Carter Kimball, a four-year-old boy diagnosed with nonverbal autism, was forced off of a Spirit Airlines flight for not wearing a mask Monday, according to CBS THV11.
Spirit Airlines employees booted Carter and his father from their flight from Las Vegas to Little Rock, Arkansas, Monday morning, undeterred by the provided doctor’s exemption note, THV11 reports.
“He had a medical note from his physician stating that he’s exempt from wearing masks because whenever he wears a mask he holds his breath or starts freaking out and he will harm himself,” Carter’s mom, Callie Kimball, told THV11.
Trying to explain the situation to the employees, Carter’s dad told them his son had a disability protected under the American Disability Act. The employees responded by assuring him that his son did not have a disability and had to either put on a face covering or leave the plane, Callie told THV11.
“Gotta love getting kicked off an airplane,” Carter’s father can be heard saying as his son is seen clearly distressed from the situation.
STORY: 4-year old Carter is non-verbal on the spectrum. He loves planes but he hates masks.
His mother says He & his father were kicked off of a @SpiritAirlines flight in Las Vegas even with a doctors note.
— Jade Jackson (@IAMJADEJACKSON) March 16, 2021
Carter and his father were left stranded in Las Vegas and had to pay $1,000 to catch a flight home on American Airlines later that night, THV11 reported. American Airlines had no problems accepting the exemption and allowing Carter to fly without a mask, according to THV11.
Up until this point, the family has not had any problems bringing their son on Spirit flights without a mask, Callie told THV11. Spirit Airlines did issue the family a refund, according to THV11. (RELATED: Report: Brawl Breaks Out On Spirit Airlines As Woman Who Refused To Wear A Mask Tased By Cops)
“Our existing policy does not provide for medical exemptions, regardless of diagnosis. Our Team Members explained this to a family travelling yesterday, but never questioned anyone’s medical status in the process,” Spirit Airlines said in a statement.
Although Spirit Airlines current policy does not allow for medical exemptions, an exemption application for customers with a “medical disability” will be available starting Friday, according to the statement.