A family has been kicked off a flight to Disneyland after flight crew were told that the family’s 6-year-old girl had lice in her hair.
The Newman family were on their end-of-year outing and flying Southwest Airlines from Chicago to Santa Ana, California on Friday, Dec. 29.
They were about to board the aircraft when the mother spotted some white flakes in the 6-year-old daughter’s hair, NBC 5 reported.
Father J Newman said: “There was some dry skin in my daughter’s hair. So, she was just kind of taking it out of my daughter’s hair.”
Around half an hour later a staff member at the gate approached the family with concerns there could be lice in the girl’s hair.
It appears that other passengers had alerted staff when “they saw my wife going through my daughter’s hair,” Newman said.
“And we looked at each other like, ‘Are you serious right now or is this a joke?’”
A statement from Southwest sent to NBC 5 said that several passengers had approached gate staff “with concerns about a fellow passenger in the gate area exhibiting behavior consistent with a highly contagious medical condition.”
The statement continued: “We never want to inconvenience customers but when we receive concerns from multiple people, we’re obligated to look into them.”
The airline forced the Newmans to not board their flight, according to NBC 5.
“We don’t even have lice. That’s the crazy thing. our daughter doesn’t have lice,” Newman told the broadcaster. “So, why they would do this to us I have no idea.”
According to Newman, his daughter now believes it was her fault the family didn’t get to go to Disneyland.
He also said Southwest rebooked them for a flight that left a couple of days later but had not apologized or compensated the family.