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Southwest Evicts Family from Flight Due to Autistic Child, Mask Controversy

An Iowa family was refused entry and turned away from their flight home because their 5-year-old son, who has autism, couldn’t wear his face mask, according to reports.

Cody and Paige Petek and their two children were in St. Louis for a connecting flight home to the Des Moines International Airport on Sunday when they were turned away, KCCI reported.

Before boarding the plane the family’s son, who is non-verbal, has autism and a sensory processing disorder, was having issues with his face mask, the family told the outlet.

Southwest Airlines told them they couldn’t board a plane unless their son wears a mask for the duration of the flight.

“We were denied access onto our last flight home because Keaton was not able to keep his mask over his face due to his severe sensory issues and autism,” the boys mother wrote on Facebook.

Dr. Vince Hassel who was boarding the same flight to Des Moines said other passengers started lobbying to get the boy on board but the staff refused. Read more…

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