and people are getting kicked off of flights for any number of reasons, from your iPhone games to your tattoos. The Vanderhorst family–Robert, Joan, and Bede–have found this out the hard way. Bede Vanderhorst, 16, was not allowed on an American Airlines flight from Newark to Los Angeles because he has Downs syndrome. Apparently, the captain of the flight believed the child might be a safety risk and thus, he was moved from first class on one flight to coach on a later flight.
“He was not ready to fly, that was our perspective,” said American Airlines spokesman Matt Miller. “We rebooked the family out of concern for the young man’s safety and that of other passengers as well.”
According to the Vanderhorst family, this was not the case. The mother apparently captured cell phone video of her son sitting and playing quietly and the Vanderhorsts maintain that their son was more than capable of returning to the family home in Portersville, California. The family maintains that the airline did not want a mentally handicapped person flying in first class and potentially disturbing the high-rollers.
Image: NY Daily News
Tags: disabled boy not allowed to board airplane, downs syndrome boy not allowed on airplane, pilot stops disabled boy from boarding plane, disabled boy and his family blocked from first class, American Airlines, American Airlines pilot refuses to allow disabled boy to board plane, Robert Vanderhorst, Joan Vanderhorst, Bede Vanderhorst, Newark, New Jersey, Portersville, California, Matt Miller