An American family of five were banned from boarding a Delta Air Lines flight because their son had head lice.
The family had been on holiday in London and Paris and were travelling back to Minneapolis, to subsequently take a connecting flight to Nashville – but when they were half way through the the first flight, they realised their six year old had head lice.
Dad Clay Travis detailed his account in a blog post slamming Delta for leaving them stranded.
‘While he was standing in line for the bathroom, my six year old started to scratch his head,’ the father-of-three explained. ‘My wife checked to see why he was scratching his head and saw then that he had lice. Several flight attendants rushed over too and peered down at my son’s head. “Oh, my God, he has lice”.’
The family were then told that then they arrived in Minneapolis that they weren’t allowed to leave the plane until a doctor checked their son for head lice.
‘When we landed in Minneapolis, the entire plane emptied and a flight attendant approached us and said that we would not be allowed to take our connecting flight and would have to leave the airport in Minneapolis.’
‘In fact, we remained quarantined on the plane and the airline brought two medical people onto the plane too. I don’t know who these people were or who employed them, but they said, “We need to examine your children”,’ he wrote.
After a temperature check the family were allowed off the plane, but as they were queuing for their next flight they were stopped again. His son was checked for head lice and this time, it was confirmed.
‘This man tells us that we will not be allowed to take our connecting flight home, that we must leave the airport immediately, find somewhere in the city to be treated for lice, obtain a clearance form that proves we had all been treated, and until we do that we will not be allowed to fly home on Delta,’ Clay continued.
However, despite his outrage, the post was met with a mixed response, with many telling him that they felt the air line’s actions were justified.
One reader commented: ‘Excuse me ma’am, just want to inform you that the passenger previously in your seat has head lice.” Would YOU sit here?? Your self entitlement and selfishness to expose and infect potentially many others to your sons head lice is exactly what’s wrong with the MEMEME society.’
‘Actually, Delta policy does state if anyone has lice, they aren’t permitted to fly. Search, “unacceptable conditions”on the Delta website, and its written clear as day, passenger who have lice,’ said another comment.
‘According to Delta’s rules on their website they can remove someone if they think they may harm other passengers. It states: ‘Delta may refuse to transport any passenger, or may remove any passenger from its aircraft, when refusal to transport or removal of the passenger is reasonably necessary in Delta’s sole discretion for the passenger’s comfort or safety, for the comfort or safety of other passengers or Delta employees.’
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A spokesperson for Delta Air Lines told Netmums in relation to the story: ‘We will always prioritize the health of our customers and employees as safety is our top priority.’
‘As part of their training, Delta flight attendants are trained to a first responder role as outlined by the FAA.’
‘We have an internal process on how to handle medical events that occur before, during and after travel. Once we become aware of an event, we consult with multiple medical experts to determine how to proceed with a resolution.’