Not exactly close to home, but illustrates the importance of providing training to the airline industry about individuals with autism and other intellectual and developmental disabilities.
All the Zalmanovich family from Hod Hasharon wanted to do was fly to Switzerland to visit relatives. They never imagined that their 8-year-old son's autism would get them kicked off their connecting flight to Geneva and bring about the cancellation of their return ticket, without warning and with no refund.
Last week, the family flew to Zurich on a Swiss International Airlines flight. Eight-year-old Yaheli had been prepared for two months for the trip, the flight went off without a hitch. But on the plane moments before the 40-minute connecting flight to Geneva was about to take off, Yaheli began crying uncontrollably and could not be calmed. Autistic children often have trouble transitioning between situations unfamiliar to them.