Mom Threatened With Being Booted From Plane For Using Baby Seat

The mother of a one-year-old baby girl says she was threatened with being ejected from a SkyWest flight when she tried to convince flight attendants that her child’s car seat was acceptable for use on the plane.

The mom and her husband had purchased an extra seat for their daughter so they could properly buckle down the rear-facing Graco seat. The parents say they had already made eight round trips in just the last year with the same seat and had never had any problems.

But as they were boarding the SkyWest flight from Aspen, CO, to San Francisco, they were told by a flight attendant that the seat lacked a sticker saying it was FAA-approved and that the baby would have to fly on one of their laps.

When the mom began to argue her case with the flight crew, a flight attendant threatened to remove her from the flight.

“I said ‘my baby is not going to be safe,'” the mom recalls to KABC-TV. “He said, ‘That’s it. You’re off this plane.'”

The couple eventually located the sticker declaring the seat as “certified for use in motor vehicles and aircraft.” However, the flight crew said it could only be used if it faced forward, the opposite of how it is intended to be used.

From the Marin Independent Journal:

In fact, FAA rules say “no aircraft operator may prohibit a child from using an approved (child restraint system) when the parent/guardian purchases a seat for the child.”

“Aft-facing” systems that won’t fit in standard plane seats “may be moved to a bulkhead seat or a seat in a row with additional pitch,” the rules state.

A rep for SkyWest confirms the flight attendant was not exactly in the right on this one: “We are regretful of the misunderstanding and have followed up directly with this flight attendant… Our first priority is truly the safety of all onboard our aircraft.”

To atone for the error, the parents were given a refund for their tickets but the mom says that “my point isn’t to get free tickets… I want this to be really made a big deal out of so that they change their training for their flight attendants… Even after I showed him the sticker, he didn’t know that (the seat) was OK.”

Marin Realtor steamed over ‘baby seat’ incident on SkyWest flight []
Mom claims flight attendant put baby at risk [KABC]


Edit Your Comment

  1. Rose says:

    This is crazy. During even light turbulence, a baby becomes a projectile object. The FAA has been attempting to pass laws banning children from laps for years, and the stewardess should know that all cars seats manufactured in the US are safe for use in airplanes. Of course, even if they weren’t, any protection is better than being in your mom’s lap.

    • Erika'sPowerMinute says:

      I freaking hate it when people trot out this hysterical nonsense.

      Can you point out to me the epidemic of babies-turned-to-projectiles despite thousands of infants flying, some on their parents’ laps, every day, sometimes even during the dread turbulence?

      Didn’t think so.

      • FuzzyWillow says:
        • Don't_rip_me_off_bro says:

          Funny that ” . . . when it comes to people’s safety, money wins out every time.”

          • Erika'sPowerMinute says:

            But here’s the thing–it’s such a statistically insignificant risk that talking about “safety” in this context is pretty much meaningless.

            If unsecured objects were SUCH a dire threat, why is it we can have all the books, laptops, cups of hot coffee, cutlery, glasses, etc floating around the cabin?

            • APFPilot says:

              You can’t on take off or landing or when below 10,000 feet

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

              Because cutlery doesn’t hit bulkheads and die when there’s turbulence.

              • Erika'sPowerMinute says:

                It can’t catapult through the air and stab me?

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

                  Maybe if you thought about something other than your own self-centeredness you’d be able to understand what everyone else is talking about.

                  • Erika'sPowerMinute says:

                    I’m not self-centered (not sure where you divined that insight); just astounded at how impervious to reason and statistics people are on this issue.

                    And scared that these people think they can go around using their inability to rationally evaluate risk to make laws that affect me and the decisions I make for my kids.

                    It can think of about eleventy million things people can do with their children that are statistically MUCH more dangerous than this stupid lap baby thing, but no one’s clamoring to ban them. (Yet. Shhhh….I don’t want them to notice.)

                    • portishead69 says:

                      We’re not talking about banning babies from planes, we’re talking about providing the safest environment for a baby to travel.

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

                      I got “self-centered” from the fact that you’re more concerned about being stabbed with a 2 gram piece of plastic cutlery than a baby bouncing its head off a bulkhead and dying.

                • portishead69 says:


                  • Erika'sPowerMinute says:

                    Then a baby isn’t going to fly through the air and splat against a wall either.

