Boy, 4, With Autism Removed From Flight for Not Wearing Face Mask

Spirit airlines removed a 4-year-old autistic child and his family from a flight because the 4-year-old was not wearing a mask.

The family was on their way home from Arkansas to Las Vegas when they were escorted off their Spirit flight. They showed the flight attendant a medical note for their son from his doctor. The note said that their son has autism and wearing a mask causes him to hold his breath or hurt himself. "He's exempt from wearing masks because whenever he wears a mask he holds his breath or he starts freaking out and he will harm himself," she explained, saying that her son has autism and is non-verbal, according to BBC. She said the airline staff told her "'No no no. Autism's not a disability. He has to wear a mask or he has to get off the plane.'"

When asked to comment Spirit Airlines replied to the US media saying "Our existing policy does not provide for medical exemptions, regardless of diagnosis. Our team members explained this to a family traveling today, but never questioned anyone's medical status in the process." They told CBS news that their only policy is allowing no masks for children under the age of 2.

The family was refunded the cost of the flight and was sent home on an American Airlines flight.

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