Mother And Child Kicked Off Southwest Flight Receive Apology, Free Travel

Earlier this week, a 2-year-old boy drowned out preflight announcements on a Southwest Airlines flight with his screams of “I want Daddy!” and “Go, plane, go!” So the airline kicked the child and his mother off the plane.

Southwest has since apologized to the child’s mother, and offered a refund and travel voucher.

Southwest apologizes to mom on Calif. flight [AP]

(Photo: woodleywonderworks)


Edit Your Comment

  1. voogru says:

    I think they did the right move by kicking her and her kid off the plane. Control your kids people.

    I don’t think they had to give her a free flight though, just put her on another plane when her kid calms down.

    • bobloblawsblog says:

      @voogru: WTF? seriously? do you have kids? have you ever tried to calm down a screaming 2 yr old?

      • mrsultana can't get a password to work says:

        I don’t own a rabid badger, so I don’t know how hard it is to calm down one of those things either.
        I DO know, however, that if my badger is rabid, there are certain places I shouldn’t take him. If he’s going to hiss, snarl, infect other people, and possibly bite, I may choose not to take him on a plane. Just because it is an option for some people, doesn’t mean I have to take that option and make others put up with my decision to own a badger.

      • supercereal says:

        @bobloblawsblog: If you can’t control them, then don’t take them on the flight. You decided to have your child, I’m not putting up with it on a flight I paid good money for.

        • henrygates says:

          @supercereal: It’s pretty clear you don’t have kids! Your kid can be a sweet angel, perfectly controllable, and then suddenly it’s like the Exorcist.

          Frankly, the kid was just shouting GO PLANE GO! which is probably what everyone else wanted to scream, too.

        • BluePlastic says:

          @supercereal: This is it right here for me. I didn’t make you have the kid. Some parents whine about how hard it is to do anything with kids in tow. Well, whose fault is that? Not mine!

        • RayonFog says:

          @supercereal: Oh really, you’re not putting up with it on a flight you paid for? Show me on your ticket where it says you are entitled to a flight free of noises made by children.

          See, I also paid good money for my seat AND my kids’ seat. As long as my child isn’t directly creating an immediate safety problem (Southwest admits there was no immediate safety concern here), I could not care less what you’re issues are with my kid. Hell, people like you make me want to make sure my kid is good and loud.

          • Covertghost says:

            @RayonFog: The kid was yelling and drowning out the safety instructions.

            I’d say that is a safety concern.

          • sunnydalesucks says:

            @RayonFog: “Hell, people like you make me want to make sure my kid is good and loud.”

            Really? I’m actually confused as to whether or not you feel this is an appropriate mindset for an adult to have. “You feel inconvenienced because my child is obnoxious? Better make them moreso!”

            I’m completely aware that children will be loud and make noises. As I said above, my 8 month old god-daughter, in between doing really cute things like clicking her tongue and blowing raspberries, sometimes cries and shrieks. Maybe because we’re not looking at her. Maybe because she’s tired and cranky. Maybe because she’s hungry. Maybe it’s just because she’s 8 months old.

            But that doesn’t mean it’s appropriate to drag her into public when she’s in a bad mood. When she gets fussy in public (which happens rarely, as she almost never leaves the house, mainly because at her age she cannot comprehend that screaming and banging her fist is not the way one behaves in public), but when she does, she gets taken home, or at least outside until she calms down. Her dad doesn’t stand there and do nothing and blame other people for reacting uncomfortably.

            To reiterate from my earlier comment:
            “To expect others to put up with your child when
            a.) you should know the child is going to be miserable
            b.) you fail to plan for the eventuality of (a)
            c.) the expense of flying is so high
            d.) no one on the plane forced you to have a baby
            …is so selfish, and, worse, so mind bendingly unaware of its own narcissism boggles my mind.”

            As to the question of whether or not one should be held accountable for for behaving inappropriately on a plane because he or she is drunk and “can’t control their actions,” this is a ludicrous slippery slope argument. That hypothetical person was in control when he or she decided to have a drink, and losing self-control thereafter is still the responsibility of the inebriated party. This is like saying that you got drunk at a party and can’t be held accountable for colliding with a street lamp because you were no longer in control. Please.

            Choice plays a large role in this matter. This woman chose to have a child and chose to travel with that child. She chose not to prepare for the (foregone)eventuality that the child would not be unhappy. And SW chose to evict her from the plane. Economically, it makes sense. After seeing the little bastard removed from the plane, I’m sure that the other passengers were so relieved they will continue to use SW in the future, because the company demonstrated concern for the comfort of the many (as opposed to the few). I, too, have been won over by this display of corporate kindness.

            Despite the fact that I hate flying (because of the reasons posted in the earlier reply, namely that terminals are a kind of purgatory in which travelers languish in abject misery and discomfort, which I’m sure contributed to the youngster’s unhappiness), SW has made at least one small stride in making the process more bearable. Kudos to them.

            I know that this makes some people (including parents) unhappy, but you must bear a few things in mind.
            a.) Strangers often do extend quite a bit of understanding and courtesy to parents with small children, even when they are crying.
            b.) This is done in spite of the fact that they have no choice in whether or not you decided to breed.
            c.) This common courtesy is often taken for granted, and we often only hear about situations where this courtesy is worn thin.
            d.) When the public expresses irritation at crying children, this is shouldn’t be taken as an indicator that “You are a bad man!” Perhaps it should clue you in that your child is behaving above and beyond that which people are willing to put up with. This doesn’t mean that people are assholes and need to suck it up, nor does it mean that they are misanthropic losers who want children to be soulless drones. It just means that it is YOUR responsibility, as the parent, to keep YOUR child that YOU chose to conceive and bring to term, under YOUR supervision and YOUR discipline.

            Turning your irritation outward ensures that people will come away from you thinking that you are a selfish bitch/dick. They will mock you and scorn you for your narcissism and selfishness, and will theorize what a terrible hellspawn your child will grow up to be without a role model to indicate how one should conduct one’s self in public (again, I am not talking about keeping 2 year olds from crying, as they just CRY sometimes, but showing your child that when people are irritated with someone, the appropriate way to respond is to become more irritating or blame the person who is complaining). They will not take it is a lesson.

            If you are parent trying to turn justified discomfort into someone else’s problem, or, worse, blame that person, then you are selfish and a complete asshole.

            And your child will likely grow up to be just like you.