                    Because if it was even remotely going to happen, even as a freak accident, it would have, and guess how many times it has in the last 30 years, according to the FAA?


                • MaxH42 thinks RecordStoreToughGuy got a raw deal says:

                  Take a physics class, learn how mass (15g plastic knife or even 2lb. book or laptop vs. 10 lb. infant or 20lb toddler) affects force, then you’ll at least have an idea of why your straw-man concern about unsecured items is laughable.

            • partofme says:

              As I pointed out in the thread below, turbulence-related injuries are the most common type. If simple record of occurrence is enough to render the event statistically insignificant, then you’d probably have to claim that all air travel incidents are statistically insignificant. So, let’s just not bother with trying to do better at all.

            • Don't_rip_me_off_bro says:

              Generally books, cutlery, cups, etc. don’t weigh upwards of 20 pounds and contain bones.

        • Erika'sPowerMinute says:

          I said to show me an epidemic, not a NYT opinion piece citing one incident in 1989. (In which dozens of other people, presumably including babies in carseats, died.)

          Besides, from your own article:

          Forced to buy an extra ticket, the F.A.A. said, families might choose to drive instead, which is in another statistical universe so far as safety goes. The figures the agency cited then were 43,000 deaths on the highway in a year against 13 on commercial flights. Marion C. Blakey, the Federal Aviation Administrator, said: “We encourage the use of child safety seats in airplanes. However, if requiring extra airline tickets forces some families to drive, then we’re inadvertently putting too many families at risk.”

          Learn some basic risk assessment skills, then come back and tell me what risks I can and can’t take with my kids.

      • Don't_rip_me_off_bro says:

        That is extremely weak logic, as I’m sure you’ll soon find out by the ensuing retorts.

        • Erika'sPowerMinute says:

          I guarantee I will learn nothing from the inevitable “OH MY FREAKING GAWD a tiny tiny tiny tiny chance of shit happening—->let’s make a LAW!!!!!” crowd.

          • dush says:

            It’s like the stupid cell phone laws.
            Stop taking away our freedoms just because one girl died.

            • Erika'sPowerMinute says:

              According to the FAA’s website, between 1980 and 2008–that’s 28 years, friends–there were 114 injuries and 0 deaths attributable to turbulence among passengers.

              That’s right folks, 4 passenger injuries and 0 deaths per year among 769,000,000 passengers flying (2007).

              Sounds like a real emergency.

              • Ben says:

                So laws are only to prevent emergencies? Are you that dense?

              • portishead69 says:

                Not sure where you got those statistics (no link provided and i don’t see this on the FAA website).

                Here’s what I found (6 deaths from turbulence since 1980):



                While the statistics don’t compare to driving related injuries or deaths, we do want the best protection for our babies (which would be strapped in a car seat or FAA approved device (CARES)). Personally, I believe babies should always have a seat.

                • Erika'sPowerMinute says:
                  • portishead69 says:

                    Your own link states 3 fatalities and 58 injuries per year!

                    From the FAA link:

                    Why is it important to follow these safety regulations? Consider this:

                    * In nonfatal accidents, in-flight turbulence is the leading cause of injuries to airline passengers and flight attendants.
                    * Each year, approximately 58 people in the United States are injured by turbulence while not wearing their seat belts.
                    * From 1980 through 2008, U.S. air carriers had 234 turbulence accidents*, resulting in 298 serious injuries and three fatalities.
                    * Of the 298 serious injuries, 184 involved flight attendants and 114 involved passengers.
                    * At least two of the three fatalities involved passengers who were not wearing their seat belts while the seat belt sign was illuminated.
                    * Generally, two-thirds of turbulence-related accidents occur at or above 30,000 feet.

              • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

                Thanks to common sense laws like child safety seats.

                • AustinTXProgrammer says:

                  No, in the lap is perfectly legal. The main driving reason is that in a parents lap on a plane is safer than fully secured in a car. If they required passengers to buy the ticket many parents would opt to drive instead.

          • Don't Be "That Guy" says:

            I’m sure you’re right… You won’t learn anything.
            You’ve already demonstrated that you believe your opinion to be fact.

