ATA and children

Jan 23 2007 Published by under Uncategorized

Jake Young has a link up to a story about a family's recent misadventure on AirTran Airways. Apparently, they were removed from their flight because, after more than 15 minutes, their 3-year-old was still pitching a temper tantrum and refusing to stay seated:

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.

Which is what had to happen. It's not safe for older children to sit on laps during takeoff or landing. Actually, it's not safe for younger children, either, but that's another issue.

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.

Having to deal with obnoxious children during flight is bad, but that's just a part of any transit option that doesn't involve a private vehicle. Having your flight delayed because someone's spoiled brat won't sit down, on the other hand, is something totally different. There's no reason for more than 100 people to be delayed by a single screaming toddler. Kicking them off was the right call. Here's where the airline screwed it up:

The Orlando-based carrier reimbursed the family $595.80, the cost of the three tickets, and the Kuleszas flew home the next day.

They also were offered three roundtrip tickets anywhere the airline flies, Graham-Weaver said.

Those two fools did not need anything that even looked like an apology, much less a refund. What they needed - badly - were parenting lessons.

7 responses so far

  • Bad kharma, that.
    Remember to blog it when you get payback, even if it takes decades...

  • Scott Belyea says:

    ...spoiled brat ... Those two fools

    My, you're certainly both omniscient and tolerant based on your attentive reading of a blog post and (perhaps) a news story, aren't you?
    Do me a favour ... don't reproduce.

  • Mike Dunford says:

    Hey, I've got kids, and we travel by air a lot. Since we live in Hawaii, most of the flights we take are at least 5 to 6 hours long. My kids aren't perfect when we fly, and I don't know anoyone's who are.
    At the same time, there is a big step from a kid that is fussy to a kid who is refusing to sit in the seat. One is annoying. The other is a safety problem that delays the whole flight. The presumption that a planeload of 100+ people should be delayed while parents try to negotiate with their 3-year-old is a bit much, but it actually wasn't the main reason I thought the nominal adults needed parenting lessons.
    Tolerating, in any way, a toddler's refusal to obey instructions like that can seriously jepordize the child's safety. There can be times and circumstances when obeying a "do this NOW" instruction can be absolutely critical to the child's safety. "Stop!" right before the kid runs into the road is one example. "Out the window and down the fire escape right now." is another, taken from my own childhood.
    Not all "do this now" orders are that critical, of course. However, asking a three-year-old to be able to tell the difference between ones that are and ones that aren't is a bit much. They can figure out when arguing won't endanger them (at least physically) when they are older.

  • Alyosha says:

    It's not clear from the story ("The flight was already delayed 15 minutes") if the flight was already delayed or the 15 min delay was only because of the child. My guess is, that the flight was already delayed, as most flights are these days. In that case, it is the airline's fault. Flying these days (in the US) is a nightmare and the poor little child was only reacting to the frustration of spending hours in lines and what-not at airports. Good for him! I wish more adults would display same dissatisfaction with today's state of air travel!

  • ERIC JUVE says:

    The problem I have is that the airline rewarded the Passengers (parents) for their misbehavior, that is not how I was taugt ( by my airlines) to raise a passenger. It also not the way to raise children, or train pets....

  • DaveScot says:

    Well here's something we can totally agree on. I had some friends once that let their kid get so totally out of control not only didn't they punish the kid, the kid struck his parents. I saw the 4 year-old boy slap his father hard across the face in anger, in front of a bunch of people, and neither parent did anything to punish the kid for it. Talk about shock. That was 25 years ago and my wife and I still can't forget that example of bad parenting. The airline treated those imbeciles too well.

  • dan says:

    That doesn't sound like a brat. That sounds like a kid with some serious behavioral issues. BIG difference.