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AA Denies Boarding To Teen With Down Syndrome  
User currently offlinePROSA From United States of America, joined Oct 2001, 5632 posts, RR: 5
Posted (1 year 11 months 15 hours ago) and read 19551 times:

The 16-year-old was scheduled to travel in first class with his parents from EWR to LAX, but an airline representative claimed that the boy was a "flight risk" and refused to allow the family to board. Some of the exchange was caught on video:
http://laist.com/2012/09/04/airline_refuses_to_board_teen_with.php

The boy and his parents later flew on UA, with no incidents.

[Edited 2012-09-04 16:06:11]


"Let me think about it" = the coward's way of saying "no"
133 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineHNLPointShoot From United States of America, joined Feb 2007, 319 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (1 year 11 months 15 hours ago) and read 19496 times:

Quote:
They believe American Airlines did not want their son to fly in first class because of his disability, and say the airline not only violated their son's civil rights, but also the Americans With Disabilities Act.

I think they mean the Air Carrier Access Act, not ADA. Still, based on my limited understanding of the law, I find it hard to believe AA was justified in denying the child boarding since he had his parents with him (i.e., attendants able to assist him in case of emergency.)


User currently offlineAirframeAS From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 14150 posts, RR: 24
Reply 2, posted (1 year 11 months 15 hours ago) and read 19406 times:

Quoting PROSA (Thread starter):
an airline representative claimed that the boy was a "flight risk"

Can anyone shed some light on how this boy was really a "flight risk"?? The kid isn't a criminal evading law. LOL.

Quoting HNLPointShoot (Reply 1):
I find it hard to believe AA was justified in denying the child boarding since he had his parents with him (i.e., attendants able to assist him in case of emergency.)

Agreed.

After seeing the video, it is quite astonishing how the CSR Supervisor treated the family, he ought to be ashamed of himself. But on the other hand, I can see why they were denied boarding. It is not about the safety of the young man, but it had very well to do with the comfort of the other first class passengers. If the family was still seated in economy, this probably wouldn't have been an issue and the family would be on the aircraft. The key here is where the family would have been seated with a disabled individual. AA probably saw that the first class upgrade for the family was inappropriate.

Now, was this a paid upgrade or just a simple FF upgrade?



A Safe Flight Begins With Quality Maintenance On The Ground.
User currently offlineflyingsux From United States of America, joined Jun 2012, 50 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (1 year 11 months 14 hours ago) and read 19188 times:

Quoting HNLPointShoot (Reply 1):
I think they mean the Air Carrier Access Act, not ADA

No, they meant ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) - more specifically, Part 382, which prohibits discrimination based on disability in air travel. And I would say this does look like a blatant violation. Based on what I see on the video, he's bahaving better than some adults I've seen in the boarding area.


User currently offlinetugger From United States of America, joined Apr 2006, 5427 posts, RR: 8
Reply 4, posted (1 year 11 months 14 hours ago) and read 19138 times:

Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 2):
But on the other hand, I can see why they were denied boarding. It is not about the safety of the young man, but it had very well to do with the comfort of the other first class passengers. If the family was still seated in economy, this probably wouldn't have been an issue and the family would be on the aircraft. The key here is where the family would have been seated with a disabled individual. AA probably saw that the first class upgrade for the family was inappropriate.

Now, was this a paid upgrade or just a simple FF upgrade?

Don't take this the wrong way, but I find that sentiment as disturbing and wrong as the denial itself. If you have the points, bought/got the upgrade, there is no reason to cruelly discriminate against someone (and their family) for something that is not a flight-risk nor something that truly adversely affects anyone around them.

And why would they have been "OK" if they were in economy?

AA is going to eat some serious bad PR crow on this one if it is what it appears to be.

Quoting flyingsux (Reply 3):
Quoting HNLPointShoot (Reply 1):
I think they mean the Air Carrier Access Act, not ADA

No, they meant ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) - more specifically, Part 382, which prohibits discrimination based on disability in air travel.

FYI (emphasis mine):

Quote:
the Americans with Disabilities Act, which was expanded to include airline regulations in 2009.
http://shine.yahoo.com/parenting/tee...-risk-parents-fight-195700056.html

/Tugg



I don’t know that I am unafraid to be myself, but it is hard to be somebody else. -W. Shatner
User currently offlinelonghauler From Canada, joined Mar 2004, 4915 posts, RR: 43
Reply 5, posted (1 year 11 months 14 hours ago) and read 19045 times:

Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 2):
Now, was this a paid upgrade or just a simple FF upgrade?

Does it really make a difference?