      • MaxH42 thinks RecordStoreToughGuy got a raw deal says:

        Maybe if you had seen a kid thrown out of a moving vehicle and flung 20 feet while spinning horizontally until they slammed into a concrete wall hard enough to shatter their femur, as I have, you’d stop trying to justify your ignorance of the risk of injury as a reason to not be bothered to take simple precautions. All you had to do was Google “turbulence” to see how violently things can be flung about an airplane cabin.

        Maybe you should volunteer as a first responder, so you can learn how devastating the consequences can be for not taking simple, unobtrusive safety precautions.

      • Elphaba says:

        Go read the report on the crash in Sioux City Iowa. There were 4 lap babies on board. All their caregivers lost control of them, and one baby survived the crash, but died of smoke inhalation, likely preventable had he remained secured next to his parent. Another baby was only saved because a unrelated passenger who had left the plane heard the cries and went back into a burning plane to rescue the baby.

      • Rose says:

        Does there have to be an epidemic to take steps for child safety? It’s not hysterical to want to make an environment as safe as possible.

        I mean, by your logic, I should leave our electrical outlets uncovered and our mini-blind strings hanging because the number of injuries are minuscule compared to riding in a car, which is one of the most dangerous things that we do. Maybe I should also let my kids eat ten pounds of junk food each day, because even the risk of diabetes isn’t as dangerous as riding in car.

        Look, if we compare everything to the most dangerous thing that we do, why take any safety measures at all? Riding in a car is very dangerous, and most other dangers pale in comparison. (Except maybe salmonella? That shit’s pretty dangerous, too.)

        @Chaosism & Elphaba – I’ve never seen one that isn’t (and I’ve seen alot> of car seats in my decade of parenting, so I assumed that they were all safe for use in flight. Shame on me. :P

        • Gorbachev says:

          Having just flown with an infant lap child, there are a couple of points about infant lap children on flights.

          The regulations that allow infant lap childs, even though it is not as safe as seating the child in a car seat in their own seat, are because the cost of the extra seat certain percentage of parents would otherwise drive rather than fly. Given that driving is much more dangerous that would statistically cause more injuries to infants than allowing them on flights as lap children.

          That is the main reason why that rule is still in affect.

    • Elphaba says:

      Some car seats are not FAA approved because they are too wide to fit into the seat. Otherwise all are approved.

      • JonBoy470 says:

        Incorrect. The FAA approves car seats for airborne use basically without regard to the size of the car-seat, as such. As a general rule, booster seats (used by older kids) are not rated for airliner use, because they are designed around the assumption that they will be installed in a seat that has shoulder belts. This is a pretty safe assumption for virtually any car built in the last couple decades. Any airliner? Not so much…

        Seats for smaller kids (such as the Graco Snugride this lady was using) are usable in an airliner, because they incorporate their own restraint system, and use the vehicle restraint only to attach the car-seat to the vehicle seat. Thus they are designed to tolerate installation via lap-only belts.

        As for requiring babies to fly in a car-seat, it’s been beaten to death elsewhere in this post that the baby is, statistically, much less likely to die, even while unrestrained in an airliner, than they would be properly restrained in an automobile making the same trip. Given the additional cost of another seat is a significant disincentive to many families with young children, who would end up driving, the net public safety gain is positive.

        Besides, you can’t think of this in terms of what a car accident would be like. Seat belts in an airliner are safety theater. Any significant airliner accident isn’t going to be survivable anyhow, given the speeds involved.

    • Chaosium says:

      “the stewardess should know that all cars seats manufactured in the US are safe for use in airplanes.”

      No, not all are designed to meet these requirements.

  2. Mighty914 says:

    8 round trips with a 1 year old? Good Gawd!

    • Rachacha says:

      With a young child it actually is not that bad. Most babies in their first year run on a 3 hour cycle…eat, sleep, poop, eat, sleep, poop. If you can time your departure to be at the “Eat” stage (you are taking off while they eat so the sucking equalizes the pressure in their ears during takeoff) , they will fall asleep, and the dull rumble of the plane will keep them asleep, often times longer than their usual nap duration.

      • bishophicks says:

        I second this. We traveled with our first child a lot. He was a dream travel companion up until about age one and a half. Add a second kid to the mix and it’s a real hassle. But dealing with one infant? Easy.

      • sendbillmoney says:

        I’m on that same cycle. Retirement is awesome.

  3. cmdr.sass says:

    The lack of common sense on this one is astonishing. According to the flight attendant, the baby is safer on the parent’s lap than in a car seat without a sticker?