      • lmarconi says:

        @bobloblawsblog: On the one hand, there’s good parenting, on the other hand, at 2 logic or discipline don’t mean anything.
        It’s an unfortunate situation, but a woman traveling by herself with a 2 year old deserves some consideration from her fellow passengers. Besides, the article doesn’t mention if the kid has a history of this, has ADHD etc.
        This is why people don’t reproduce – because society is completely unwilling to recognize the effort.

        • XTC46 says:

          @lmarconi: If only that were true. Way too many are reproducing, and in my experience, they are the same people who put a massive strain on society. I know dozens of people my age who are having kids (im 24) and maybe 3-4 couples out of them have had steady jobs, and are living on their own, etc. the rest live with their parents, work in fast food, etc. basically, not ready to to take care of themselves yet think having a kid will be fun.

        • Charlotte Rae's Web says:

          @lmarconi: you can’t really diagnose ADHD at 2.

      • Jeff-er-ee says:

        @bobloblawsblog: Actually I have, and I’ve taken responsibility for it and not made others suffer along with me. I think that the airline did the right thing, and agree that they should have offered to put them on another flight after the child had calmed down. The whole “me first” idea of inflicting that child’s tantrum on others for the sake of the mother’s convenience is, IMHO, flat wrong.

      • HondaGuy705 says:

        @bobloblawsblog: No, I don’t, and this is a perfect example of why. Control your children so someone else (Southwest in this case) doesn’t have to.

      • SlappyFrog says:

        @bobloblawsblog: Then keep your screaming 2 your old the hell out of the rest of our lives.

        It’s awfully self-centered of this woman to think the child will magically calm down once the plane is moving.

        Flying is a privilege not a right, so if you or your spawn can’t handle it, stay away

    • bennilynn says:

      @voogru: Exactly. A screaming, out-of-control child shouldn’t be on a flight. What if there was an emergency and people needed to hear what the flight crew was saying? I don’t think Southwest had anything to apologize for.

    • The_IT_Crone says:

      @voogru: Agreed. One person’s bad parenting shouldn’t be everyone else’s problem.

    • ben says:

      @voogru: “Control your kids.” Heh, like there’s an off switch or something.

      • Wireless Joe says:


        What a chilren’s off switch might look like.

        (I have kids of my own)

      • Cupajo says:

        @ben: There is. It’s called “discipline”. Look it up.

      • _UsUrPeR_ says:

        @ben: I was on a Spirit Airlines flight from LAX to Detroit two weeks ago. This was a flight that went from 11:00pm PST to 6:30AM EST. There was a child of equivalent age flipping his shit a few rows back at 15 minute intervals. At the end of the flight, the woman sitting in front of the child commented on how it was “as if she no longer even felt the child’s kicks on the back of her seat.” What do you do with that? As an individual who has no children, I must say that the best option, from my standpoint, would have been a closed fist to the child’s head. From what I understand, that is illegal. What is left? Feeding the child scotch is also a bad option.

        Kudos to the woman who kept her cool for an entire night of screaming and kicking.

        • OneBigPear says:

          @_UsUrPeR_: And what would have been wrong with the woman asking the parent(s) to try ensure their child didn’t kick the back of her seat? Others here have said it: kids aren’t adults, they have loud melt downs that may not be able to be controlled; but they should be able to ensure that their children don’t kick the seats of others. Not asking and then making passive-aggressive comments is silly.

    • Mackinstyle says:

      @voogru: I agree. I don’t care how much people want to use the excuse “they’re 2.. have you ever tried that before?”

      Do you think we want to hear that bullshit whining and screaming for hours on a flight we paid hundreds of dollars for? If you can’t keep your kid quiet, don’t fly; selfish pricks.

    • Brontide says:

      @voogru: I have two young kids and I agree. Airlines need to be understanding but that should always take a backseat to a child that is impeding reasonable operation of the flight.

    • Charmander says:

      @voogru: Clearly, none of you have ever been children. You were hatched, fully formed and adult, from the test tube they cloned you from.

      Get real. The world is populated by adults AND children, by the smart AND the stupid, by the young AND the old, by the able-bodied AND the disabled, by republicans AND democrats

      – and –

      by people who are grounded in reality AND those who are hopelessly self-centered and narcissistic. You know who you are.

      • SBR249 says:

        @mamalicious: There is tolerance and consideration and there is a flip side called unreasonable imposition.

        I’m sure we are not suggesting that every child be kicked off a plane if they even made a peep, but to cause disturbances that interfere with the normal operation of a plane is a serious matter and needs to be dealt with. If the mother in this case cannot control the child during this critical operation, then she cannot be on the plane. It’s that simple.

        No need to get on a high horse and immediately assume that everyone who sides with Southwest on this one is automatically an anti-child curmudgeon. I personally am fine with parents who have some trouble controlling their kids on the rare occasion that they get excited (like during a flight), but if that excitement is endangering other passengers or the safe operation of the flight then that disturbance needs to be removed.

        • ReaveT says:

          @SBR249: I’m just amazed at the number of people who keep yelling “children don’t belong in certain places” as if the poor lady had a choice. This isn’t a movie theater or a nice restaurant, it’s a form of public transportation. What else can she do? Drive the distance? Take a train? No wait, that last one is also public – that won’t work. Yes, children are loud. Yes, certain babies have a scream that has the correct pitch to make my left eye twitch in an odd manner. But parents are still people. I want to have kids too some day, and I know my little munchkins will become little horrors at the drop of a hat. And honestly? You’re going to have to deal. Just like me.

          As for covering their mouths – neat idea, but have you ever tried it? The term “wet squirrel” comes to mind.

          • sunnydalesucks says:

            My God-daughter is 9 months old. She cries. Sometimes she screams. Most of those times she can be calmed down, quickly and easily; sometimes she can’t.

            She also doesn’t (or at least very rarely) get(s) taken into public.

            We can stand around and make excuses all we want to, “Oh, maybe the poor thing has ADHD!” “Maybe the mother was traveling to a funeral and had no choice but to take the plane!” “The flight attendants should have given the kid juice, full of sugar and artificial colors! That would calm him down!”