Whether paid in cash at booking, or paid an upgrade at boarding or flew an airline 100000 miles ... they all "paid" to sit in a premium cabin.



Never gonna grow up, never gonna slow down .... Barefoot Blue Jean Night
User currently offlinecontrails From United States of America, joined Oct 2000, 1833 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (1 year 11 months 14 hours ago) and read 19040 times:

This is just what AA needs - a big embarrassing lawsuit. They'd better apologize profusely and give the family some serious travel vouchers - and soon.


Flying Colors Forever!
User currently offlineAirframeAS From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 14150 posts, RR: 24
Reply 7, posted (1 year 11 months 14 hours ago) and read 18980 times:

Quoting tugger (Reply 4):
If you have the points, bought/got the upgrade, there is no reason to cruelly discriminate against someone (and their family) for something that is not a flight-risk nor something that truly adversely affects anyone around them.

And just to clarify, I do agree with you. I was only playing the devils advocate as to why AA decided to go the route they chose to go with.

Quoting tugger (Reply 4):
And why would they have been "OK" if they were in economy?

Well, as some people would agree with is the fact that First Class is exactly that: First Class. People in that section are big wigs or those who travel for work who want to have a peaceful setting after a long day. There are other people, who upgrade, just for the hell of it because they want to experience what FC is like. With the disability of this young man, AA probably thought that he might cause some uneasy feelings with the other pax seated in FC and may cause a disturbance. That is my only argument. Again, First Class is First Class for a reason.

But then again, most people with Downs Syndrome at age 16 are pretty well behaved. I think this is actually a knee jerk reaction on the CSR's part, and the lack of ADA/ACA training obtained for the CSR and the Supervisor. After thinking about it, I'm 50/50 on the situation....

Quoting tugger (Reply 4):
AA is going to eat some serious bad PR crow on this one if it is what it appears to be.

   I think the family may have some legal recourse after all.

Quoting tugger (Reply 4):
he Americans with Disabilities Act, which was expanded to include airline regulations in 2009.

Geez, I had no idea! Seriously. My recent Air Carrier Access Act and ADA training did not add this. WTH?!

Quoting flyingsux (Reply 3):
Based on what I see on the video, he's bahaving better than some adults I've seen in the boarding area.

Saw the same video, I agree. AA should have left this alone. I am not buying the argument that AA claims that the pilot came to talk to the 16 year old. Sorry, but I am not buying it.



A Safe Flight Begins With Quality Maintenance On The Ground.
User currently offlinegigneil From United States of America, joined Nov 2002, 16347 posts, RR: 85
Reply 8, posted (1 year 11 months 14 hours ago) and read 18934 times:

Lets not skip this part, for interest of fairness:

Quote:

"A spokesman for American Airlines disputes the family's claim, saying the child was excitable and running around," reports UPI, adding: The airline said the pilot unsuccessfully tried to calm the boy down before telling the family he presented a risk to passenger safety."

I clearly have no way to identify whether that is the truth or not.

Now don't you get me wrong, I am sure actual running around children are let on board the aircraft every day.

NS


User currently offlineaeroblogger From India, joined Dec 2011, 1363 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (1 year 11 months 14 hours ago) and read 18873 times:

Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 2):

After seeing the video, it is quite astonishing how the CSR Supervisor treated the family, he ought to be ashamed of himself. But on the other hand, I can see why they were denied boarding. It is not about the safety of the young man, but it had very well to do with the comfort of the other first class passengers. If the family was still seated in economy, this probably wouldn't have been an issue and the family would be on the aircraft. The key here is where the family would have been seated with a disabled individual. AA probably saw that the first class upgrade for the family was inappropriate.

WHAT?

The fact that somebody can somehow manage to justify this event is more disturbing than the actual event in my opinion.

This family did not break any of AA's stated policies. The child wasn't disruptive, aggressive, drunk, dressed inappropriately, etc.

This is a textbook violation of ADA, and whether AA considers the upgrade "appropriate" or not is irrelevant. Regardless, AA was who sold the upgrade in the first place...



Airports 2012: IXE HYD DEL BLR BOM CCU KNU KTM BKK SIN ICN LAX BUR SFO PHX IAH ORD EWR PHL PVD BOS FRA MUC IST
User currently offlineflyingsux From United States of America, joined Jun 2012, 50 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (1 year 11 months 14 hours ago) and read 18840 times:

Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 7):
Well, as some people would agree with is the fact that First Class is exactly that: First Class. People in that section are big wigs or those who travel for work who want to have a peaceful setting after a long day. There are other people, who upgrade, just for the hell of it because they want to experience what FC is like. With the disability of this young man, AA probably thought that he might cause some uneasy feelings with the other pax seated in FC and may cause a disturbance.

