Nicholas Dainik, an eight year old from Bedford, and a victim of Batten Disease, had a harrowing experience on his way back from a trip to Disney World in Orlando.
On their onward trip the family had flown on a Southwest Airlines flight and Nicholas was seated on a protective travel chair.
On their return trip, the very same airline refused to allow the boy to sit on the protective chair. Their explanation was that the chair did not comply with the Federal Aviation Administration rules. The staff told the family that they had to forgo the protective seat to fly or else simply get off the plane.
"It was a little shocking," said the boy's father, Chris. "We flew down with this exact chair six days before."
The family did not want to miss this flight and get stuck at the airport with a very sick child. They also wanted to be home in time for Christmas.
Though Nicholas reached home safe, things could have been worse as he had travelled on a normal seat.
Southwest airlines spokesman Brad Hawkins was deeply apologetic and said that the airline regretted the decision.
"We are working directly with the family after sincerely apologizing and issuing a full refund for their less-than-positive travel experience. We certainly will take away any potential learning from this experience in our constant evaluation of how to provide the best possible customer service, which is second only to the safety of every passenger," the spokesman said.