Southwest Flight Attendant Changes Her Story About Taking Crying Baby From Mom

Remember how there was much confusion over exactly what happened with the crying baby who was reportedly taken from her mother during a Southwest Airlines flight? The police said the flight attendant took the baby to the back of the plane, while a Southwest rep said she just offered to hold the baby for a second. Now, the attendant is saying she “made a mistake,” but it wasn’t her actions that were mistaken, it was what she originally told police.

The attendant admits that she had originally told the police that “We took the child to the back of the plane,” but now remembers it differently, and more in line with how the airline rep detailed things.

Rather than take the baby away from her parents, the attendant says she merely offered to hold the baby for a moment to give the tense parents a break.

“I picked the baby up from her, and the baby quit crying,” she told the Dallas Morning News.

The baby didn’t go to the back of the plane until the father stood up, took the baby back from the attendant and then asked if he could take the baby to the rear of the plane, where he rocked the baby to sleep.

“I said, ‘Come on back,’ ” the woman now recalls.

What the attendant’s interview didn’t clear up was the question of whether or not the baby’s parents had slapped or hit the baby to stop it from crying.

Immediately after the incident, she’d told police that she’d seen the mom slap the child in the face and on the legs with an open hand and noted the little girl had a black eye, which the parents subsequently have claimed is from a dog bite.

According to the police, the mother later admitted that she had “popped” the tired tot when the child kicked her, because “when she’s screaming and she can’t hear me say no, that’s the only way I can get her to stop.”

Flight attendant describes full story with crying baby on Southwest Airlines jet []


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  1. grumpskeez says:

    Oh this should be good.

    • BomanTheBear says:

      HAHAH, oh wow, this comment exactly encapsulates what I was thinking when i finished the article

  2. grumpskeez says:

    *grabs popcorn*

  3. Tim says:

    The mother admitted to slapping the baby. She said it kicked her, so logically, she had to slap it.

    • Happy Tinfoil Cat says:

      There is no reason to hit a baby in the face no matter how lightly. Spanking a baby is stupid. Ways to stop a baby from screaming:
      1) Burp her.
      2) Change her diaper.
      3) Feed her (preferably breastfeed so she can look into your eyes).
      4) Rock her, sing to her, etc.
      5) Blow softly into her face.
      6) And if you must get physical, a ‘pop’ on the diaper to make a sound, not impact.

      Smacking her around is unlikely to stop her crying, but seems to be the way abusive parents always handle it. “She wouldn’t shut up so I put out another cigarette on her.”

      • tk427 says:

        that’s a great list but I think this family needs far more basic advice

        7) Stop screaming at the baby so that the other parent will stop screaming at you for screaming at the baby. Then maybe the baby will stop the screaming caused by all the screaming going on around her.

    • JMILLER says:

      That alone should take the baby out of her custody. She should be arrested for assault and battery and the child removed from the home.

  4. colorisnteverything says:

    Popped as in hit? Changing the verb doesn’t change the fact that she abused her kid. This is a BABY. It will scream. You don’t want a screaming snowflake, use contraception. Don’t take it out on the poor baby.

    • Pinget says:

      You have to assume that this is how the parents were raised, so they think this is good parenting. It’s all too common.

      • err says:

        Are you trying to say that hitting a child is a crime? Nothing is said that she took a fist to the kid or abused the child.
        If there is one thing children need more of these days is discipline. I think that whole Dr. Spok thing is pretty much out the window.
        Let’s not be to hasty to ‘jump the gun’ here. If anything, I see a problem with the attendant changing her story. She must have had a consult with the company lawyers.

        • pop top says:

          Disciplining kids is one thing. Hitting a baby for crying is abuse.

          • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

            A debate that has raged on for centuries…

          • colorisnteverything says:

            Agreed. And I think it has been proven that there are other ways to discipline children rather than slapping them in the face.

            I never got slapped in the face as a kid and even my sister – the QUEEN of tantrums wasn’t slapped.

            • jiubreyn says:

              That’s okay, my mother slapped, hit, punched, me and my brother enough for the three of us. We got you covered.

        • Sure I could agree with you, but then we'd BOTH be wrong. says:

          In California, it is only legal to strike a child on the buttocks, using nothing more than an open- palm slap.

          ANYTHING more is illegal. Using ANY implement, even the back-side of your hand, is illegal. To strike a child anywhere other than their buttocks is illegal.

          I don’t speak for anywhere else, but this is the law in California.

          (Disclaimer: IANAL)

          • err says:

            Rediculous if you ask me. Please remember that the State cares nothing for your children… they will however be right there to prosecute them if they don’t grow up proper and make certain ‘mistakes’ in life.

            Raising a child should be left to the parents (with certain limitations of abuse or neglect) since they are legally responsible for them anyway.

          • dangerp says:

            Can you cite your source? That sounds way off. In general, as long as it isn’t abuse, the state won’t tell you how to parent.


            According to this and numerous other sources found through google, although spanking the buttocks is explicitly allowed, other forms are not explicitly disallowed unless it causes ‘serious physical harm’, or ‘injury resulting in a traumatic condition’. There are many ‘implements’, including the back of your hand, that would not cause this situation unless used excessively.

            I for one find it to be reasonable, the way it is written. The state isn’t raising your child, you are, and you should have the freedom to choose how to raise your child, as long as you are not causing harm to the child.

    • raydee wandered off on a tangent and got lost says:

      I and my mother would routinely slap my younger siblings when they were having a baby tantrum. It was not so much a hard smack, it was a meant as a startling impact, just hard enough to surprise them, to break them out of the screaming cycle long enough to hopefully distract them out of it. It would usually be followed by an immediate change of scenery or position, or with a toy or tickle, so that they could not build up momentum into starting the tantrum all over again, and it was pretty damn effective. It is hard to tell, just by looking, how hard one person is hitting another person, and any sort of strike on a baby can easily look harder than it is.

