Delta Dehydrates Babies To Fight Terrorism

And here’s the reason why banning liquids from flights makes people less safe, not more so: an infant from County Monaghan in Ireland dehydrated and almost died after being denied liquids on a Delta flight.

The baby’s mother was denied the right to bring bottles of diluted orange juice onto the plane because of the ban. Moreover, because the baby didn’t have his own seat, but sat on his mother’s lap, he was also denied food and drink by Delta.

And that’s the part of the story that’s really odd: even though they were paid for the carry-on infant, Delta apparently didn’t think it was worthwhile to feed or hydrate him. Even odder, Delta’s UK office isn’t even bothering to deny this. Another odd wrinkle: even if that’s the case, why couldn’t this woman fed her son some of her food?

Delta Airlines should just start spraying down their travelers with salt before they get on the flight and be done with it. Or perhaps comp travelers with a free can of Bernard’s Dehydrated Water when they come on board.

Mother plans to sue US airline over fluids ban after toddler dehydrates [Irish Examiner]


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  1. Amy Alkon000 says:

    Maybe this woman is a real bumpkin, because I find it unimaginable that flight attendants would deny a baby liquids…don’t you? Also, if I were the mother, and that were true, what would it take to request an extra water for oneself and feed some to the baby. Plus, they were apparently a whole family. Even if the flight attendants were evil, evil witches, couldn’t the familiy scare up some vittles from their own plates? There’s something that sounds very fishy about this story.

  2. Ben Popken says:

    Apparently her throat must have been parched shut, leaving her unable to ask for water for herself and give it to her son.

  3. aka Cat says:

    I can see the flight attendants denying the baby liquids.

    1 – They probably assumed that security had allowed the parents to bring the child’s own beverages on board.

    2 – On a ten hour flight they may be in the mindset of ‘rationing’ the available beverages to those passengers who aren’t allowed to bring their own past security.

    3 – If the mother is dotty enough to not have the family share their beverages with the baby, I can certainly see her failing to communicate that security hadn’t allowed her to bring the child’s drinks onboard.

    At the least, the parents aren’t too bright.

    btw, wtf is up with charging 270 (I have no idea if that’s pounds or dollars, since the article is in an Irish paper but the airline is US) for an in-lap baby?

  4. kimdog says:

    Yup, I agree… something stinks about this whole story.

  5. Amy Alkon000 says:

    I’m sorry, but if I’m a mother and I have a baby on the flight, I’ll do just about anything to see it gets fed, starting with giving it my own food and drink and going hungry, and going on to getting on hands and knees and begging other passengers for food and liquids.

    I get altitude sickness on planes. Preventing it means being properly hydrated and seeing that there’s enough fresh air circulating. I’ll sometimes ask them to turn down the temperature on a plane when it’s hot and stuffy (which seems to put more fresh air in the cabin). On the rare occasion a flight attendant has gotten particularly persnickety, I’ve explained the choice may come down to either get some more air in the plane or give me oxygen (which requires them to fill out paperwork). I try to explain this before I’ve got my head in a barf bag. (That’s always an encourager as far as persuading them I’m not a hypochondriac.) And PS, I’m a healthy runner – not some asthmatic.

    Anyway, if you have a real need, you express it. You walk back and quietly but semi-hysterically tell them you MUST have water or juice for your baby.

  6. RandomHookup says:

    And I suppose they cut off the water in the sink in the loo to save us from terrorists as well…

  7. radiofree says:

    It certainly is a story that raises more questions than it answers.

    For example, why no comment from Delta? If they fly to Ireland, they have an operation center there somewhere. This is not to take them off the hook in any way if this story is true, but I’m one of those people that like to see the non-denial denial in print.

    And yeah, was the mother served food and drink? She had a seat, therefore according to the logic of this story, she should’ve been given food or drink if she asked for it.

    As for the money they paid for the baby’s travel, British Airways does the same thing if you travel with a child: They will charge a much-reduced fair to allow the child on board but not provide it with a seat. It’s a bit fucked, but no one says that beaurocracies operate with a logic you or I can understand. I would imagine, though, that the money paid would entitle the child to at least one of those six ounce bottles of water now so popular on planes.

    On a side note, flying to San Diego a week ago on jetBlue, we were not hassled at all bringing on the plane juice and milk for our 2 1/2 year old daughter. Coming back, security was much tighter and we had to get the top TSA manager at the airport to approve us doing the same thing. Even jetBlue’s web site says it is OK to bring on liquids for a baby. Even the TSA’s web site says the same thing.

    Before starting a rant about the abridgement of rights, I’ll leave the post now.

  8. Jillsy says:

    Radiofree: I fly out of San Diego a few times a year, and I always have issues with security. On more than one occasion, screeners haven’t known the rules on the TSA’s own website (regarding shoe removal, etc). I’ve complained about individual guards to the the TSA managers there, and the managers have generally been professional and helpful.

    I don’t know if the screener power-tripping is related to the fact that SAN is a test airport for new screening technologies (like that awful GE explosives-detecting machine that locks you in an enclosure that blocks your view of your bags, then shoots air up your clothes, puffing them out and exposing skin I’d sooner keep covered).

  9. Large says:

    I’m calling shenanigans on this. Airlines don’t charge for lap-children

  10. North of 49 says:

    And if the airlines did charge, the child should be fed and watered just like the adults, lap child or not.

    I bet mom did ask for food/water for the child and was denied because the child didn’t have a seat of its own.

    Remind me to pay for the extra seat if I ever go flying…