A United flight diverted to Salt Lake City in order to kick an autistic girl off the plane when the pilot of the Houston – Portland flight became uncomfortable with her onboard.
KOIN reports that Donna Beegle, her husband, and their son and daughter were headed back to Portland on Tuesday after spending a few days at Disney World in Orlando. Beegle says her 15-year-old daughter, Juliette, has high-functioning autism and was on the brink of a meltdown during the flight. Therefore, Mrs. Beegle politely asked the flight attendant if she could purchase a hot meal from first-class to calm the girl as she was not eating any of the food the family packed or that was available in economy class.
Eventually the girl was given a meal from first class.
A United spokesperson explains,
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 rebooked the customers on a different carrier and the flight continued to Portland.
The family appeared quite calm while being removed from the aircraft.