The Vanderhorst's were booked on an American Airlines flight from Newark to Los Angeles that was due to depart on Sunday, but the family was not allowed to board the plane. Robert and his wife Joan were travelling with their 16-year-old son who has Down Syndrome. The family has upgraded their tickets to First Class and their request to have their son sit with one of the parents was granted. However, when they went to board the flight, they were not allowed on the plane.
They were told that their son was a security risk and that they would not be allowed to fly. In response to protests from the family, they were re-booked in coach on another flight. There are two sides to the story. A spokesperson from the airline said the pilot witnessed the boy looking agitated and running around making noise. He decided not to let the family board to ensure the safety of the family and the passengers. The family say otherwise, that their son was not at all agitated and that he was calm. They believe the decision was made due to the pilot's discomfort with their son.
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