Finally, an airline has acknowledged that every other passenger on a commercial flight does NOT have to be inconvenienced because parents can't control their unruly child. From AP:
AirTran Airways on Tuesday defended its decision to remove a Massachusetts couple from a flight after their crying 3-year-old daughter refused to take her seat before takeoff.
AirTran officials said they followed Federal Aviation Administration rules that children age 2 and above must have their own seat and be wearing a seat belt upon takeoff.
"The flight was already delayed 15 minutes and in fairness to the other 112 passengers on the plane, the crew made an operational decision to remove the family," AirTran spokeswoman Judy Graham-Weaver said.
Julie and Gerry Kulesza, who were headed home to Boston on Jan. 14 from Fort Myers, said they just needed a little more time to calm their daughter, Elly.
"We weren't given an opportunity to hold her, console her or anything," Julie Kulesza said in a telephone interview Tuesday.
The Kuleszas said they told a flight attendant they had paid for their daughter's seat, but asked whether she could sit in her mother's lap. The request was denied.
She was removed because "she was climbing under the seat and hitting the parents and wouldn't get in her seat" during boarding, Graham-Weaver said.
The Orlando-based carrier reimbursed the family $595.80, the cost of the three tickets, and the Kuleszas flew home the next day.
I've been on flights where parents allowed their kids to roam the aisles and commit pint-sized acts of terrorism. Such as:
- One grabbed my laptop off the lap tray and dropped it on the floor after I had already told the parents and the attendant the child would not stop grabbing my things, and when I asked the parents to please control their child, I had a United flight attendant tell ME I was being unreasonable.
- One tiny toddler, having a real shit fit, grabbed Daddy's juice and threw it over the back of the seat and into the faces of both me and a fellow passenger.
- One time returning from the rest room, a kid had taken over my seat (his parents were rows and rows away) and as the seat belt warning came on, I'm standing there being yelled at by one flight attendant to get in my seat while another told me it was OK for me to stand for the next 10-15 minutes (eh?). Even when the kid started grabbing my things and that of another passenger's and started tossing them around, God forbid anyone stop him.
- And, of course, the constant bane: kids who spend an entire flight kicking the back of the seat you're in while howling! But everyone else is just supposed to enjoy the tantrum.
- Twice mothers, without asking, plopped children (one a baby with a badly soiled diaper) into my arms/lap; the soiled diaper then soiling my blouse. Also had a flight attendant, without asking, start distributing the 6-7 kids of a mother who "had a migraine" and both her nanny and au pair were unable to fly (poor, dear, precious mom) for the rest of the flight to mind.
Now, I happen to like kids. But the expectation that everyone else is going to happy be inconvenienced because parents choose to fly with kids whom they apparently have no ability to control is ridiculous.
Funny, I've never had any problems with the Muslims and those "who seem Muslim" so many Americans love to fret about (ridiculous), but tot-induced terrorism runs rampant on our airlines.