Cabin crew ‘refused to let man with autism sit next to his family then forced everyone to get off the plane’ – The Sun

AN autistic passenger was banned from sitting next to his family during a flight – before cabin crew kicked everyone off the plane.

The 74 passengers were then delayed three hours while they waited for another flight.

Ayomide Isola, 23, was travelling with his mum, sister, and 21-year-old brother Tayo, who is autistic.

The family were travelling with SkyWest, a carrier under Delta, from Detroit to Houston.

After arriving late to the plane due to a computer outage at border control, they found their seats were not together.

Another passenger offered her seat so that Tayo could sit with his sister during the flight.

However, a flight attendant then told the family that they were not allowed and had to sit in their assigned seats.

Despite Ayomide explaining his brother was unable to express himself, they refused.

He explained in a viral Facebook post: "Some of you may know that my younger brother has autism spectrum disorder.

"He is essentially nonverbal, making him unable to express himself oftentimes.

"He suffers from OCD, sensory overload, and many other symptoms that can make air travel particularly difficult for him.

"For his safety and the safety of those around him, it is important that he sit with a family member on flights."

He continued: "We boarded the plane and easily found a nice woman sitting one row away who was willing to switch seats. Problem solved.

"The flight attendant became upset and demanded my brother move back to his original seat.

"We explained to her that he has special needs and that this small accommodation would be necessary, however she continued to raise hell about passengers switching seats."

After 20 minutes, the cabin attendant brought on her supervisor, who sided with the family and said this kind of thing "often happens on flights".

Other passengers were also defending the family, telling her she was being "discriminatory".

However, after the flight crew called him and his family a "safety hazard," the pilot then announced that everyone on board had to leave the flight.

Ayomide wrote: "The airline management and airport security got involved and told the pilot that there was no safety issue and that the plane should fly now."

The graduate student explained that the entire crew and pilot refused to fly the plane and left the terminal – leaving passengers waiting three hours for another plane.

Ayomide told NBC that "everything went smoothly" as soon as the new crew came in.

He said he posted about the incident on social media to highlight the "ignorance, bigotry, and blatant discrimination that unfortunately exists in people today".

The post has been shared more than 4,000 times on Facebook, with other social media users calling it "unacceptable" and "sickening".

A Delta spokesperson told Sun Online Travel: "Delta apologises to customers on flight 3596, operated by Delta Connection partner SkyWest, for any inconvenience following an on board event.

"We are currently reviewing the details have reached out to better understand what happened."

A 15-year-old autistic passenger was denied boarding for his Ryanair flight after they tried to charge £25 for his small doll.

Another young passenger who also has autism was not allowed to take his comfort toys on board.

His mum, Claire Martin, said that crew refused to allow his bag with his disability items on the flight.

Sun Online Travel has also contacted SkyWest for comment.

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