      The function is similar to slapping someone who is in the middle of hysterics, but not quite so firm, since it IS a baby, after all. A loud noise can work too, sometimes, but that can startle the kid badly enough that they cry harder.

    • Big Mama Pain says:

      The term “pop” as in hit is just a Southern term; it wasn’t intended to make it sound like something more minor than what it is, they are just quoting what the mother said “The baby kicked me so I popped her”

  5. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    I call shenanigans on this whole thing. Stories have never been consistent, even among witnesses.

    There just isn’t enough factual evidence to point in any direction, so it should just be dropped and move on.

  6. dolemite says:

    Sometimes you gotta smack ’em around to show them who’s boss.

  7. trey says:

    is it just me or does the consumerist have the dumbest commenter’s around? and they want to put new users in an “Audition process” to make sure that… what? what is the audition process for? just to make consumerist feel as though they have more control over their users? because it certainly isn’t due to the quality of the posts on this site.

    • Grabraham says:

      cool story bro!

      • trey says:

        point… proven.

        • Evil_Otto would rather pay taxes than make someone else rich says:

          If you’re using Windows: There is an X in a box at the upper right corner of your browser window.
          If you’re using a Mac: There’s a red button in the upper left corner of your browser window.
          If you’re using Linux: Well, we assume you know where the ‘close window’ button is.

          Feel free to use any or all of these, as applicable, if you find this site to be so offensive.

    • dolemite says:

      Well, in an instance like this, what are you supposed to say? “No one can agree what happened”. So…what is there to comment on really? So you get nonsensical posts.

      Now, your comment wasn’t even relevant to the story posted, which is a forum no-no and forbidden.

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      Sorry, did you have something to say about the article, or were you just using this opportunity to complain about something not related?

      Sorry, got off track. What were you saying about stupid commenters?

    • Rachacha says:

      Thank you for that INSIGHTFUL comment. It really contributed a lot to this story. My goal in like is to be just like you.

      One has to question, what prompted this comment on this thread?

    • katarzyna says:

      They should make sure posters know the difference between plural and possessive.

    • theycallmeGinger says:

      “dumbest commenter’s around?”

      Yes, it is just you.

    • anime_runs_my_life says:

      Pot meet kettle. ’nuff said.

  8. quagmire0 says:

    That’s right Momma, you show that baby who’s boss!

    (Someone please remove her from the gene pool).

  9. HogwartsProfessor says:

    Hmmm. Interesting how the attendant’s story changed. And “…more in line with how the airline rep detailed things.”

    • Anonymously says:

      That’s the interesting bit. Sounds like the airline forced her to change her story, even though it meant admitting to lying to police. Man, those airline people are tough.

  10. ThunderRoad says:

    Throw Mama from the Plane!

  11. UCLAri: Allergy Sufferer says:

    I just can’t imagine why anyone would be stupid enough to admit that they “popped” a baby. That’s just asking for a child protection investigation your way.

    Also, who the hell “pops” a baby anyway? The only thing you should ever “pop” around a baby is a pacifier or bottle in their mouth.

    (Non-parent who is only speaking from being around nieces, nephews, cousins)

  12. FangDoc says:

    Ohhh, so the baby doesn’t have a black eye from being hit, she got it from being bitten by a dog!

    Who’s got the nomination forms for Parent of the Year?

    • Blueberry Scone says:

      Yeah, I want to know how the kid has a bite on her eye. Poor little one – this sounds like an awful situation. These stories have always made my stomach churn.

      • flyingwolf says:

        My son actually ended up with a black eye due to his grandmothers black lab “breezy”. Breezy is a rambunctious 11 year old dog who does not realize she weighs in at 60 pounds and thinks she is still a puppy. She got a bit excited one day, caught my son in the back, he went face first into the floor and hit the end of a steel toe shoe, black eye here we go.

        No one said anything about a dog “bite”, just that the dog was the cause.

  13. teke367 says:

    I’ve seen mothers “Slap” their baby, that really should be considered more of a tap, in which case I wouldn’t consider it abuse. I wouldn’t use the word “pop” either, so maybe what this woman did is worse than what I’m talking about/thinking of.

  14. Concat says:

    “On second thought, maybe it wasn’t even a baby.”

  15. anime_runs_my_life says:

    You know, I’m pretty sure giving a false statement to police can get you into trouble.

    • Karen says:

      It seemed more confused than knowingly false. She initially said “We took the baby to the back of the plane.” Turns out the dad took the baby, but who knows, maybe she walked with him.

  16. Karen says:

    I think the base point still remains – the flight attendant intervened when she saw a situation that was upsetting other passengers and gave her reason to worry about the child’s safety.

    Too often, we see people take the “bummer, there’s nothing I can do,” approach. She stepped in. Good on her.

  17. IThinkThereforeIAm says:

    If I recall correctly, in the original article it said that after deplaning Child Services “inspected” the baby, and “found no sign of abuse”.
    So, what’s with the black eye story?

  18. wonderkitty now has two dogs says:

    I am all for leaving people alone to parent their own kids, and discipline as they see fit. Some kids respond to spanking, others just have to see a dirty look. However, “popping” a baby just seems really, really unnecessary. It is a BABY. Not a toddler having a fit. A BABY.

  19. soj4life says:

    the mother still assaulted her child. the rent a cops at the airport let her off. also, the parents’ dog bite their baby and it resulted in a black eye? where is dfys?