Watch CBSN Live

Oregon woman suing after autistic daughter kicked off flight

PORTLAND, Ore. -- An Oregon woman says she is filing a lawsuit after her family was removed from a United Airlines flight because her autistic teen daughter was deemed "disruptive."

Donna Beegle told CBS affiliate KOIN-TV that she has hired an attorney after the incident which happened last week when her family was flying back to Portland.

Beegle says she had asked to buy a hot meal for her 15-year-old daughter and after some back and forth, the flight attendant eventually complied. But soon after the pilot made an emergency landing in Salt Lake City and Beegle's family was escorted off the plane.

She says she thinks they were asked to leave "because of the fear of autism."

Video shot by a fellow passenger and posted to YouTube showed the incident, and Beegle was shocked when officers explained why they were removed.

"He said, 'Well, the captain doesn't feel comfortable flying to Portland with your daughter on his flight," Beegle told CBS News.

As Juliette and her family were removed from the flight, other passengers seemed surprised.

"This is gonna be a lawsuit," one person can be heard saying on the video.

"Oh, yeah," another responds.

Beegle said she's hired an attorney.

"It's not about the money, it's about the training" people need, she said, and added 1 in 68 children face autism.

She's filing a lawsuit "so no one else has to go through this."

United Airlines spokeswoman Jennifer Dohm told KOIN that after working to accommodate them, "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."

View CBS News In