    • nova3930 says:

      That is the beauracratic culture. If something isn’t approved and certified with all the paperwork filled out in triplicate then it isn’t good enough, regardless of what reality is….

    • nbs2 says:

      It makes sense. A 1 yo in lap is a 20# missile, for which the parents are responsible. A baby in a car seat that is not certified as safe for aircraft use is a 40# missile for which the airline is responsible.

      Child safety devises are pretty heavily regulated. I was hoping to fine a Swedish carseat (facing perpendicular to the line of travel rather than parallel) that I could use in the US, but none is certified as safe for use here, and thus cannot be imported and a child in one would be legally treated no differently than a child in no car seat.

      • tmitch says:

        This is false. No infant carrier weighs 20 lbs. Besides that, once they are properly strapped into the seat, they are pretty darned immobile. If human bodies are restrained well enough by the seat belts in airplanes, then a lightweight infant carrier with a baby in it would be as well.

      • styrofoam says:

        I think you mean Rear Facing, not Perpendicular, right?
        I can’t find anything to suggest that perpendicular seating exists for children.

      • jason in boston says:

        Rocket…not missile. Missiles have guidance systems. Last time I checked, you cannot change the trajectory of a baby mid-flight.

  4. KillerBee says:

    “The parents say they had already made eight round trips in just the last year with the same seat and had never had any problems”

    Telling flight attendants or airport personnel “thats not what happened last time” or “the other guy said it was ok” never goes over well.

  5. dopplerd says:

    Air travel with a baby should require a car seat. A baby on your lap is that same as letting it hang out unrestrained in the back of your car and there are laws against that. If you can’t afford a separate seat for your child of any age you can’t afford to fly.

    • Erika'sPowerMinute says:

      No it’s not.

    • Erika'sPowerMinute says:

      Whoops, hit submit too soon, before I could point out the absurdity of this statement:

      —A baby on your lap is that same as letting it hang out unrestrained in the back of your car—

      Yeah, plane crashes into other planes or objects are TOTALLY as common as car crashes into other cars or objects.

      Making laws that curtail freedoms, in respose to some else’s irrational fear of an incredibly remote possibility, is not acceptable.

      • katstermonster says:

        Er, using a car seat on the plane isn’t to keep the baby safe during a crash. That would be ridiculous, it’s clearly not going to make a difference. It’s for turbulence, which happens on virtually every flight. Turbulence can turn a baby into a projectile if a parent is caught off-guard. I’m not advocating that car seats be required, as I’m not sure how I feel about that, but just saying – your logic is flawed.

        • Erika'sPowerMinute says:

          Yes, I’m well aware of that–the person I responded to made the original silly connection between carseats in cars and carseats in planes.

          • dopplerd says:

            As the original silly poster I’m a bit confused as to how you don’t see the connection between unrestrained child in a plane as analogous to an unrestrained child in a car. Car accidents are a pretty “REMOTE possibility” yet we have what you would apparently call “unworkable and hysterical law to try to mitigate it.” People do die from turbulence. My children will alway be in a child seat on an airplane because the minor inconvenience for a remote possibility is nothing compared to the life of guilt to save a few bucks.

          • katstermonster says:

            No, that connection isn’t silly. An accident isn’t the only danger in a car – an unrestrained baby could be injured when the driver stops quickly, takes a corner, etc. You can’t really drive without taking a corner, just as you can’t really fly without experiencing turbulence.

      • Southern says:

        By the same token, cars don’t typically fall 6,000 feet while driving, causing you to hit the ceiling if you’re not belted in.

        It’s an unpleasant but familiar experience: You’re cruising along at 30,000 feet when turbulence seems to yank the airplane out from under you. If you’re like some of the 26 injured passengers on Continental Airlines Flight 128 last Monday (or the two people on Delta Airlines Flight 2871 last Tuesday) and you’re not buckled in when this happens, you could meet the ceiling with unpleasant results.

        Strong updrafts and downdrafts in the heart of a storm can shove an airplane up or down as much as 6,000 feet.

        So even if you don’t crash, having a baby on my lap during a 6,000 foot free fall would not be my idea of a good time. :-)

        • Erika'sPowerMinute says:

          The point that I keep trying to make is not that a lap-baby accident is NEVER a possibility, just that it’s such a REMOTE possibility that it’s silly to make an unworkable and hysterical law to try to mitigate it.

