California boy with Down syndrome not allowed to board airplane
A California family who was not allowed to board their cross-country flight said Tuesday that they were discriminated against because their son has Down syndrome.
Robert Vanderhorst, his wife Joan and 16-year-old son Bede, who is disabled, were flying on American Airlines from Newark to Los Angeles on Sunday when the boy and his parents were not allowed on the plane.
The family, who had upgraded to first class tickets at an airport kiosk, asked the airline to seat the boy and one of his parents together, Vanderhorst said — a request with which the airline complied.
When the family was ready to board, they were stopped by airline personnel, told their son was a “security risk” and would not be allowed on the flight. They protested, but were rebooked on another later flight in coach.