None of that matters - IT IS AGAINST THE LAW to discriminate based on a disability. Period. So if sombody feels uncomfortable they are the ones who can request to be rebooked on another flight. It's not any different than a blind person traveling with a service animal and someone onboard had an alergy. The blind person wouldn't be denied boarding.


User currently offlinetugger From United States of America, joined Apr 2006, 5427 posts, RR: 8
Reply 11, posted (1 year 11 months 14 hours ago) and read 18818 times:

Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 7):
Well, as some people would agree with is the fact that First Class is exactly that: First Class. People in that section are big wigs or those who travel for work who want to have a peaceful setting after a long day. There are other people, who upgrade, just for the hell of it because they want to experience what FC is like. With the disability of this young man, AA probably thought that he might cause some uneasy feelings with the other pax seated in FC and may cause a disturbance. That is my only argument. Again, First Class is First Class for a reason.

You'll probably get pilloried for that!   
(And I see I was right  Wink )
I think I understand what you are trying to say and with that realize you do not necessarily agree with AA's choice (well the CSA's choice), you are just making an argument. However with that said, it is an indefensible position (as you indicate when you noted the family probably has recourse here).

The price is what it is and AA sets it and the family paid that price, whether with miles or cash. And I will say that I have sat in F with some very bad passengers, from drunks to overbearing a$$hole$, to over entitled jerks (though of course most have been fine and courteous people). The airline takes the money and takes it's chances (mostly), it doesn't mean everyone is the good and perfect passenger.

Tugg

[Edited 2012-09-04 17:51:50]


I don’t know that I am unafraid to be myself, but it is hard to be somebody else. -W. Shatner
User currently offlineflymia From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 7125 posts, RR: 9
Reply 12, posted (1 year 11 months 14 hours ago) and read 18813 times:

Interesting case. This isn't exactly a civil rights issue being it was AA who denied boarding but it can certainly be an ADA issue especially if the captain never issued the order and it was a service rep. I am not sure how much discretion the law gives to the PIC.

Playing the other side: if the child was running around like a 4-5 year old and he is disabled maybe the AA employees thought that him being active like this plus being disabled may pose a problem in flight. Not saying it would, I honestly don't think it would as it says he has flown before. But that is the only semi rational reason. They will go ahead and sue and settle and it will be the end of it. I'm not sure how much they can really get. Probably not much.



"It was just four of us on the flight deck, trying to do our job" (Captain Al Haynes)
User currently offlineflyingsux From United States of America, joined Jun 2012, 50 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (1 year 11 months 14 hours ago) and read 18744 times:

Quoting flymia (Reply 12):
I am not sure how much discretion the law gives to the PIC.

None - The law is not tolorant of any violation regardless of who makes the decision. Unless the airport has video of the kid acting any differently than what was in the video, there is nothing to back up this kid being a "security" risk and not allowed to board the a/c.


User currently offlineAirframeAS From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 14150 posts, RR: 24
Reply 14, posted (1 year 11 months 14 hours ago) and read 18747 times:

Quoting longhauler (Reply 5):
Does it really make a difference?

I was just wondering. Am I allowed to ask?? Is it a crime that I asked?

Quoting aeroblogger (Reply 9):

See reply 7.

Quoting flyingsux (Reply 10):
None of that matters - IT IS AGAINST THE LAW to discriminate based on a disability.

Woah! Calm the hell down! I know the law, I am deaf myself. Calm the hell down.

Quoting flyingsux (Reply 10):
So if sombody feels uncomfortable they are the ones who can request to be rebooked on another flight.

I was playing the devils advocate, man. Relax.

Quoting tugger (Reply 11):
I think I understand what you are trying to say and with that realize you do not necessarily agree with AA's choice (well the CSA's choice), you are just making an argument. However with that said, it is an indefensible position (as you indicate when you noted the family probably has recourse here).

Thank you.



A Safe Flight Begins With Quality Maintenance On The Ground.
User currently offlineflyingsux From United States of America, joined Jun 2012, 50 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (1 year 11 months 13 hours ago) and read 18693 times:

Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 14):
Woah! Calm the hell down! I know the law, I am deaf myself. Calm the hell down.

I don't think I need to calm down, It's hard for me understand that sombody can even try to justify anything like this. If you know the law you wouldn't make such a comment - It's especially mind boggling to me since you have claim to have a disability.

Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 14):
I was playing the devils advocate, man. Relax.