            Children, especially at that age, cannot necessarily be controlled. Yes, this woman probably had no idea that her child would shit a brick on the plane, but shouldn’t she have? Guess what? Plane rides are terrible. After 9/11, the entire flying industry has become a nightmare to deal with. 10 years ago, the woman could have strolled into the terminal 20 minutes before her flight, boarded with her son (probably early, due to his age), and they would have been on their merry way. Now, she has to show up at least an hour early, walk through multiple metal detectors, have her bags searched, and then try to keep the child entertained and not crying for goodness-knows-how-long until the plane gets to the gate, sitting in uncomfortable seats and not letting him run around unattended. That’s stressful, on the child and the parent. Then, waiting on the runway for however long. Of course the child got cranky.

            That’s why you had to get off of the plane. Period. “I can’t control him!” is not a reasonable excuse to disrupt the lives of strangers who have paid through the nose to expedite their trip. To expect others to put up with your child when
            a.) you should know the child is going to be miserable
            b.) you fail to plan for the eventuality of (a)
            c.) the expense of flying is so high
            d.) no one on the plane forced you to have a baby
            …is so selfish, and, worse, so mind bendingly unaware of its own narcissism boggles my mind.

            Also I applaud the flight crew. “We’re gonna have to wait even longer to see Daddy because you threw a temper tantrum,” is an excellent lesson, even if it had to be forced on the child by strangers, instead of his own mother. It could have gone like this: []
            , and wouldn’t that have been shit tons worse?

            • ohnoes says:

              @sunnydalesucks: You do realize that 2 year olds have no sense of logic? That doesn’t kick in until after 5.

              I’m glad that many of the people bashing kids here don’t have any of their own. Self-extraction from the gene pool!

      • Xeos says:

        @mamalicious: When your child takes away my right to peace and quiet on a flight I have paid for, then there’s a problem.

    • Pixelantes Anonymous says:

      @voogru: Nice trolling.

    • cowboyesfan says:


      How did the kid get on without any ID?

    • 89macrunner says:


      i vote with southwest. fuck that kid. while you did pay for you and your childs seat, so did i, and so did everyone else on the plane. Its worth it for southwest to kick them off and give them a free flight while keeping an entire plane full of customers happy.

      this is coming from an eccentric 21 year old alcoholic with more brains than patience.

    • Buffet says:

      @voogru: Amen brother! I can’t stand noisy brats. They should definitely be seen and not heard.

    • Anonymously says:

      @voogru: Well, you can’t hit them or choke them to shut them up anymore, so what are you supposed to do?

    • Techguy1138 says:


      The airline handled this one well. The offending flyer was removed giving everyone on the flight a much better experience. The removed flyers were given a reschedule.

      Man no one seems to think of the term ‘age appropriate.’ Not all children can go everywhere. At some points it is simply in appropriate for a child to be in a particular situation. If you are a parent who brings a child to a situation where the child NEEDS to behave in a certain way and they may be unable you are being a BAD PARENT.

      Yes it is totally inappropriate to be yelling on a plane. It’s totally unreasonable to place a 2 year old in the situation of flying if they are unable to be calm. People here are defending a parents holy right to place children in unreasonable situations. Even worse this child has a HISTORY with adhd!

      Now flash forward a few years it’s much easier with a 5 or six year old and more reasonable to expect them to behave.

  2. LadySiren is murdering her kids with HFCS and processed cheese says:

    Ugh, here we go…all of the frothing at the mouth anti-kids on planes folks will be crawling outta the woodwork now.

    While I think this mother was irresponsible for allowing her child to drown out the safety announcements, I’m not sure that kicking her off the plane was the right idea. Since this woman was apparently incapable of getting her child to settle down, maybe the flight crew could’ve offered him a snack and some juice or something. Yes, I realize this is something the mother should’ve been doing, however, since she wasn’t, it might’ve been a better option and wouldn’t have ended up costing SW the reimbursement of the cost of her flight.

    • ChunkyBarf says:

      @LadySiren: I am not anti-kid … I am anti-bad-parent. A parent knows (or should know) the tolerances of their child and plan accordingly.

      • LadySiren is murdering her kids with HFCS and processed cheese says:

        @ChunkyBarf: Oh, I totally agree, just was wondering if there was some other solution than quickly booting them from the flight. On the other hand, I missed the part about the mother not wanting to feed the child until the plane was in the air.

        Parents who can’t be bothered to deal with or discipline their kids are one of my pet peeves. I have five children who know and understand that it’s rude and inconsiderate to others to behave badly in public places such as restaurants, theaters, airplanes, etc. That’s not to say they don’t get tired, cranky, and fussy while out; generally, we try to stave off problems by taking them home before they really start winding up, feeding them, distracting them, whatever. If that doesn’t work, I usually fall back on my old standby: “Outside, there are no witnesses.” That usually does the trick.

        • madfrog says:


          +1 for you. If we couldn’t behave in public as kids, we were not allowed to go until we did. It all went downhill when everyone started this “time-out” crap. We feared out parents, teachers, etc. We were taught what the consequences were for bad behaviors.

    • Idontwearpants says:

      @ReaveT: Reimburse me for the

    • CFinWV says:

      @LadySiren: OH THE HORROR!!! People might actually disagree with you, here they come!!!!

    • Javin says:

      @LadySiren: You’re absolutely right. It should’ve been the responsibility of everyone else surrounding the woman to bribe her child and attempt to parent her kid.

      Are you serious?

      She *should* have to pay the consequences of not parenting her own brat. Period. Nobody else. Kick her off, and don’t even give her a refund. I’m tired of everyone else thinking it’s somehow other people’s responsibility to deal with other people’s brats. This is what’s wrong with this world. (Well, one of a million things, anyway.)

      • LadySiren is murdering her kids with HFCS and processed cheese says:

        @Javin: If you carefully re-read my first comment, you’ll note that I specifically said that I realized it’s not the job of the flight crew. I was trying to consider whether there was another solution that might’ve worked for everyone, since we don’t know what the situation was like for the mother once she was booted off the plane (i.e. – what if she didn’t have a place to stay for the night, no money for meals, etc). When I first posted this, I didn’t realize she’d turned down the crew’s offer of something for the kid to eat and drink, but I’m not surprised – she was inconsiderate to everyone around her, which speaks volumes about her parenting style (or lack therof). It was more just a stray thought on my part, wondering if there was some other solution.

    • Rectilinear Propagation says:

      @LadySiren: According to a comment further down the flight attendants did give him juice and coloring books.

