Airline Turns Away Girl With Down Syndrome


Here’s another tale for your collection of airline discrimination horror stories. British Airways has apologized after refusing to sell a ticket to a girl with Down syndrome. Her mother, Heather Saunders, wanted to send her 12-year-old daughter Alice to visit her aunt, so she called the airline and asked if she could travel as an unaccompanied minor from London to Glasgow. She explained that Alice has Down syndrome, but is very independent. The customer service agent still refused to issue a ticket, saying they “don’t take children with Down syndrom,” because “we’ve had problems in the past.”

Saunder said:

“This is 2011. Most of the world has moved on in terms of their treatment of people with learning disabilities. People with Down’s syndrome go to mainstream school, college, they live independently, they hold down jobs but, it would seem, cannot travel independently with British Airways.”

The airline later said the representative was mistaken, and there’s no policy against children with Down syndrome traveling as unaccompanied minors. BA offered Saunders two return tickets as an apology.

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