See above


User currently offlinemilesrich From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 1993 posts, RR: 6
Reply 16, posted (1 year 11 months 13 hours ago) and read 18614 times:

This should end up costing American more than the total revenue of the flight. It would have been cheaper for them to pay a crew and burn the fuel and fly the family on a separate airplane. Someone said, give them a few travel vouchers. LOL! I don't chase ambulances, and don't care for attorneys who do, but I sure hope this family gets a very competent attorney, and that they collect enough money so they never have to worry about carrying for their downs child again. This is revolting.

User currently offlineaeroblogger From India, joined Dec 2011, 1363 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (1 year 11 months 13 hours ago) and read 18573 times:

Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 14):
See reply 7.

I have read it. It is ridiculous.

Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 7):
Well, as some people would agree with is the fact that First Class is exactly that: First Class. People in that section are big wigs or those who travel for work who want to have a peaceful setting after a long day. There are other people, who upgrade, just for the hell of it because they want to experience what FC is like. With the disability of this young man, AA probably thought that he might cause some uneasy feelings with the other pax seated in FC and may cause a disturbance. That is my only argument. Again, First Class is First Class for a reason.

These passengers paid whatever AA charged to fly First Class. There is no evidence that this kid was making a disturbance (video evidence to the contrary), and he was not breaking any other stated rule either.

A cannot arbitrarily decide that upgrades they issued are "innappropriate" or move somebody out of FC because they have Down Syndrome with the logic of "he might disturb other passengers"

It is an incredibly insensitive decision at best.

Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 7):
After thinking about it, I'm 50/50 on the situation....

I cannot envision any reason why somebody should not be 0/100 on the situation, assuming the kid was not creating a disturbance. And since there is no evidence that he was creating a disturbance, the logical conclusion is that he was discriminated against because of his illness. And discrimination is not something that should be conveniently ignored so that "big wigs" can have feel at peace.

Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 14):
I was playing the devils advocate, man. Relax.

There are times when playing "devils advocate" is a reasonable idea. This is not one of those times - this act was indefensible any way you slice it.



Airports 2012: IXE HYD DEL BLR BOM CCU KNU KTM BKK SIN ICN LAX BUR SFO PHX IAH ORD EWR PHL PVD BOS FRA MUC IST
User currently offlineflymia From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 7125 posts, RR: 9
Reply 18, posted (1 year 11 months 13 hours ago) and read 18554 times:

Quoting flyingsux (Reply 13):
None - The law is not tolorant of any violation regardless of who makes the decision.


I am not saying if the captain violated the law it would not matter. I am saying if the law applies exactly the same to the captain to the gate agent. I imagine the captain had to be involved in this somehow. We all know the captain has final authority about who can board and who can't. Maybe the captain was misinformed, maybe he was not involved. Maybe he saw the kid for 1 minute acting too active etc.. Many things we don't know.
With the facts we have it does not look good for AA. But those are the facts we have, which is not all the facts.

Quoting flyingsux (Reply 15):
I don't think I need to calm down, It's hard for me understand that sombody can even try to justify anything like this. If you know the law you wouldn't make such a comment - It's especially mind boggling to me since you have claim to have a disability.


Every story has an other side. It is always good to discuss the other side no matter the issue. It is helpful to say what the other side will say. That is how the best answers and solutions come.

Quoting milesrich (Reply 16):
This should end up costing American more than the total revenue of the flight.


$1 might be enough then.     

Quoting milesrich (Reply 16):
but I sure hope this family gets a very competent attorney, and that they collect enough money so they never have to worry about carrying for their downs child again. This is revolting.


How much are you talking here? 100K 1million? Given what happened, I would think and hope $25-50k and some great travel benefits would be enough. But at the same time they most certainly can go ahead and try for more. But at what point does it become more about money than what actually happened.

[Edited 2012-09-04 18:31:26]


"It was just four of us on the flight deck, trying to do our job" (Captain Al Haynes)
User currently offlinehiflyeras From United States of America, joined Jul 2011, 932 posts, RR: 2
Reply 19, posted (1 year 11 months 13 hours ago) and read 18519 times:

Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 2):
I can see why they were denied boarding. It is not about the safety of the young man, but it had very well to do with the comfort of the other first class passengers. If the family was still seated in economy, this probably wouldn't have been an issue and the family would be on the aircraft. The key here is where the family would have been seated with a disabled individual. AA probably saw that the first class upgrade for the family was inappropriate.