          • Southern says:

            Oh, you mean like the recall and ban of 20 million dropside cribs because 8 children were killed by them over the course of *10 years*?

            While I agree with your sentiment, there are many others out there that do not.

          • partofme says:

            Looks like somebody didn’t read the article they were linked to…. “The Federal Aviation Administration says 58 airliner passengers are injured every year by turbulence.” Before you respond with “that’s incredibly unlikely!” the next sentence says “In fact, turbulence is the number one cause of injuries to passengers and flight attendants in nonfatal accidents.” So, in fact, if we are looking at the most common type of non-fatal accident, what would our goal be? To protect people from turbulence incidents. The article suggests the obvious for adults: don’t be up or unbelted unless you have a reason to be. The corollary, since children are people too is to try to have them restrained as much of the time as possible. Maybe we shouldn’t make it a law (like we do, oh I don’t know, use of seatbelts in certain flight situations), but to say we shouldn’t highly recommend it would be dumb.

            • portishead69 says:


            • Erika'sPowerMinute says:

              According to the FAA’s website, between 1980 and 2008–that’s 28 years, friends–there were 114 injuries and 0 deaths attributable to turbulence among passengers.

              That’s right folks, 4 passenger injuries and 0 deaths per year among 769,000,000 passengers flying (2007).

              I have no problem with recommending a certain course of action; I do have a problem with requiring it unless you can make a VERY strong case in favor of it. And a *possibility* that has never actually *happened* does not make a strong case.

              • partofme says:

                1. Your numbers are wrong. Over that time, there have been 298 serious injuries and 3 fatalities. They also show the rate of total injuries (not in the class of ‘serious’) to be about 58/year. Where is your proof that an incident with a baby has never happened? I see no easily searchable record of these incidents by age.

                2. Even this seems INCREDIBLY LOW! It’s like winning the lottery, right? I’m betting you also don’t have any type of insurance. Furthermore, we have what, at most 6 crashes in any single year since 1980. WHO CARES?!? We certainly shouldn’t try to implement ideas to reduce that, because it’s INCREDIBLY UNLIKELY! Especially if we break that down. How many crashes are due to lack of fuel… less than one a year? LET’S NOT MAKE LAWS ABOUT FUEL! How many crashes are due to pilot error… less than one a year? LET’S NOT MAKE PILOTS GO TO TRAINING! Simply put, ANY aircraft incident is going to be statistically unlikely. Because we’re pretty good at air travel. Does that mean we shouldn’t try to improve what is one of our worst statistical categories?

                • partofme says:

                  Sorry, I missed your qualifier of “among passengers”. But your numbers are still wrong. You have the number of “serious injuries” among passengers. They give 58/year for the total injuries per year, though with no breakdown of passengers v. flight crew. The rest of my post remains valid.

              • Southern says:

                Turbulence is basically like a lottery.. According to this story:
                There are 65,000 reports of turbulence every year, with 5,500 of them being “Severe or greater”. Also in that story, 21 people on United Airlines Flight 967 were injured by severe turbulence.

                I’ve been in severe turbulence a few times – it’s not fun (at least not while it’s happening :-))

      • Don't_rip_me_off_bro says:

        Requiring a baby to be in a car seat during a flight can hardly be construed as curtailing freedom.
        Though I suppose if you really want to get black and white about it then you’re right.

        Do you argue against laws preventing adults from feeding vodka to babies?

        • Erika'sPowerMinute says:

          Nope, because feeding vodka to babies leads to damage more or less every time.

          Putting a baby on a lap could possibly, under very rare circumstances, lead to damage.

          I oppose laws based on fear, hysteria, and an inability to accept that life is filled with remote possibilities of disaster.

      • Don't Be "That Guy" says:

        First: It’s pretty obvious that dopplerd was making the point that the risk of injury to the baby and passengers is similar in the two instances, not that they had the same statistical probability. Reading/Comprehension fail.
        Second: What is with your obsession with probability? Just because an event is unlikely to occur, does not mean that we should not try to prevent it’s occurrence.

      • ames says:

        how is this curtailing freedom?