  3. GitEmSteveDave: #RosaRocks says:

    Have to go with the flight crew here. If it had been an adult doing the exact same thing, the crew would have tied the person down and used flexi cuffs, landed the plane at the nearest airport(endangering a lot of people), and dragged them off. Kids should be held to the same behavior standards as adults. And I say “kids”, not babies.

    Good-bye Jeffrey!

    • scouts honor says:

      @GitEmSteveDave_ H1N1 Symptoms List: Ha! “Jeffrey” was the first thing I thought of when I read this story.

    • FigNinja says:

      @GitEmSteveDave_ H1N1 Symptoms List:

      Yeah. I’m not even touch the debate up top. It’s not about how controllable a two year old is or how good the parent is. Southwest didn’t kick them off to punish them. This isn’t about emotions. Planes have a limited window of time to taxi down and take off. If they miss that window, they screw up a lot of other traffic at the airport. The flight crew HAS to give you the safety information. This was about liability, not passing judgment on this woman’s parenting. Yes, sometimes the best of children has a meltdown and sometimes the best of parents can’t quickly calm them down. It’s inconvenient for that mom and her kid to have to take a later flight, but the other options the flight crew had were worse for probably hundreds of other people.

  4. TCinIowa says:

    It’s shouldn’t have ended up costing SW any money at all. They shouldn’t have done anything for her other than put her on a later flight.

    They sure as hell shouldn’t have apologized unless the mother apologized to every single other person on the plane.

    I’m not frothing, but I am against any out of control people on planes. Kids, drunks, what ever.

    I’m pretty sure the money SW may lose by flying this woman and her kid later will be made up by EVERY OTHER PERSON ON THE PLANE always flying SW from now on.

    • aviationwiz says:

      @TCinIowa: It didn’t cost SW anything – SW is Air Namibia, Southwest is WN.

      • ecwis says:

        @aviationwiz: SW is a standard abbreviation for southwest. We don’t have to use the IATA codes for everything.

        • jamar0303 says:

          @ecwis: Dunno what boards you’ve been on but most online travel-related chat boards I go to the regulars will always be reminding some n00b that Southwest is WN, not SW and always referring to them as such. Same as they abbreviate JetBlue to B6.

    • crazedhare says:

      @TCinIowa: I don’t know about that. If I were a parent in the standard 2.5 kids family, I certainly would be hesitant to book on Southwest.

      Life is inconvenient sometimes. People who aren’t able to face the fact that living in an organized society forces them to occasionally patiently and maturely accept the foibles of others (particularly of young children), should become hermits. Or, alternately, should grow up. And if that’s not possible, the rest of us are thankful those folks have decided not to pass on their genes.

      • Lauchlin says:

        @bunnymare: On the other hand, I’m horrified that narcissistic, self-indulgent people like the woman in this story are the ones who ARE passing on their genes.

        • crazedhare says:

          @Lauchlin: You’re right. It is incredibly self-indulgent to have children, and to attempt to have them leave the house un-muzzled. I can’t believe we don’t send them away to child-farms, protected by noise controls and carefully-zoned “child-acceptable” areas, so that no adult should EVER have to come in contact with them. Well, we can dream of such a wonderful society, can’t we?

          • Lauchlin says:

            @bunnymare: Believe what you like. My siblings and I were never taken on an airplane until the youngest of us was old enough to handle it. More than once, we were taken home from restaurants before we got our food because one of us was misbehaving. My parents inconvenienced themselves to be good parents, and to not be obnoxious, self-indulgent jerks to other people in those public places.

            Pretend I’m talking about sending kids away to child-farms, if that lets you rationalize your choices.

            • crazedhare says:

              @Lauchlin: Sure, and pretend that parents can always, in every situation, hide their children away from spoiled adults. I think somewhere in hiding you away from all those situations, your parents failed to introduce you to reality.

  5. GadgetsAlwaysFit says:

    I haven’t seen anyone listening to the preflight instructions in years. Most people are reading their papers or talking or sleeping if possible. It is very difficult indeed to control a 2 year old. Think about his confusion on the surroundings alone. If you want him to be a better passenger, he has got to start sometime. It was very extreme to throw them off the plane.

    • Paladin_11 says:

      @GadgetsAlwaysFit: Whether they listen or not Southwest is legally required to provide the announcement in such a way that everyone can hear it. The fines for not doing so are much greater than the cost of a seat and a $300 voucher.

    • drdom says:

      @GadgetsAlwaysFit: FAA regulations REQUIRE the crew to make these announcements and REQUIRE the crew to take appropriate action to eliminate anything that prevents or disrupts the safety announcements.

      And since when does what the mother thinks might happen once they’re in the air trump mandated safety procedures. And why does an unruly child get to determine the quality of the flight experience for the entire plane?

      Being a passenger on a commercial airline is not a guaranteed entitlement, just because you can afford a ticket. If a person or their children cannot conform to an appropriate level of conduct, there’s always the train or a bus.

  6. yoshitoshi says:

    here’s how you fix this issue while keepting everybody happy:

    Step 1: put some valium in chocolate milk*
    Step 2: give that milk to child prior to flight
    Step 3: Stress free flying

    *Amount of valium depends on the child’s weight/height.

  7. DrLumen says:

    From another source:

    “Our flight attendants gave the child juice and coloring books, and we’re sorry she was inconvenienced.”

    It sounds like the mother wasn’t doing anything to help the situation. I know if I had been on that plane I would have been glad to see her and the kid get off!

    I think they did the right thing. If that situation had continued for the whole trip, it could have de-evolved to a much worse situation while in the air. It’s up to the flight crew to control the passengers. I don’t blame them at all. They made a judgment call based on a bad situation and for what they thought was best. Kudos to them for making a tough call!

    • Rectilinear Propagation says:

      @DrLumen: Do you have a link for that other source? Another article was linked to in later comments but it didn’t say anything about what was done to try to calm the kid down.

  8. Esquire99 says:

    I read an article about this the other day. The mother intentionally failed to feed the child before boarding the plane, knowing that he might be a problem but thinking that feeding him once they took off would fix the issue. How did she prepare him for the later flight she was forced to take? She fed him before they boarded.

    I think SWA was 100% in the right here. I wish all of the airlines would remove the screaming children and their parents who can’t control them. I don’t want to spend 1-4 hours in a small area with a child they clearly cannot control.

