A family vacation was ruined after an 8-year-old boy was not allowed to board a plan.
The child has autism and the family had a doctor's note that he could not wear a mask and thought the matter was over, but when they got to the airport, Southwest had an issue: they did not notify Southwest about it in a required online form, but they did not know they had to.
The family said they got to Chicago's O'Hare International Airport on Tuesday morning, March 22 – excited about their vacation – but only half of them made it to their destination.
Max is always up for a fun time. His family was looking forward to taking him on their first vacation in three years. It turned out to be memorable for all the wrong reasons.
"I just never want another family to have to go through this," said Megan Kitze-Ward, Max's mother.
She asked for a wheelchair and an employee asked if he was going to wear a mask?
"She goes, ‘He has, autism and I can’t guarantee he’s going to wear his mask later.’ I said, ‘That’s my job. I will make sure he wears the mask,’" Kitze-Ward said. Surprisingly Max wore the mask and mom said she thought the mattter was over. The airline employee said because she submitted that doctor's note, she could not let him fly. Mom and sister went to Punta Cana, while dad and Max drove home upset. They thought the doctor's note would suffice.
Southwest Airlines said its customer relations team is looking into the situation, stating: "We take pride in providing a warm and welcoming environment for all customers, and we are disheartened to hear of the family’s less-than-positive experience."
The family told FOX6 that Southwest Airlines reached out, saying it would be refunded and given a free trip.