We have been hearing and reading about drunk passengers creating nuisances for fellow passengers. But apparently, according to this airline, even autistic people can cause us trouble. In a very shameful incident, a 15-year-old autistic child was denied boarding at Bengaluru’s Kempegowda airport by Srilankan Airlines. When asked for the reason, they said that the child might pose a threat to other passengers and pilots.
15-Year-Old Autistic Boy Denied Boarding At Bengaluru Airport
A Srilankan Airlines flight denied boarding a 15-year-old autistic boy at Bengaluru’s Kempegowda International Airport (KIA). This was done after the crew members suspected that he might pose a threat to the pilot and the passengers.
The boy’s mother told TOI that Srilankan Airlines’ two male ground staffers walked up to them and began asking questions about her. She told them that he is autistic and communicates using a mobile application.
After knowing this, they said that allowing her son to board the flight could pose a threat to fellow passengers and the pilot as well. Her son heard it all and held her hands as he was scared. The two men began following them to the aircraft, which was very intimidating to her and her son.
The woman filed a complaint with the airline and airport police against the two male ground staffers and their behaviour towards her child.
Mother Had To Explain That Autism is Not A Disease
I am sharing a bad experience that happened at Bangalore airport with 2 male Sri Lankan Airlines staff. They put a dampener on our happiness and tried to ruin our much deserved vacation.https://t.co/F09D7km3Ib@flysrilankan @BLRAirport @DGCAIndia @AAI_Official @mygovindia
— Smrithy Rajesh (@SmrithyRajesh) May 25, 2023
The family of the 15-year-old autistic child was boarding a flight to the Maldives from Bengaluru airport. They were carrying the Unique Disability ID card (UDID) issued by the Government of India. On producing the card, the airlines asked them to show a certificate by the boy’s doctor that states that he can board flights.
The mother had to explain to the airline staff that autism is not a disease, and hence the boy does not need a doctor. He has been on trips frequently, and his last trip was to Dubai. Her child has never been harassed for his condition like this before.
The mother fought against the decision of the airlines for two hours, after which he was allowed to board.
What are your views on this?
Cover Image Courtesy: @smrithyrajesh/Facebook and wikimedia commons