A Chicago family was kicked off their Southwest flight after the airline believed that one of the children was harboring lice, even though the dad says it wasn’t true. It cost them their trip to Disneyland.
As the Newman family waited in the terminal to board their flight to Santa Ana, an airline official approached them and informed them that they would not be allowed to board their flight, according to Fox News.
“That they saw my wife going through my daughter’s hair and that she might have lice,” J Newman, father, told NBC 5 Chicago. “And we looked at each other like are you serious right now or is this a joke?”
The father had to tell his daughters, ages 4 and 6, that they would not be going to Disneyland. He claimed that his wife was simply grooming dead skin out of their daughter’s hair while waiting.
“My daughter is hysterical because she thinks this is her fault that she’s not going to Disneyland,” said Newman.
Yet Southwest claims that more than 10 fellow passengers complained to the airline about what they purportedly saw the Newman family doing. They shared concerns over a passenger “exhibiting behavior consistent with a highly contagious medical condition.”
“Our employees are obligated to look into concerns that are raised by multiple customers and based on a conversation our employees had with the family, we determined it would be best to rebook their travel for the following day,” a statement from Southwest said.
The airline refunded the Newman family their airline tickets and rebooked their flight, though the earliest flight they could schedule was two days out.
"Our Employees are responsible for the well-being of hundreds of thousands of customers daily and are well-known for the care and hospitality they provide. Our goal is for every customer to have a positive experience while traveling Southwest and we do our best to deliver on that commitment while keeping the health and safety of our customers and fellow employees as our top priority,” the statement said.
J Newman believes that Southwest may have rebooked their flight due to an overbooking issue, though the airline denies that this is true.
In recent news, the United States military announced the death of a U.S. service member on New Year’s Day, including four more wounded.