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Saturday, 31 October 2009

A mother and her 2 year old son were kicked off a Southwest Airlines flight from Amarillo, TX to San Jose, TX because her son was disruptive. According to a Southwest Airline representative, the child was so disruptive passengers were unable to hear pre-flight instructions. The child repeated over and over, "Go Plane Go" and "I Want Daddy".

The mother acknowledges that the child was yelling and she's sure it was annoying to the other passengers. She also stated that she didn't know the airline intended to remove her and her son from the plane until they reached the gate. Once they reached the gate the stewardess stated, "We just can't tolerate that for 2 hours." She tried to explain that the child would calm down once they took off, but the stewardess would have none of it. She responded, "We've heard that before." Mother and son were told to hit the road.

I respect the mother for acknowledging that her child was disruptive and probably annoying to other passengers, but the issue for Southwest was safety. They were concerned that the passengers missed the pre-flight instructions. Is this a good reason to remove a mother and her unruly child from a flight?

According to my significant other, who is a pilot, yes. He agrees with Southwest Airlines, safety is first and there is no exception. Regardless of age, if a passenger is disruptive they should be removed from the plane. He also stated that he is a father too, but as a pilot he would have returned to the gate as well and ordered her off the plane. Passengers must be given pre-flight instructions, they must be heard and understood. Flight attendants are there to assist with the safety of all passengers, and she did her job.

I travel frequently for business as well as personal travel, and believe me there's nothing worst than a screaming child on a flight. There are times when I have to review a briefing or prepare for a meeting before I reach my destination, and I find it impossible because of the noise. My company contracts with numerous airlines, and they are paying big bucks for these airlines to get employees to their destination. I'm sure if employees reported that a particular airline constantly allowed that type of disruption, they would pull their contract. When I'm traveling for personal reasons, I'm usually trying to regroup from the stress of my job. I like to read, nap or chat and I like to do it in peace.

I sympathize I'm a mother and a grandmother; however, I do find it annoying as hell when there is a crying, screaming child on board. I also understand that as a mother, there are times when you have to get from point A to B and you have to take your child with you. Unfortunately we don't have a magic wand that we can use to settle them down, but there comes a time when we need to be considerate of others. Airplanes are public transportation. People are paying big bucks to reach their destination, and they have a right to do it in peace. There's also the other side, the mother is a paying customer too. So where does the airline stand to loose the most money? Who will be the most likely passengers to file a complaint? It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure this one out. Mom and baby go!

My grandson is 2, and we don't take trips where we have to take a flight. I understand how annoying it can be when you have a toddler out of control. I don't like it therefore, I wouldn't subject others to it. We plan car trips so we can pull over when he becomes restless or needs to be changed. If it's an emergency, someone will stay behind to care for him. He is a toddler after all. As much as I believe the sun rises and sets in him, I do have to respect other people.

Most people bring snacks, drinks, games, toys etc. for their children when they are traveling by plane. This mother decided she wasn't going to feed her toddler until they were airborne, although she believed a meal would have calmed him down. Now, if your child is being disruptive among a flight full of people, wouldn't you do everything you could to calm him at that moment? Why wait until you're airborne? You could sit at the gate or on the runway for quite sometime depending on how many planes are ahead of you. She also stated that she doesn't worry about what other people think, she does what's best for her child. So it's best to let you child be disruptive, and you know the behavior is irritating to others? It seems this kind of thinking got her booted from the plane.

The airline did refund her money and gave her a $300 travel voucher. Hopefully, she will think about her fellow passengers next time and plan accordingly. Would you have been annoyed by this toddler? Do you think the airline should have removed her? What do you do to occupy your toddler when you're traveling? Please leave us a comment, we would love to hear your opinion on this incident.


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