    As was mentioned above, I didn’t act this way in public when I was young because my parents made the responsible choice of not putting me in the situation. Your inability to control your child shouldn’t inconvenience me. I don’t care if you can no longer fly because you child is an uncontrollable brat; those are the consequences of deciding to have a child.

    • oneandone says:

      @Esquire99: I think Southwest was 100% in the right too, but I sympathize with not being able to plan feeding schedules around unpredictable airline timing – especially if you have a set amount of food/beverages with you and may need to ration them over several hours before the drink cart comes around.

      If the airlines were a little more predictable or communicative when there are problems, it would be easier to plan and hopefully avoid these situations.

      When I was little, my brothers and I had a tendency to get airsick. My parents made absolutely sure we were doped up with dramamine – which also knocked us out cold, making us extremely well-behaved children.

  9. MitchEvious says:

    I would just like to point out the results of the msnbc poll:


    • RvLeshrac says:


      Having lived on a reservation, the American Indians used to stop a child from crying by holding the child’s nose; he couldn’t breathe and cry at the same time so he quit crying- safe, effective, and humane. “


  10. rrapynot says:

    When a kid gets in a certain mood it is impossible for a parent to control them. In those situations I take my children out of earshot of others as a courtesy. When you are on a plane this is not practical. The alternative is to cover you kids mouth and suffocate them. That would be considered abuse so it’s also out of the question. To those who dislike children on planes I wouls suggest that you buy you own LearJet so that you can be assured peace and quiet.

    • Esquire99 says:

      Why should those of us who don’t like bratty, loud kids on planes have to change? How about you parents with uncontrollable kids find another means of travel?

  11. lehrdude says:

    Maybe the kid was just too damn fat to fit safely into the seat…

  12. colorisnteverything says:

    I think this is good. I have been on flights with screaming babies and toddlers before and understand that on a transatlantic flight, *I* get cranky and *I* am a 22-year-old experienced traveler who is USED to making that flight in and out of London. Still, both times this has happened to me, the parents calmed the baby down and other people around who may have had left over crackers, juice, etc, tried to help the baby who was probably tired.

    On a flight coming back from Italy on a holiday, my partner had helped a single mother with her two young babies get in the plane. One was less than a year and the other was just a half. We had to walk up to the plane and both were having trouble. People were pitching a fit. My boyfriend, sick of the way the woman was getting treated, picked up the older baby and scooped up the youngest that the woman was holding so that she could get her luggage and get into the plane. When we came back, she was on our flight and my partner did the same. When the older child got cranky on the way over, a woman sitting behind them colored with him for a bit. When the baby was screaming and mom was ready to pull her hair out, my partner helped her rock him to sleep, as he is really good at that. Baby went to sleep and all was

    However, mom understood that it needed to stop and it never was so loud for so long that you wanted to stab yourself or anything. Kids can be cranky, but it is the parent’s job to try and weed this out. Seems like she didn’t feed him before the flight. I agree with the decision that south west made. No one should have to endure that – including the child who was apparently hungry and miserable.

    My parents never took us flying not only because of the expense but because when we were little, it was just too much to ask of us. Nowadays, it is even worse with all of the security stuff. I couldn’t imagine my father handling all of that with us – short fuse. My sister was a tantrum thrower until about age 6. She would have found some way to be upset. In short, it would have been irresponsible.

  13. jacques says:

    Does this lady have a blog too? I’d be interested to see if she’s as hysterical/psycho as the “TSA STOLE MY BABBY” lady from a few weeks ago.

    Shame that Southwest actually paid her, I would have liked to have seen the lawsuit.

  14. first man says:

    Why is it taboo for people to drug their children for flights these days? Yeah, it sounds bad, but it’s really not. I spent a lot of my childhood on transatlantic and international flights. A little Benadryl never hurt me. It kept me quiet, sleepy, and happy, and it kept my parents and the entire rest of the plane relaxed.

    • dantsea says:

      @first man: I think it’s the word drug itself, we’ve had at least a generation of War on (some) Drugs conditioning us into associating that word with powerful narcotics. You’ll get shocked responses from people when you say you drugged your kid, but knowing smiles and nods when you say you topped off his sippy cup of Sunny D with a little Children’s Benadryl.

  15. Cameraman says:

    I have a two year old son. He is the world’s best behaved two year old (as well as being the smartest, fastests developing, and cutest two year old in the world), but I do know that sometimes he is impossible to control. He can get cranky if he’s hungry , or thirsty, or tired, or bored, or whatever. How do we deal with this, in light of the fact that we travel frequently?

    We simply do not fly. We drive.

    We also do not take him to adult restaurants, movie theaters, museums, funerals, or any other places I’ve encountered screaming brats.

    See, while I love my son (who, as I previously mentioned, is the single most important human being that has ever lived or ever will live), I also understand that inconveniencing other peple is more or less inexcusable, especially if it can be eliminated by prior planning.

    • rdclark says:


      Exactly right. You understand, as too many parents don’t, that having children has changed your life. You now have to make different decisions, do things in different ways, when you include your children in your plans.

      Modern parenting seems too often based on a presumption that the child is simply a new accessory. You can go everywhere, do everything you ever did, and nothing changes. If you were always a self-absorbed airhead spouting vacuum into your cell every minute of the day, you can still be that. Just ignore the kid, it can’t talk anyway.

    • Brunette Bookworm says:

      @Cameraman: And I thank you. I don’t have kids but I have friends with kids. Most of them are very good and their kids are well-behaved. Some aren’t, but those are the people who aren’t consistent with their kids or just ignore what they are doing. I don’t know at what age I went to restaurants but I didn’t fly until I was in my twenties. We always drove on trips. I had coloring books and other things to occupy me. I’m sure I wasn’t always happy, but if I acted up, my parents removed me from wherever I was.

      I went to the grocery store the other day and saw a woman letting her two kids push the kid-size carts around, running into people, leaving the carts in the middle of the aisle, etc. while she wandered 20 feet ahead of them. That kind of parenting is annoying. Pay attention to what your kids are doing.

  16. AK47 - Now with longer screen name! says:

    Other unruly/disruptive passengers who are kicked off a flight do not get an apology and compensation.

    Mom messed up by not feeding the kid and not being able to keep him quiet. Instead of getting all offended, can’t you just say, “whoops, I messed up. Sorry.” and learn that next time, you should have a better plan.

    BTW, they don’t kick kids off planes for a few moments of typical child rowdiness; it takes a significant amount of disruption before they will escalate it to the point of removal.

