Southwest Airlines wouldn't let an Iowa family on their connecting flight home because their 5-year-old son, who has autism, couldn't wear his face mask.
Cody and Paige Petek's young son, who is nonverbal and has autism and a sensory processing disorder, was struggling to wear his mask and was kicked off their plane from St. Louis to Des Moines, KCCI reported.
So Petek's hour-long plane ride became a nearly six-hour drive home in a rental car, according to KCCI.
Southwest Airlines turned them away, claiming they were following federal laws.
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Cody and Paige Petek's young son, who is nonverbal and has autism and a sensory processing disorder, was struggling to wear his mask before the family boarded their plane from St. Louis to Des Moines
The Petek family wasn't kicked off a Southwest Airlines plane because their young son, who has autism, couldn't put on his face mask, KCCI reported
Paige Petek posted about the incident on Facebook
Vince Hassel, who was also flying back to Des Moines, told KCCI that other passengers fought to get the boy and his family on board.
'He just wasn't having it and throwing a fit. Just to watch this play out was absolutely horrible,' Hassel told KCCI.
The young boy had a seizure during the struggle, according to KCCI.
TSA policy states that people with disabilities who cannot wear a mask because of the disability are exempt from having to wear a mask.
Petek's lawyer, Anthony Marchetti Jr., said Southwest Airlines may have violated the Americans with Disabilities Act.Insurance Loans Mortgage Attorney Credit Lawyer
'There's clear guidance from the department of transportation about what the airline should do,' Marchetti told KCCI. 'None of that happened here.'
DailyMail.com called Marchetti and Southwest Airlines for comment.
The Petek's lawyer said Southwest Airlines may have violated the Americans with Disabilities Act
While Southwest couldn't be reached, the Airline did issue the following statement to KCCI:
'While we regret any inconvenience this family