A family headed to Disneyland was kicked off their Southwest flight to Santa Ana after their daughter was accused by other passengers of having lice.
As reported by WMAQ-TV, J Newman, the father of two little girls aged 4 and 6, and his wife were waiting to board when his wife noticed some dry skin in one of their daughters’ hair.GettyImages
“There was some dry skin in my daughter’s hair. So, she was just kind of taking it out of my daughter’s hair.”
Newman said that he was then approached by officials who accused his daughter of having lice, after several customers complained.
“We looked at each other like are you serious right now or is this a joke?”
According to Newsweek, it seems like a diagnosis from passengers observing the family was enough for the airline employees to kick the family off. Newman was incredulous that Southwest would boot them from their flight when their kids did not have lice.
“We don’t even have lice. That’s the crazy thing. Our daughter doesn’t have lice. So, why they would do this to us I have no idea.”
Newman commented that his daughter was distraught because she believed that it was all her fault that the trip was cancelled.
“My daughter is hysterical because she thinks this is her fault that she’s not going to Disneyland.”
Newman said Southwest employees informed them that the next flight they’d be able to take would be two days later. He said that the family did not receive any apology from the airline nor compensation for the inconvenience.
For its part, Southwest told WMAQ-TV in a statement:
[There were] concerns about a fellow passenger in the gate area exhibiting behavior consistent with a highly contagious medical condition. We never want to inconvenience customers but when we receive concerns from multiple people, we’re obligated to look into them.
Southwest officials told WMAQ-TV that they regret what happened and is in direct contact with the family.