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A disabled student was removed from Emirates flight due to an epileptic attack

Despite permission from the doctor, the airline staff asked him to leave the salon.

“Thanks to the Emirates airline that drove us out of the plane. Our son has epilepsy. We traveled 14 hours from Melbourne and received confirmation from the doctor by phone, already on board. My son has autism and serious learning difficulties. “

A French disabled teenager named Eli, along with his family, was taken off the Emirates flight because he suffered from epilepsy. It did not help even that the student received a medical permission to fly.

Eli is the son of Euronews journalist Isabelle Kumar, who told about the incident on her Twitter account. They returned to France from New Zealand, and during a transplant in Dubai, Emirates employees asked Kumar for a medical certificate about her son’s health condition.

Every time we told staff that Eli was suffering from epilepsy (and autism), but when we asked for a vacant seat next to him, because he had a seizure, they suddenly wanted to see a medical certificate.

Isabel Kumar
Eli’s mother

Kumar presented a medical certificate and called the family doctor to confirm that Eli could fly. But the stewardesses refused to talk to the doctor and stated that the documents had to be provided to the Emirates staff at the time of registration. After that, the family was ordered to leave the plane.

This was an act of lack of humanity, which we found really shocking. Employees ran into a child with a severe disability, but they threatened to call the police if we did not get out, even though our bags were still on the plane.

Isabel Kumar
Eli’s mother

After the landing, the airline employees admitted that Eli can fly by plane, but the boy’s family had to use another flight the next day. According to Kumar, the incident left them “demoralized and exhausted.”

You face endless problems with a disabled child, but we never give up, and this incident will not stop us from traveling with our family. But now I’ll think twice before I go with Emirates.

Isabel Kumar
Eli’s mother

A representative of Emirates told Euronews that the airline “very much regrets any troubles and inconveniences caused to Ms. Kumar and her family”.

Such situations, as a rule, are difficult to assess to the operational staff, and they decided to act in the interests of the safety of our passengers, as well as on the recommendation of our medical team. 

Our customer service team was in contact with the family, and we offered them free accommodation at the hotel during transit and rebooked them for another flight departing the next day.

Emirates representative

Airline Emirates is one of the best in the world. It ranks third in the Skytrax World Airline Awards 2018.

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