I'm appalled by this comment AND by your lame attempts to walk it back by now saying you were 'playing devil's advocate'. Just apologize...no lame "I'm sorry you were offended" B.S. either. Your remark was calloused, insensitive and inppropriate. AA should never had denied that family the FC seats that they'd purchased upon check-in at the kiosk. What will be next? Kicking out families with small children? With an infant? Someone with a loud or annoying voice?


User currently offlineaeroblogger From India, joined Dec 2011, 1363 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (1 year 11 months 13 hours ago) and read 18473 times:

Quoting flyingsux (Reply 10):
It's not any different than a blind person traveling with a service animal and someone onboard had an alergy. The blind person wouldn't be denied boarding.

Actually, I'm curious about this. Shouldn't a serious allergy to dogs also be considered a disability?



Airports 2012: IXE HYD DEL BLR BOM CCU KNU KTM BKK SIN ICN LAX BUR SFO PHX IAH ORD EWR PHL PVD BOS FRA MUC IST
User currently onlineCubsrule From United States of America, joined May 2004, 22737 posts, RR: 20
Reply 21, posted (1 year 11 months 13 hours ago) and read 18461 times:

Quoting aeroblogger (Reply 17):
And since there is no evidence that he was creating a disturbance, the logical conclusion is that he was discriminated against because of his illness.

Perhaps there is evidence that he was creating a disturbance - AA seems to think so. Like Gigneil, I have no idea if that is true or not. But if the disturbance is such that a non-disabled person doing the same thing would have been removed, there's no discrimination.



I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
User currently offlineaeroblogger From India, joined Dec 2011, 1363 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (1 year 11 months 13 hours ago) and read 18355 times:

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 21):
Perhaps there is evidence that he was creating a disturbance - AA seems to think so. Like Gigneil, I have no idea if that is true or not. But if the disturbance is such that a non-disabled person doing the same thing would have been removed, there's no discrimination.

I agree. I find it hard to believe that the kid (who is so well behaved in the video) would be creating a major disturbance mere minutes earlier, to the point where any passenger would be kicked off.



Airports 2012: IXE HYD DEL BLR BOM CCU KNU KTM BKK SIN ICN LAX BUR SFO PHX IAH ORD EWR PHL PVD BOS FRA MUC IST
User currently onlineCubsrule From United States of America, joined May 2004, 22737 posts, RR: 20
Reply 23, posted (1 year 11 months 13 hours ago) and read 18280 times:

Quoting aeroblogger (Reply 22):
I find it hard to believe that the kid (who is so well behaved in the video) would be creating a major disturbance mere minutes earlier, to the point where any passenger would be kicked off.

I don't know. I've worked with folks with Down Syndrome. One of the funny things about it is that it can manifest very differently in different people, so it's hard to generalize about its "symptoms." I have known several folks with Down Syndrome, though, with pretty significant impulse control problems.



I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
User currently offlineflyingsux From United States of America, joined Jun 2012, 50 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (1 year 11 months 12 hours ago) and read 18221 times:

Quoting aeroblogger (Reply 20):
Actually, I'm curious about this. Shouldn't a serious allergy to dogs also be considered a disability?

The person with the allergy might think so, but no, a disability is defined as a physical or mental handicap, being alergic to dogs is just an allergy - take Claritin.

[Edited 2012-09-04 19:16:48]