  17. Tian ( says:

    handkerchief with a dab of chloroform does wonders…

    or give the child a plastic bag to play, he/she will eventually quiet down when he/she ran out of breath.

  18. eggalinameggalina says:

    all these negative comments about children on airplanes merely point out the fact that Americans in general do not like children. If you travel any where else in the world people see children as a societal responsibility. Here it is everyone for themselves. Instead of helping this woman calm her child down they kick her off the plane. This story is a testament to how selfish and self centered our entire society is to children. Children are unpredictable and do not always respond to reason. Seems like people would be happier if we all raised robots instead of humans.

    • colorisnteverything says:


      In England, I traveled a lot throughout Europe. And on many flights, as I said before, I saw a lot of screaming kids that were calmed down in a reasonable amount of time. Sometimes people would get involved because mom and Dad were trying, but perhaps a new distraction would help. However, I found that a lot of Brits will complain quitely about the child, but will not get involved (like most Americans) but for a different reason – they feel it isn’t their place to be rude, but yeah, they are relatively like us. Meanwhile Norwegian, Dutch, or Germans would help “pitch in”. Just a social difference, but I personally find it is the parent’s responsibility as they brought the child into this world ;)

    • first man says:

      @eggalinameggalina: I have to disagree with you on that one. I think Americans like and tolerate kids much more than in some other countries. I grew up in England and adults had no respect or regard for children in most situations. If I was standing in line somewhere by myself, it was commonplace for adults to just cut me. For no other reason than I was a child and they were adults and I had no place to speak up. It is far more common in Europe for people to send their kids away to boarding school from an extremely young age, only seeing them over the summer holiday and other major holidays. I noticed that, in general, people in Europe did not like to deal with small children.

    • jenjen says:

      @eggalinameggalina: I think you’re completely right and some of the subsequent comments just reinforce it. It does take a village, and we’re letting kids down by forcing just one person to take 100% responsibility. What’s more, I think that the fact that so many Americans no longer live with extended family nearby means that every mom has to reinvent the parenting wheel. No wonder there’s so much “bad” parenting. No grandmas and aunties nearby to advise or step in.

    • BabyFirefly says:

      @eggalinameggalina: Yes, Americans don’t like kids. Common knowledge.

    • Outrun1986 says:

      @eggalinameggalina: The problem here is there are risks with handling other people’s children. Now if this country wasn’t so sue happy, then we might be able to lighten up a bit and play with other people’s children so that they could get a bit of rest on a flight. Get seen bringing a child that is lost home, your considered an abducter. Give the kid something to play with during a flight and they get hurt on it, the parents got a lawsuit against you and you have tons of problems now from trying to do a good thing. A lot of people frown at strangers touching their children or even looking at them funny. Picking up a kid is trouble, I definitely wouldn’t do it dare the parents rage a hissy fit and call me an abuser again. Kinda hard to let the village help out a bit when these types of restrictions are in place…

  19. lukesdad says:

    “Control your kid/Calm your kid down/She’s a bad parent” = “I don’t have kids.”

  20. LostTurntable says:

    OMG she let her kid on a plane! WHAT A HORRIBLE PARENT!

    Everyone shut up, you don’t know why she had to go on a flight, you don’t know if she had anyone she could leave her kid with, you don’t know ANYTHING about her. Was she on a connecting flight? Was she going somewhere important? You don’t know, but you like to whine anyway.

    I hate screaming kids too, but newsflash, there are more people in the world than YOU. And they have stuff to do as well.

    Get over yourselves.

    • Liam Kinkaid says:

      @LostTurntable: You’re right, there are more people in the world. Like all those poor people on the plane. You know, the ones that couldn’t hear the safety announcement. The flight attendant that could not perform her job. The pilot that was forced to make a decision to ensure the safety of everyone on the flight by kicking the kid and his mom off. Oh wait, I think I just made the case that she (the parent, not the kid) was being inconsiderate, selfish, and rude by taking her kid on the flight and not thinking of any of the other people in the world other than HERSELF.

    • redkamel says:

      @LostTurntable: good point. There are more people in the world than me. Thats why I try not to bother everyone else by bringing kids where they aren’t supposd to go. A 2 year old on an airplane is a time bomb. If you are traveling more than 45 minutes with him/her, either benadryl up or don’t bring him/her.

  21. CocoColorado says:

    And these comments prove exactly why I would rather spend a couple of days driving to my destination with my children than deal with the stress of judgmental looks from a bunch of people that have no idea what life with my children is like.

    I do have to say I have to wonder about this mother. There is a way to calm a 2 year old. It’s called distraction. Works wonders with my 2 year old and 4 year old.

    Still would rather drive.

  22. The_Red_Monkey says:

    So let me get this straight from some of the comments. The woman and her child have the right to be disruptive and obnoxious on a flight and the other 100 or so passengers just have to sit down and shut up and take it? Yeah that’s a great rule.

    I understand kids can throw tantrums but if your kid is out of control anywhere you should get escorted out. I am sick of screaming kids in movies, restaurants or anywhere else and the parents feel they have a right to be there so they sit and ruin everyone else time.

    Why does everyone else have to make accommodations for your idiotness. WHy don’t you have some common courtesy and take action instead of feeling self righteous that the world owes you for doing something that people and animals have been doing for eons, squatting out brats.

  23. baristabrawl says:

    It is easier to just let the kid scream and not do anything about it. WAY EASIER.

    I think the flight attendant should have said, “Do you want your ass beat for your screaming kid?” I think if we start disciplining the parents, the kids will either fall in line or the parents will start passing along the beatings. Who’s with me?

    OR…you could offer the kid some juice…with vodka in it. That always calms me down.

  24. sevenwhitehorses says:

    Sometimes it is difficult to keep a young child quiet. I believe any parent with a child should respect both their rights and the rights of those around them. When in a movie, get up and take you child outside and talk with her/him and when the child calms down return. In a plane this time is not available but the same action needs to be taken. Southwest went beyond the call here by giving the free travel vouchers perhaps but being that nice is something Southwest is known for. I think she should have been given a later flight and perhaps, for being sporting about it, given a food voucher.

