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Quebec family kicked off Air Transat flight because toddler was coughing
MONTREAL -- A Quebec family is angry after they say they were forced off an Air Transat flight to Paris, France on Sunday because one of their children was sick.
"Our Lila was a little sick with a cold and fever since Saturday," wrote the girl's mother, Clementine Ferraton, on Facebook. "We did not want to take a chance and we went to consult a doctor, who was really not worried – a good cold, but nothing more."
Ferraton notes the family of five was sitting on the airplane, at the Jean-Lesage International Airport in Quebec City, when a flight attendant came to ask if she had a doctor's note authorizing her sick toddler to travel.
She says she was told that other people on the plane had complained because they could hear coughing and they feared the 21-month-old might be contagious.
"She tells me that they are looking for a doctor to examine her. I tell her we saw one this morning, but no, it's not enough," Ferraton stated. "There is a doctor on board. He examines her and says, 'yes, she has a fever, but she is fine.' He is not worried at all that she can travel."
Nevertheless, Ferraton says she was told that the flight would not take off with her sick daughter on board and the family of five was subsequently escorted off the aircraft.
"Why don't they trust the two doctors who saw my daughter in person and judged her condition to be good?" she argued. "Why are they questioning our ability as parents to assess the state of our child?"
Air Transat insists in situations like this, it follows proper procedure recommended by both the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).
Debbie Cabana, marketing director for Air Transat, tells CTV News the doctor who examined the toddler on the plane noted her temperature was 39.6 degrees Celsius.
That information was then forwarded to MedLink, a company that supplies in-flight medical assistance and pre-flight passenger assessment by phone, which determined that her condition "posed a significant, potential risk to passengers and crew."
"The only case where a passenger, showing obvious signs of a contagious disease, could be accepted onboard would be when he or she provides the appropriate documentation, completed by a qualified doctor," said Cabana. "This document should certify that the passenger is no longer in the contagious phase of the disease and can fly without endangering the health of passengers or crew."
The airline says it has since contacted the family and will reimburse them their tickets.