25 Post contains images AirframeAS : Obviously, you don't like the devils advocate I gave. I never said that what AA did was right, genius. I never said that he made any disturbances. Ye
26 Post contains images OB1504 : Actually, they complained about UA, too, saying that they placed them in the last row, which of course was clearly because of the child's disability
27 Longhornmaniac : While I get your point, Claritin won't do someone with a deadly food allergy much good... If we've been told the whole story, this entirely saga is u
28 sldispatcher : Personally, I think the ADA gets abused in both directions. Something tells me that we are not seeing the whole story. It is very hard to imagine that
29 sonomaflyer : That footage doesn't come close to justify any action by AA. I'd love to hear specifics of what the pilot supposedly did in his/her intervention and w
30 Post contains links FATFlyer : So far this is both sides spinning their version. It will be helpful if other passengers step forward or if there is airport security video. According
31 BMI727 : Yeah, I don't really believe any of what either side is saying. That newscast was like an 8 on the Nancy Grace scale.
32 Post contains images AirframeAS : That was the point I was trying to make about what First Class was really for and maybe why the CSR thought the way he/she did to ensure that the res
33 silentbob : I think that's painfully obvious to anyone with a pulse. Wait, so the parents chose to share video that showed their son in the best possible light?
34 chrisair : I wish airlines would think of MY comfort next time they sit a mother and her screaming baby next to me in F.
35 B777ER : No worries, after the bk judge rulling yesterday AA may not have many pilots left to fly anyone anywhere.
36 koruman : As someone whose elite status is with Air New Zealand and Qantas, I'm not entitled to upgrades in the USA, and on each of the 12-16 First Class sector
37 tugger : I hate to tell you, but they do belong there. Every bit as much as you do. Every airline sets a price for F, whether it be cash or points or miles st
38 koruman : Tugger, I have to admit that there was a little bit of baiting going on in my post. But to be honest, in my part of the world there aren't complimenta
39 FN1001 : *YES! And disabled persons, children, snorers, should be locked up in the cargo hold! It is sad that nearly 60 years after the world got rid of the g
40 sweair : The underlying thinking is still a bit upsetting, if you travel first class, you really should not have to put up with different people. Its a clear s
41 Post contains images flyingsux : That's why I said the person with the allergy may think so, but it's still an allergy not a disability, therefore, not covered in the ADA - you could
42 Ruscoe : I have a 20yo daughter with Down Syndrome, and like someone said, they have the full range of behaviours as anyone else. However as a rule they are ve
43 Post contains images keegd76 : And yet in doing so he/she actually ended up creating the bad situation. Again there is no evidence (as yet) of that. For all we know the gate agent
44 eastalt : As a gate agent, I do believe the Captain was involved in this decision. Many Captains I work with will monitor the boarding area for potential proble
45 B777ER : Thats the problem, the elitist attitude many who think they "belong" in first class have. You should see the FlyerTalk forums where are the members o
46 Post contains images usair330 : LMAO
47 dgthomson : Please forgive me, I've only just seen the topic. Going with the 'he/she would be a disruption to other passengers' scenario, what would that mean for
48 DocLightning : That's not the half of it. AA is going to shell out some serious money to this family if this is what it appears to be.
49 skymiler : My sister has Down's syndome and has travelled (always accompanied) for over 50 years, in both coach and premium classes without incident, both domest
50 RussianJet : He didn't look too excitable and running around in the video. The 'explanation' from AA smacks of a desperate scrabbling to justify matters, though of
51 l101fan : As a father of a son with Down Syndrome, some of the replies on this thread are ridiculous. My son has flown with me many times and in First Class on
52 greg3322 : I could be wrong, but the CSR's statement that they can't record in a "security controlled area" is completely wrong? He isn't law enforcement, so I c
53 Post contains images fxramper : I know there are two sides to every story, but the article linked and another one I read said two cellphone videos show the child in question eating a
54 milesrich : This is not just a NEGLIGENCE CLAIM, and will most certainly entitle the Plaintiffs to punitive damages, and here, punitive damages are warranted, to
55 aluminumtubing : I would like to know what TRULY happened. As a AA Captain, I have been through a number of these situations. I can honestly tell you that AA bends ove
56 Cubsrule : I don't know the punitive damages/ADA law well enough to comment on most of your post, but an eight figure award of punitive damages on a $25,000 com
57 longhauler : Hear hear! I actually find it a little disturbing that some people on this forum feel it is perfectly acceptable to restrict access to a premium cabi
58 gingersnap : I can't quite believe AAs version of events. I have two cousins with Down's Syndrome and I've never witnessed either of them act in that way. Always c
59 Post contains links milesrich : It might and it might not. That is why we have judges, and appellate courts. Plus, even if it goes to a jury, it will be appealed and most likely set
60 fururefa : The real question is where was the CRO (Complaint Resolution Officer), who has received specific ACAA/ADA training? If there wasn't one immediately,
61 Cubsrule : Can you point me toward a single federal court decision approving an eight figure punitive damages award on a compensatory award of less than $50,000