    The luggage question (someone said her luggage went on?)is an interesting in respect of post 911 attitudes of TSA. I thought any luggage one has has to travel with that individual (kind of makes one wonder how they can ‘loose’ you luggage if this is true). Wouldn’t this be a perfect way to have your luggage go on a flight and not you? OMG we need to arrest her and send her to gitmo!!! This wasn’t a case of a baby making noise, we have been duped. This was a test run!!!!

  25. dahlink_natasha says:

    I would gladly pay 10x the asking price of a ticket for a child free flight where there will be no screaming little snowflakes to shatter my eardrums.

  26. morlo says:

    Pet Airways should expand to take children.

  27. your new nemesis says:

    They need to change the rules about reboarding. This problem may have been averted if the mother would have been able to take the kid away from the situation and calm it down, then reboard and probably carry on the rest of the day incident free.

  28. bebette says:

    Having not fed the child is the key here – she knew she was bucking for trouble and didn’t care if the entire plane had to deal with her kid’s cranky screaming.

    It all comes down to PLANNING. The feeding was important. Not just that he ate, but that he should have eaten a no-sugar lunch of turkey and vegetables that are easy on the tummy. Timing is crucial – a mother knows her kid’s schedule. Time the flight for after naptime, but don’t put him down to sleep, for example. Planned well, you’ll have a nice, groggy or sleeping child curled up for the whole flight. It depends – each child is different. But the parent is responsible for the child’s behavior, good or bad. Bring along plenty of activities, skip sweets that would give him a sugar-rush, and even use safe medications if needed (Dramamine and Benadryl are both effective and safe).

    And if you can’t or won’t do what it takes to have a calm child, then don’t bring him. You decided to make a lot of sacrifices when you had a kid. This may well be one of them.

  29. rwalford79 says:

    I was once a frequent-flying child on long haul flights, and only once did I have any issues with behavior, and it wasnt when I was a toddler. I was about 8 years old on a trans-con flight, and got anxious…I walked from Economy to First Class, and got in trouble. I never did it again…end of story.

    As a former training flight attendant, this is one thing that cabin crew has a high tolerance for. Crews are trained to deal with this situation, and generally will let the behavior slide, if they feel the child and parent can remain more calm in pre-flight duration. If they cant demonstrate at least the slightest bit of restrain and the matter seems a safety issue or a distraction to the comfort of all passengers, then crew has 100% right to bump that parent and child off that flight.

    Now, Southwest was nice enough to give them free travel and apology. Southwest COULD have waited to put them on another flight, or simply refund their money and ask them to fly another carrier. But they didnt, they did the right thing.

  30. 339point4 says:

    Every once in a while I think Consumerist posts stuff like this just to kick the commenter’s ant hill. Have we not already proven we are, for the most part, incapable of civilized discussion regarding children and fat people on airplanes?

  31. Dont lump me into your 99%! says:

    Some of you are ruthless. Kids can be no fun, but just because a kid acts out, does not mean the parents are bad. Kids will be kids, and at 2, they will really be a pain.

    And maybe she did not want to feed him until take off to ensure he did not choke while the plain was lifting off.

  32. flugennock says:

    Hot damn diggety.

    For years, I’ve dreamed of being able to throw screaming kids, or kids in the seat behind me who won’t stop kicking the back of my seat or are otherwise obnoxious or ill-mannered, off of the plane — while it was in the goddamn’ air.

    You go, Southwest Airlines.

  33. rte148 says:

    not terribly fond of screaming kids on a plane, but ferchristssake it was a 2 year old. Maybe next time they can dress the kid up as a chicken and set them down next to Alan Alda.

  34. soloudinhere says:

    Well, to be honest, I’m OK with screaming kids on planes. I remember flying and having my ears hurt.

    However my parents always made it clear that any fuss I was to be putting up better be for damn good reason, and I also flew often, starting as a 2 month old infant. By the time I was 2, I’d flown so many times I could follow along the flight attendant’s hand gestures for the safety instructions, which is how my parents got me to keep quiet (“can you do what she does? ready? let’s follow along!”)

    A two year old can talk, and respond appropriately to speech. That’s all that’s needed to diffuse the situation. Instead she ignored him to follow her “plan” which was a plan to prevent a situation that was already happening.

    The fact that she said her child “behaved beautifully” ONCE HE WAS ASLEEP says a lot to me. What child misbehaves while SLEEPING? exactly.

  35. manicsoprano says:

    I think SW airlines was very generous in offering free travel vouchers. Simply rebooking the woman on a later flight that day would’ve been fine. It’s a bit audacious that the mother expects to be reimbursed for the portable crib and extra diapers.

    I can understand that emergencies pop up and you don’t have time to “test” to see if your child can handle the excitement and stress of being on a plane. The least any parent can do is be prepared. Its downright irresponsible for a parent to take their child on a plane without food or distractions.

    So, mom’s irresponsible because she didn’t feed/distract her kid and now she’s paying for it.

  36. Michael Belisle says:

    Earlier this week, a 2-year-old boy drowned…

    That intro made my heart skip a beat.

  37. Moosenogger says:

    What I’m wondering is just how long this child was screaming before he was kicked off the flight. If it’s only one or two loud screams, then fine, it’ll simply fall under “annoying child to be quickly forgotten.” However, if he was screaming over and over again for minutes on end, then GET HIM OFF THE PLANE. No one else wants to hear that.

  38. the dude says:

    At least the plan wasn’t moving when they were booted…

  39. slrman says:

    Too late. The parents had already taught this child that screaming and kicking is how to get what you want.

    When this kid enters his teens and is even more our of control, they’ll wonder why this happens. In no case will they blame themselves. It’s always the fault of the schools, Obama, or anything but their own incompetence.

    Southwest was right to remove them from the flight. I’ll bet some other passengers applauded. But they didn’t go far enough. They should have banned them from ever flying Southwest again.


  40. fredfreedom says:

    the the poor poor people on SW have to hear a baby shouting? I think THOSE guys and SWA are the real babies here. Flying’s unpleasant in a lot of ways, and keeping kids well behaved through multiple lines, security, waiting, changing planes, waiting, etc. is no easy task. On a multiple-hour trip a 2-year-old is almost guaranteed to be cranky for at least a few minutes. It sounds like this kid was doing nothing more than shouting and if the poor precious stewardesses couldn’t tell people how to fasten their seat belts, maybe they’re the ones in need of some emotional development. Sheeesh, what a bunch of authoritarian little sensitive precious princesses you all are. 2-year-olds have a right to travel in America also, for now.

