Family kicked off Southwest Airlines flight after boy with autism wouldn’t wear mask

‘It was just not a good morning’
Published: Aug. 13, 2020 at 11:05 AM MDT
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HOUSTON (KPRC/CNN) – Southwest Airlines got Alyssa Sadler and her two children across the state to Midland last week.

But now, she must find a different way home after her 3-year-old son with autism refused to wear a mask on a return flight.

The airline has a mandatory mask policy, no exceptions.

Their flight to Houston left the gate Monday, only to quickly return when her son wouldn’t wear a mask.

“He was screaming. He was throwing a fit. He was screaming ‘no, no, no,’” Sadler said.

Sadler said her son has sensory processing disorder and doesn’t like his face touched. She even had a note about his condition from his doctor, but that didn’t make a difference.

Southwest Airlines says all customers over age 2 must cover their faces while traveling, something that’s pointed out during the booking and online check-in process.

If a customer is unable to wear a face covering for any reason, Southwest regrets that we are unable to transport the individual.

Southwest Airlines

“I think there needs to be something in place for children or even adults with disabilities who can’t wear a mask,” Sadler said. “They should have some kind of exemption.”

Salder said her son didn’t wear a mask on the original flight to Midland.

The family is driving back to Houston on Thursday.

Copyright 2020 KPRC via CNN. All rights reserved.