A flight to Portland was diverted to Salt Lake City because the pilot felt the 15-year-old was being "disruptive."
This video, taken by a passenger onboard a United Airlines flight from Florida to Portland, shows 15-year-old Juliette Beegle, who is autistic, and her parents being forcibly removed from the plane. Now, Juliette's mother Donna is striking back, issuing formal complaints and suing the airline, just to bring awareness to discrimination against autistic people.
The Beegles were returning from a vacation at Walt Disney World when they encountered a problem with the airline food (as so many of us have). Juliette had refused her meal at the airport, and the plane had no hot food options for Economy passengers. Juliette doesn't eat cold food and wouldn't touch any of the snacks her parents had brought, so Donna spent 40 minutes trying in vain to get the flight attendants to bring her a hot meal from First Class. She offered to pay for it, but over and over she was told that it wasn't allowed. Juliette started to cry, and Donna pointed out that if she didn't eat, she might have a meltdown and start scratching (a common behavior of autistic individuals when frustrated). Only then did a flight attendant begrudgingly bring her a hot meal.