  6. daemonaquila says:

    The flight attendant needed a time-out. At a certain point, especially when you find out you ARE in the wrong, it’s time to stop being defensive. Still people make mistakes and given what jerks parents flying with babies often can be, I can’t entirely blame the flight attendant for trying to enforce (wrongly) the rules. The bottom line is that there should be a refresher in the rules for the airline’s crews (takes 10 minutes to read an emailed memo). However, I’ll also call foul on the parents for making such a huge deal in the media about it – this is not an important issue despite the bad service. At a certain point you get the feeling they’re looking for attention, like the women who love to complain about being mistreated because they were breast feeding in public.

    • MMD says:

      Drawing attention to issues helps to solve them. The OP was within her rights and if bringing attention to it prevents this from happening again, she has done a public service for other families.

      Women who complain about breatfeeding restrictions do so to prevent the legal rights of other women from being violated in the future.

      Bottom line: people are allowed to stand up for themselves, even when you don’t think the issue is “important” enough.

    • webweazel says:

      “The flight attendant needed a time-out. At a certain point, especially when you find out you ARE in the wrong, it’s time to stop being defensive.”
      I never quite got this. Someone in “authority” opens their mouth and shoves their boot right in spouting wrong information, and the irrefutable proof is shoved right under their nose. WHY can’t they say, “Well, let me look this up or ask somebody else to see if this is right or not.” NOOOOOO, they just keep shoving the boot in further, yelling about how right they are while making a total fool of themselves. WHY exactly do they do this?

      • Yorick says:

        A great many people are incapable of admitting to being incorrect about anything. I work for one such person.

    • Beeker26 says:

      This sums it up perfectly. The FA was wrong, OK, it happens, we’re all human. But making a giant stink about it just makes you look like an asshole. Two wrongs don’t make a right.

    • FrugalFreak says:

      so DB attendant throws a hissy fit likely because they don’t want to deal with crying baby and tries to find reasons to eject them is not a story? would rather hear about this than 21 things flight attendants wan’t you to know so they don’t have to serve in thier job.

    • bluline says:

      There is nothing wrong or illegal about a mother breastfeeding in public. If they are mistreated because of it they SHOULD raise a stink.

  7. Hi_Hello says:

    FA should’ve been suspended without pay for awhile and require to take a test on airplane safety guideling before going back to work.

  8. Erika'sPowerMinute says:

    I’ve done lots of flying with four growing kids and I’ve had this happen. It’s always a crapshoot as to whether the gate agents/flight attendants know what they’re talking about, and in my experience they’re generally rude and dismissive even when they’re in the wrong.

    We’ve been forced to gate-check carseats because the gate agent was being too much of an asshole to even LOOK at the farking sticker that clearly states it’s approved for airlines.

    • Wombatish says:

      You put your baby in a carseat on a plane?

      That’s “irrational fear of an incredibly remote possibility”!!!

      I can understand not wanting it to be mandated, but calling people crazy for thinking a car seat might be a good place for their kid on the plane and then saying you do it your self?

      That’s when you cross squarely into self-righteous prick territory.

  9. Murph1908 says:

    I like the response from the airline in this situation. The rep doesn’t deny anything, states that the FA has been personally addressed about the situation, and gives a quick statement that safety is a priority.

    The airline then refunds the tickets for the family.

    What I don’t like is the family’s response to the response. Even though she was right from the beginning, it just rubbed me the wrong way how she responded.

    How about, “I’m glad the issue is being addressed, and the airline was generous in providing the refund. I hope this situation can lead to further awareness or training for the flight attendants to prevent it in the future.”

    • ZenMasterKel says:

      I wish we could go back to the times when all of us rode in the back seat of cars without any seatbelts and even slept in the back window crevace. Oh how I miss those days.

  10. GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

    “my point isn’t to get free tickets… I want this to be really made a big deal out of so that they change their training for their flight attendants… Even after I showed him the sticker, he didn’t know that (the seat) was OK.”

    Hey Mom who wants some attention, any chance that the training IS NOT at fault here? If you go through 8 times w/no problems, then on the 9th, some one gives you a problem, that’s usually an indication that the training is not at fault, it’s that you just happened to get a idiot employee. Last I heard, most places employed people, and people, well, are human, and prone to err.

    • Verucalise (Est.February2008) says:

      Wow. Common sense… I was thinking this myself, glad I read thru the comments before writing it. You stated it much better than I could.

    • Stickdude says:

      You’ve clearly never visited Marin County, have you?