62 Post contains links Dizzy777 : this has gone world wide, with more being reported that is not in the OPs link http://news.ninemsn.com.au/world/852...wns-syndrome-boy-jet-security-ri
63 Post contains images NWAROOSTER : American needs to give the family a full and complete refund for the tickets and pay the families air fare on United Airlines. It looks to me that Am
64 Post contains images Tomassjc : Has Glenn Beck gotten a hold of this news? He's going to have a field day! Tom in SJ
65 Acey559 : That's nice. I'm glad you'd like to see thousands of people lose their jobs and livelihood over this. I find the situation unfortunate and agree that
66 Post contains images flyingsux : I think you're being a little over dramatic - his statement is in regard to the situation and while a little harsh, I don't think it was meant to be
67 YYZYYT : I agree, that certainly appears to be the message. Interestingly, in the past when disability issues have come up, there are users who take a "tough
68 DTWPurserBoy : As a 38 year flight attendant I am appalled that AA would treat a disabled child so cruelly and so publicly. I have had many, many passengers with Dow
69 Cubsrule : Is it about differences, or is it about disruption? When my clients pay for a J ticket to Europe or Asia, one of the things they are paying for is th
70 usa330300 : Not appropriate for him to be in first. I would think no explanation is required.
71 DTWPurserBoy : Yes, an explanation IS required. It just goes to show you that you can purchase the ticket but you can't buy the class. I was privileged to escort th
72 EagleBoy : AirframeAS wasn't defending AA at all, he was playing devils advocate and trying to figure out how they would try to justify their decision. At no po
73 azstar : There is no way around it. AA flagrantly violated the law. The Aircraft Carriers Access Act does not distinguish between First and Coach Class. The ON
74 ripcordd : I really dont think AA just denied him for the hell of it sure they have a video of the child sitting nice and calm but who knows how he was acting be
75 silentbob : If AA turns out to be justified in their actions, I think we all know the people calling for sanctions against the airline with just disappear until
76 XT6Wagon : To me its quite clear he WAS a safety risk. Ask yourself why UA didn't seat anyone within two rows of him... That should be a glowing beacon of WTF i
77 flyingsux : There are absolutely no restrictions on who is eligible to sit in first class. It's no less appropriate than for him to be allowed to eat in a restau
78 Post contains images NWAROOSTER : I do not like seeing people loose their jobs. I worked at Northwest for 37 years and saw how it went from a great place to work for to a place that w
79 Post contains images YYZYYT : Nobody likes a disruption, and it is normal to be annoyed when someone is disruptive. That said, there are are two points to be made: First, there ar
80 JetBlueGuy2006 : Why wouldn't it? Was there any evidence, aside from what AA said, that would tell someone he shouldn't be seated in first. I have one leg shorter tha
81 lewis : Even that would not be enough. I see children crying, screaming, playing, fighting and running around at the gate area all the time. They are never d
82 mogandoCI : funny how all the typical AA defenders / partisan spinmasters are M-I-A in this thread
83 darreno1 : After having gone through a horrible experience with AA and their handling of a canceled flight because of Hurricane Isaac, I'd like nothing better th
84 Post contains images keegd76 : Wow I guess you have access to information the rest of us don't? Isn't that profiling? It's amazing how we're all looking at the same information and
85 DTWPurserBoy : Most Americans have the patience and the heart to reach out to those with disabilities. To deny this child access to the FC seat to which he had paid
86 Cubsrule : I agree. And my post was based on the (yet unproven) premise that AA observed this passenger acting disruptively before the flight departed. I don't
87 Post contains images flymia : It is amusing to see how some people make decisions right off the bat with not knowing the facts. There is nothing wrong with stating your opinion wit
88 skipness1E : This is fixable with a heartfelt apology. Only a clod with a heart if stone wants to see American Airlines v Downs Syndrome child. Swap that with "sus
89 flymia : We are not 100% sure that AA did anything wrong. Why should they be forced to apologize? At least not yet. If they did do something wrong than yes th
90 lewis : That is correct, different strength between children and a 16 year old. But still, a teenager with a mental handicap running around does not mean tha
91 keegd76 : If we go with that logic then what's to stop the captain on the next flight making the same call and refusing to take the family on board. Where does
92 stlgph : Not at all. Doubt United employees had time to go home and catch the KTLA news. If I was running an airline and was carrying passengers, which, forev
93 flymia : Did AA use the words security threat or did the family say it? It is obvious he is NOT a security threat. What is not obvious is if he was a possible
94 flymia : The captain of the aircraft. He is the one with the final say. Last week many of us were fine with a man being taken off a flight for wearing an inap
95 Post contains images keegd76 : IF you believe the media then it was AA that labelled him a 'flight risk'. The original article doesn't mention the words 'security threat', unless m
96 Post contains images keegd76 : I missed that 'debate' I accept that its the captain's call. My point is that if each captain is making the same call (deny boarding) then the family
97 Acey559 : I understand your point and admittedly the opening to my post was a bit dramatic, I'm sure you don't actually wish that everyone loses their job. It
