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Family says Southwest booted them off flight because 3-year-old might remove mask

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CNN Newsource

DENVER, Colo. (CNN) - A Colorado mother says her family was removed from a flight over the possibility of her 3-year-old son having a sensory issue with his mask.

Traveling anywhere with a family has always been tough, but traveling these days is even tougher.

The CDC says everyone aged 2 years old and up has to wear a mask on board, a plane at all times.

Three-year-old Orion Scott does pretty well with it, especially when you consider how difficult it might be.

"My son has sensory processing disorder, which means that sometimes he gets overwhelmed by different sensations, like touch texture," his mother, Caroline Scott said.

His mom Caroline says sometimes the mask can be too much.

It is why she got a doctor's note saying he might have a problem with his mask, but mom and dad know how to handle it.

It is why she called Southwest Customer Service Department ahead of the family's flight out of DIA to visit Orion's 94-year-old, great-grandma in Florida.

She was told everything would be fine.

"And when we actually got to our flight, we were told, um, that there was an issue and they had to ask the supervisor to ask the captain's permission for us to board," Scott said.

All this time, his mother says, well, Orion was doing fine wearing the mask, seat belt buckled.

"Came onto the plane and said that we needed to deep plane because the captain did not feel comfortable with my son on the plane," she said.

And that was it.

She says they were removed from the flight simply because she took that precaution to warn the airline about what might happen.

"We were trying to do the right thing and we were punished for it," she said.

The family spent nearly $2,000 booking new flights on a different airline for the next day.

She says Orion was fine on that flight.

In a statement Wednesday, Southwest told us they regret the inconvenience on the family and that customer service was reaching out to them.

Caroline wants an apology and a promise to change.

"Luckily, my son is not old enough to fully realize the magnitude of what happened, but it was heart-wrenching as his mother to see him treated like that, my family treated like that," she said. "And I don't ever want this to happen to another family."

Also in that statement from Southwest, officials said they're working hard every day to try to comply with federal mask requirements.

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