    • MMD says:

      Misunderstanding an FAA approved sticker is one hell of an error, though, is it not? Are you really so keen to attack the mom that you won’t acknowledge that this goes beyond a simple mistake?

      • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

        You go to the same sandwich chain 9 times, and order the same turkey club sandwich each time. One of those times, it doesn’t include bacon, and you say that to the person who made the sandwich. They tell you it doesn’t come with bacon. You point to the sign that says it does come with bacon. Do you think that mistake requires the chain “change their training” because one person refuses to admit they made a mistake?

    • q`Tzal says:

      Then that would be a case of lack of managerial training.

      It is the responsibility of supervisors to ensure that their workers are trained and to fire those that can’t be trained or refuse to be trained.

    • coren says:

      I might have missed it in the article, but I don’t believe it specifies each flight was on this airline – all 8 could have been on Alaska or Jet Blue or something and this their first on sky west.

  11. ShruggingGalt says:

    Umm I’ve used CAR infant seats facing forward in an airplane before. So I’m going to give the flight crew the benefit of the doubt on this one, because if there were no available seats to use the seat facing backwards, then, well…that’s the rules.

    Infant seats face backwards due to the primary motion while traveling in an automobile. I don’t have a PhD in Physics, but I’m guessing that the primary reason for a car seat in an airplane is mainly going to be for turbulence, which is completely different than the motion of a car, unless the parents are Thelma and Louise. The seat can be used facing forward in an airplane….. The sudden deceleration of an airplane will probably result in a “man-made event” where a car seat isn’t going to save a life.

    • chiaspod says:

      Actually, you’re wrong about that.

      The base is made to fit in one way – the belt latches and clips are only on one end. And the seat is made to fit in one of two ways – facing backwards while holding the baby in a reclined position, and facing forward while holding the baby in an upright, seated position.

      Up to a certain age, babies need to travel in the semi-reclined position – that is, laying down, and therefore facing backward. If you put the seat itself facing forward, the baby is held in an upright position – which his body is unable to support for prolonged lengths of time.

  12. GOInsanity says:

    Its better than the woman on my last flight. She had the baby in her lap and tried to strap it in with the seatbelt with her. The flight attendant told her she couldn’t as any sudden stopping or turbulence could cause serious harm to the kid. Woman started demanding that she see it in writing that she couldn’t strap the kid in with her and yelled at the flight attendant for having “attitude.” Flight attendant walks away, woman gloats like she’s won a battle, flight attendant returns and tells woman we’re returning to the gate and you’re off the plane. The woman’s face just crumpled.

    I just can’t believe the lady was not only stupid enough to try and cut the kid in half with the seat belt, but to then scream at the flight attendant. Oh well, I foresee years of extra security screenings for her.

  13. georgi55 says:

    Erika’sPowerMinute, don’t you have this thing called “life” than responding to each and every comment? Jeez.

    • Erika'sPowerMinute says:

      I’ll be sure to get your permission the next time I want to post.

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

        Must have really hit a nerve with you, I guess.

        • Erika'sPowerMinute says:

          Honestly, yes. I feel strongly about this issue and ones like it. I am afraid for my right to make decisions on behalf of my children when the Safety Police are out there drumming up hysteria against this Incredibly Dangerous World and trying to make my choices for me.

          No hard feelings.

          • Southern says:

            I’m fully with ya on that one, Erika.. From the crib recalls, to requiring “every car manufactured by 2014 must have backup cameras because some idiots back over their children”, to banning happy meal toys (because your kid is just too damn FAT, and you don’t know how to say NO, yo!), it just amazes me how my kids survived without the government!

            Eventually we’ll just wrap them all up in bubble wrap and keep them locked in their rooms all day, with padded walls, and fed a strict diet from the food pyramid approved by the government!

            Ok, I admit, there’s a bit of /sarcasm in there. :-) But I *am* getting sick of government stepping in and creating new laws, new regulations, telling everyone what BAD parents we are because we let our kid eat a happy meal.

    • Verucalise (Est.February2008) says:

      What’s it to you? Erika’s just passionate about the issue, and has made a couple great points. Your comment stinks of trolling, at least Erika had something to say besides complain about other commenters.

