A Cranky Toddler, An Airplane & You

IMG_2046Maybe I’m a little late coming to this gossip session, but I just heard about the woman who was kicked off a Southwest Airline flight from Amarillo, TX to San Jose, Ca. As the plane was about to take off her cranky two-year-old was screaming for the plane to go and also screaming for his daddy. There have been a number of news stories and blog posts floating around the web abut the incident.

Basically the mom was waiting for the plane to take off before feeding the child so that his ears would pop easily and he would hopefully nap the duration of the flight. Yet passengers complained that they were unable to hear safety announcements due to the screaming toddler. Southwest made the decision to turn back to the gate and escort the mom & toddler off the plane.

Southwest apologized and gave the mom a $300 travel voucher on top of a full refund. The mom is calling for more commendation to make up for the extra diapers and porta-crib she had to purchase while staying at her parents in Amarillo for the unplanned extra night.

It’s hard to come at this story from one side or the other. Most people who fly with any kind of regularity know that not all flights kick off screaming toddlers. In fact some people might even complain that most in fact, do it often enough. It’s this observation that leads me to wonder just how extreme was the screaming?

In my reading up on the incident I couldn’t find one first hand account (other than the mom’s and the airlines official statement) of the incident. Which makes me wonder even more. You’d think that if it weren’t pretty extreme wouldn’t some of the passengers have spoken up for the mom once the story made headlines?

I’m a mom. There have been occasions where my kids where tired cranky, and just plane intolerable in public. So I did my best to avoid taking them in public during those times. I think all of us have had moments like that. As a mom, I think the last thing I would have wanted to do was to spend the next four hours in an enclosed area with my child on a lane if he was in a mood like that.

In fact, though would’ve been embarrassed, I think I would’ve happily returned to my mom’s house with my full refund and $300 travel voucher. Then returned with a happier and much more well rested child in the morning.

That’s just me though.

So what do YOU think? Was Southwest totally out of line or is this mom pushing it by continuing to push for more compensation?  And at what point do you think a disruptive child, whether it be yours or someone else’s, should be asked to leave?

Awww, motherhood. Never a dull moment.

Meghan Harvey is the Community Manager for MomConnect & never ever flies. But she IS the pilot of her own mode of transportation, a small SUV. She has never booted any cranky passengers off, though she has been tempted to. But her kids aren’t teenagers yet either…

This post is a cross-post from MomConnect-The Blog!


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Noemi
    Nov 09, 2009 @ 17:13:44

    I think people on plane shoudlnt complaint about toddler cranky or screaming. I remember my brother and myself were little cranky on airplane, a women and pilot came to us and comfort us with dessert and a toys plus a pin of airplane. it calm my brother he was 2yr old. my mother was handling me and my brother i was only 6yr old and my brother 2yr old on the plane flying to vacation in mexico. I remember i cry my ear is not popping ti was painful some ppl sit next to us is patience and comfort me plus gave me some candy or gum to pop out.. Now i have son who is 3yr old. We fly and had no plms as long i bring snack and coloring book and his favorite toys tht comfort him plus his Blankey and i always telling him what we will see in airplane plus we sitting down will get etc. so he know need calm down. so went well. i hope mother find a tip how to comfort if kid want daddy why not hand to him Cellular phone call daddy so father can comfort him during on plane.


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