  41. weens33 says:

    What everyone seems to be forgetting here is with all these new parenting techniques the children now run everything. The parents are supposed to cower in fear as the kids run wild and scream at the top of their lungs. I guess I missed the memo though because when my kids were that age and started to act up I just simply told them to knock it off and behave and if that didn’t work a quick little smack on the bottom seemed to get the point across that I was in charge. Now when the family goes out (the kids are 9 and 11) we get so many comments on how well the kids are behaved and I just sit there in astonishment because in the real world all kids are supposed to be behaved and it should be expected out of everyone. We even had people on a flight with Southwest last July tell us they couldn’t believe how good the kids were. Come on people just because you discipline you kids doesn’t mean you don’t love them, it is just the opposite in fact.

  42. Newvox says:

    It’s the crew’s call. That’s what we all sign up for when we buy a plane ticket and walk into the plane.

    I am not necessarily pro-children, just anti-idiot. Complaining or setting a standard based on a 2yr old’s behavior is just stupid. Sometimes they behave, sometimes they don’t. It’s like arguing about the weather.

    Your sense of “entitlement” as to what you should or should not put up with is meaningless. You don’t like the conditions the airline allows? Change airlines. Drive your car. Don’t travel. How’s that for logic?

    It’s just easier to scream about what we “deserve” and beat up on the lady who couldn’t keep her kid quiet.

  43. Rectilinear Propagation says:

    From the longer article:

    “Kids can’t help it,” [Loew, who helps design the Silicon Valley Moms Blog] said. “And it’s so ridiculous that people can’t understand that.”

    I don’t think the people who do understand that babies and very young children are sometimes inconsolable still want to hear a child screaming for two hours.

    They weren’t thrown off because they thought she could have calmed the child down or because they thought the kid was being malicious, they were thrown off because it looked like he wasn’t going to calm down and people couldn’t hear the pre-flight announcements.

  44. JGKojak says:

    You know what I think-

    I think people who spew child-hatred and demand to live in a child-free world are probably
    1) So incredibly selfish they have never been able to form the necessary partnership with another human being it takes to raise a child

    2)Are so far from having their shit together enough to raise a child they are jealous

    3) Have so little tolerance/patience for others in the world that they shouldn’t ever have kids or have children exposed to them

    4)Will enjoy rotting away in a nursing home while other people’s kids and grandkids bring them candy

  45. Skater009 says:

    What , Control your kids , why should other have to listen to your kid yelling.

  46. danno5-0 says:

    Keep you screaming brats off airplanes or keep them under control!

    Kudos to Southwest for taking proper action. You didn’t need to give away a free flight though.

  47. vladthepaler says:

    Doesn’t sound to me like Southwest had anything to apologize for. I suppose they could have just kicked the kid off the flight and let the presumably well-behaved adult fly alone, but then they’d have been stuck with the kid.

  48. TessTalks says:

    When my nephew was 5 he took his first flight to NYC with my sister. On the return flight, as they approached the airport, my sister suggested to him that he look out the window to see if he recognized anything, since he was landing where he lived. He carefully looked out the window for a about a minute. Then, in the loudest voice my sister had ever heard him use, he said, “I SEE HOOTERS.” Everyone on the plane burst our laughing in unison, while my sister tried to sink lower in her seat.

  49. DoodlestheGreat says:

    I would never consider using drugs on a child to quiet them down.

    Not when ball gags are so much cheaper and reusable.

  50. the Persistent Sound of Sensationalism says:

    It is simply amazing the amount of hate for children and their natural habits. Perhaps a ban of children on planes altogether, since most seem to be somewhat unpredictable when presented with situations involving suddenly changing air pressure (which they don’t understand) and very high speeds resulting in additional gravitational influence (which they don’t understand).

    I know how to control my child in a wild banshee situation. It’s called a spanking. Unfortunately I’d be arrested for doing such in public even if every airline passenger agreed with me.

    Not really the topic here, but when did the line become so blurred between disciplining a child and beating them? And if you don’t believe in spanking but insist on bitching about undisciplined children, perhaps it is you who should not be flying.

  51. sybann says:

    Are we really a nation of spoiled self-involved pussies to the point where we cannot put up with a screaming two-year old for a flight? REALLY? Jesus folks, suck it up. You’ll have far better stories to tell if you’re not wrapped in cotton wool your entire lives.

    • kateblack says:

      @sybann: You think Sully could’ve gotten everyone off his plane alive if he’d had to give escape instructions over a screeching toddler?

  52. Corporate_guy says:

    Southwest is stupid. “Root says she was confident Adam’s screams of “Go! Plane! Go!” and “I want Daddy!” would subside after the plane took off Monday in Amarillo, Texas.” The lady agreed her kid was yelling and just claims to “know” the kid would have quieted down during the flight.

    So first the lady does not dispute the kid was yelling during the safety stuff, but she clearly cannot guarantee the kid won’t yell during the whole flight.

    Southwest screwed up big by apologizing to this idiot woman.

  53. dkoemans says:

    as a father of a 2 year old i know the best parent in the world couldn’t control them unless they had been literally been beaten senseless by that age. their brains just don’t work that way. it is why i don’t WANT to fly with my son. it is unfair for him and others, but i have had the luxury of making that choice, other may not. when our country is 3-4 days of driving across, flying is the only option in certain circumstances. that said, im not sure why so many people are so angry about children. forget the sentimental stuff, children are necessary to the continuation of our species so you are going to have to deal with them. they also need to participate in being human in public or they won’t be the kind of adult you’d want to be around either. lastly, the most vocal want it both ways. disciplining a a child physically would certainly do no good and many would vocally object to seeing this. not physically disciplining and the other half of the crowd starts up. it is a losing proposition in any scenario. what i would like is for all the adults here is to start acting like adults. you won’t be harmed by a loud or obnoxious child, discomforted, surely, but i know you can handle it. remain calm, sit back and be quiet. YOU are the adult. the parent knows you are annoyed and here is a news flash, they are too. if you want to help, great, but if you can’t, then control yourself, you have the discipline to do so. i hope. if you can’t, maybe you should question your own parents’ parenting skills.

  54. magickalrealism says:

    I know that kids can be impossible to control at times. Even so, I do think airlines should consider offering special “family flights.” I think that having people around fully prepared for the kid-zone would be helpful and that the customers would appreciate knowing the other passengers are in the foxhole with them.