When one mother and her son booked a flight to visit friends, they thought they had covered all their bases.
Doctors had exempted her 22-year-old son from flying without a mask due to medical reasons and gave the mother not one, but two, doctor’s notes – her son had even received both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.
But despite calling Southwest and verifying that the doctor’s notes would be enough to allow her son to fly – after they had boarded the plane and were about to take off, the unthinkable happened.
You see, Biden’s forced mask mandate does have a silver lining – it allows for a medical mask exemption.
Resting in this confidence, Cheri Fleming and her son Bryan Crisp, both of whom have special needs, decided to give flying a go.
They made it through airport security and onto the plane without an issue.
But once they took their seats and settled in, they were approached by a supervisor and told they must deplane.
Apparently, even though Southwest had stated they’d start “considering” exemptions due to medical reasons, a policy had still not been put in place.
So despite the doctor’s notes and medical exemption, Southwest ultimately refused to let the family fly and humiliated them by kicking them off the plane.
Rightly so, Fleming was outraged – and spoke of her traumatic experience with Southwest.
“She said: “You can’t just tell all the disabled people to wait until you figure it out.”
Fleming, who has multiple sclerosis, said she was going to California to care for a friend with MS who has just had surgery.
She added: “The discrimination Bryan faced from Southwest Airlines has left us feeling disheartened, embarrassed and disappointed.
“What should have been his first vacation was turned into a negative experience and we hope this hasn’t affected his willingness to travel and continue to try new experiences.
“Bryan has very high anxiety so this was a huge thing for him. This was our third attempt to fly as we previously had postponed twice as we expected problems and wanted to do all we could to satisfy Southwest.”
The fact Southwest didn’t have their ducks in a row months after Biden’s mask mandate went into effect shouldn’t be their customers problem.
Cheri and her son should have been allowed to stay on their flight…
…especially considering she even called ahead to verify that the doctor’s notes would be enough.
But instead of admitting they dropped the ball and apologizing to Cheri and Bryan, Southwest stands by their decision to kick a family with special needs off their plane.
Southwest released a statement which a portion said:
“Beginning March 14, 2021, Southwest Airlines will consider applications for exemptions from this mask requirement from Passengers with a disability who cannot wear a mask, or who cannot safely wear a mask because of the disability and are traveling March 21, 2021 or later.
However, this exemption requires an application and documentation to be submitted prior to travel (a Customer cannot simply show up at the airport with documentation) and was not, yet, in place when this family traveled,” reported WGN9.
Southwest already has the reputation for poor customer service and this latest stunt just shows how much they really do hate their patrons.
For an airline so concerned with “safety” – Southwest was one of the first to gut their cleaning protocols.
And now this family was forced to endure the humiliation and inconvenience of being kicked off their plane because Southwest couldn’t get their policies in order?
Airlines better be careful – if they keep treating their passengers like this, they won’t have any left.
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