98 lewis : Sorry, it was 'security risk' according to the article in reply #62. That is what the parents say their son was called by AA personnel.
99 sbworcs : Unfortunately no one is seeing ALL the facts. We have statements from the parents (biased), statements from the airline (biased) and a video from the
100 Post contains images MountainFlyer : As I wasn't there and don't know the details, I hesitate to pass judgement on AA or UA for their decisions even though it appears they may have been o
101 flyingsux : The reason it has turned into an AA bashing is because it is AA who did this - Maybe others would be more sympathetic if it were another carrier, but
102 justplanenutz : Nah, there is a thread like this every few months about a disabled traveler or screaming baby having difficulty on a wide variety of carriers and com
103 Flaps : HALLELUJAH!!!!!! It only took 33 replies for the first rational and intelligent post on this thread. Thank you.
104 justplanenutz : Nope, you're 40 replies too soon: Azstar cut straight to the only issue--did the PAX pose a safety risk? Everything else is conjecture or bias, sad t
105 ozark1 : AA is innocent until PROVEN guilty. If you guys really think that the agent and the captain just decided to deny boarding to this person because they
106 justplanenutz : Actually, it is not. In civil rights cases (including ADA), if the plaintiff can prove they are a member of a protected class and that the accommodat
107 skipness1E : I don't hate AA yet I have serious concerns as to how this was handled. Idiots as you say, also work for airlines. The something that happened may we
108 RussianJet : I am not sure that those taking a sceptical view of the airline's version should automatically be labelled as haters. People are way to quick to trot
109 Flaps : Actually no he didn't. Safety of flight is an FAA jurisdiction not an ADA or ACAA jurisdiction. The captain of the flight is designated by the FAA as
110 RussianJet : The captain does indeed. The airline, however, answers to its customers and all their legal recourse.
111 lewis : I am sure he will be fine and will not be blamed for making a poor decision if he can show somehow that the passenger was indeed a safety risk (or wh
112 justplanenutz : We're on the same page--safety is the only issue (though I am perhaps more willing than I suspect you to believe the PIC might have erred here). If y
113 1stfl94 : I have to agree. The child's behaviour may have caused concern for the gate agent and the flight crew but the fact AA management, presumably in posse
114 flymia : You said it yourself that "the child's behaviour may have caused concern..." If the child did cause concern than no one did anything wrong. So why wo
115 boilerla : But I'd love to hear how AA can justify this as a security concern. In first class/BusinessFirst class, both paid and upgrade, I've had toddlers cry,
116 PROSA : Well, there's a major difference between a 4-year-old who throws a tantrum and a 16-year-old, with the mental age of 4, who acts in the same manner.
117 boilerla : In terms of safety, I am trying to decide how that would be the case. Because of his size? In that case, shouldn't all men over 160lbs be forbidden f
118 Post contains links flymia : No. But all men over 160lbs who run around and cry should be. Not saying that is what happened. But that could be one side of the story and if it is,
119 ckfred : According to a news account, the captain said that the kid was running around and being loud, which he felt presented a potential threat, since he was
120 silentbob : How are people supposed to work up a good outrage when you keep knocking down their straw men?
121 Maverick623 : While a captain's immediate authority allows them to remove a passenger from a flight (and said passenger has to comply), they (and the airline) are
122 AirframeAS : Uhm.... The 16 year old is under age 18, therefore this 16 year old is a child under the eyes of the law here in the U.S. legally. Ergo, the legal ag
123 jcwr56 : So now the lawyers will spend a large amount of time deciding what the captain was implying. Does "potential threat" means safety, security or both.
124 ckfred : Either way, there is an issue that must be resolved. If a passenger appears incapable of following the directions of the flight crew (or a parent), t
125 flymia : Really, read what I was responding to. I responded to a quote that said "little kid." I know U.S. law and I also know that you can't compare a 4 year
126 justplanenutz : Untrue. People (including infants and children) who are either mentally or physically unable to comply with crew instructions can fly. They may, howe
127 AAR90 : The bottom line is: behavior. If the behavior is not safe to take airborne, I don't take it airborne. If the behavior is safe, up we go. Previous beh
128 DTWPurserBoy : Any experienced flight attendant can tell in an instant when a passenger is going to be a problem. I got to the point where I could stand in the aircr
129 1stfl94 : What I was saying is that AA employees need to be able to make these kind of decisions and in this case it was the wrong one, it's clear that their t
130 ckfred : But there's a difference between an infant in a car seat who goes wherever he's carried and a 2-year old who is having a meltdown and won't respond t
131 Post contains links AirframeAS : Can't find the thread anymore, I have no idea what happened to it. BUT..... ABX highly disagrees with you: http://teamsternation.blogspot.com/2...s-s
132 highflier92660 : Not to generalize or make universal generalizations but the few people I've encountered in public with Down's Syndrome are pretty docile and pleasant.
133 longhauler : This is a very big point. No disrespect to the Captain involved, but they don't have the people handling experience held by the average Flight Attend
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