A family with a screaming 3 year old was recently asked to leave a plane after the little girl refused to take her seat. The plane was already delayed, so the flight crew asked the family to leave the plane to be fair to the other 112 people on the flight.
The crew cited an FAA rule stating that all children over 2 must be in their own seats. The mother apparently asked if the child could sit on her lap and the crew said no. Of course they said no! Obviously, the FAA feels that it is not safe for a child over 2 not to be buckled into his or her own seat. According to an AirTran spokeswoman, the child was crawling under the seats, hitting her parents, and refused to sit in her seat.
Naturally, the parents are “upset” and the father said his family will “never fly AirTran again.” But the family was fully reimbursed for their tickets, AND were offered three round trip tickets to anywhere the airline flies!
So when is enough ENOUGH?
I understand that parents sometimes need to travel with small children. But if a kid is on a plane having a temper tantrum, why do the rest of the passengers have to be subjected to that? Especially if the plane is actually DELAYED because of it!
In my opinion, giving the family another flight to their destination was enough. Why should they be rewarded for a screaming child with free tickets to anywhere they choose? Dad might have said he won’t fly AirTran again, but I would be surprised if he turned down those free tickets.
I have seen so many parents recently who think the rules don’t apply to them or their children. They expect special treatment, and demand that they be treated differently than anyone else.
This is not an indictment of their parenting skills, but it seems to me that if your child is in public hitting you and having a temper tantrum, there is some kind of flaw in your method of discipline, and the airline has every right to resolve the situation.
I grew up in a single parent household, and let me tell you my mother would never have tolerated behavior like that from my sister and me at any age. She was a great mom, and my sister and I were well behaved children. We would never have made such a scene and embarrassed my mom like that. Even when I was three.
So I say kudos to AirTran for taking a stand!
If you have a horror story to share about a screaming child on a flight, share it in the forum.