      Erika- I agree to a certain extent on your point of view. I do agree too many things happen when coincidence vs. circumstance meet– because a couple of idiots made mistakes, the rest of the world suffers with new laws and regulations. BUT- I’m a mother of 4, not sure if I would ever travel on a plane with a carseat. Therefore, I drive :)

      • Erika'sPowerMinute says:

        Thank you. I also have four, and ironically enough I’ve flown with them a lot and almost always use carseats. There have been circumstances in which I didn’t, though–such as when I was bringing home our adopted baby from the other side of the world, and I had a certain window of time to fly in, and there was *one* seat on *one* flight. Guess what; the kid went on my lap. Other times I’ve held babies to nurse or comfort them (God forbid I let them cry; we know how the Consumerist mob feels about that) and I was grateful to have the freedom to tend to them as I saw fit, and not as how some hysterical stranger felt I should.

        • portishead69 says:

          Babies don’t need to stay in the car seat 100% of the flight. They can be taken out to nurse and/or be comforted, etc.

        • c152driver says:

          Erika–I’m totally with you on this, but it looks like the safety police are out in full force today. Numerous studies have shown how terrible people are at estimating risk. This is a prime example.

          • partofme says:

            Then there are some commentors who are completely aware of the difficulty inherent in understanding risk of very low probability events. I’m adept with looking at astronomical figures, and the technique is the same: you look at the figures with reference to similar measures, not trying to make everyday comparisons. So, you look at the number of turbulence-related incidents compared to other types of non-fatal incidents. And you see that it’s the most likely of the group. Does this mean that you or I have any real understanding of how unlikely it is in everyday terms? No. Does that mean we should ignore it because it’s almost as unlikely as every other type of aircraft-related incident? No. Final point: most of the studies you claim but do not cite show that we discount low probability negative events (baby getting hurt in flight.. NEVER) but inflate low probability positive events (win the lottery.. SOMEBODY’S got to). So, likely, they would actually work against your argument. The point is, we have to rest on what I said first, which is comparing these numbers to like measures.

    • Amy Alkon says:

      How mean. She’s interested in the issue. Good for her for speaking out.

      What kind of person goes around trying to diminish people for their speech on an issue?

  14. BenChatt says:

    Uh oh…a customer that won’t be placated by swag. This is a scary concept. What happens if all customers request real change rather than free stuff?

  15. yessongs says:

    I’m surprised they didn’t try checking the baby. It must have fit in the overhead compartment. They were probably lucky it got through TSA. Those terrorists are sneaky.

  16. Froggmann says:

    “We are regretful of the misunderstanding and have followed up directly with this flight attendant”

    How about getting flight attendants that use a bit of logic? Regardless of FAA certification an infant is safer in a child seat than in the parents’ arms. Even if the child seat were to break loose from the seat the “roll cage” of the child seat is going to protect the child. Can’t say that the kid flying out of the arms of the parents during a bit of turbulence.

  17. framitz says:

    Seriously, the flight attendant should be fired or at least suspended and retrained.

  18. NumberSix says:

    It was my understanding that if that FAA sticker isn’t on the seat, you cannot use it regardless of where you want to seat your child.

    I just made sure I had an approved seat in the first place. It’s called “Doing your homework.”

    • Jasen says:

      In this case “doing their homework” meant flipping the seat over and showing the sky waitress the sticker. It didn’t make a difference.

  19. ThinkerTDM says:

    Airline attendants get training? Aside from properly fastening seatbelts and being dicks?

    • Jasen says:

      Hey, those seatbelts can be tricky! Plus, they have to memorize the hand motions to go along with the (now recorded) safety message at the beginning of each flight.
      Handing out drinks and pillows is important business–we shouldn’t be minimizing their efforts.

  20. Jasen says:

    More sky waitresses on a rampage.

  21. snarkymarcy says:

    Same thing happened to me on Jet Blue in 2006. I had to face it forward (daughter was too big for infant carrier, but still under a year, so rear facing is required.) I always buy a seat for our babies and put them in a secured car seat. The FAs walked past me several times with the seat secured. Just prior to go time, one of them said it had to be turned around (was fine from IAD to BOS, but going back on same trip, they decided I was wrong.) Despite my explanations, the side that was facing the aisle had the “forward facing” instructions (“rear facing” on opposite side.) As I was explaining this, I started getting the snippy, “Are you refusing go comply with my instructions about the safety of the aircraft?” comments, which I know were leading to me being kicked off. I turned it around, pointing to the “rear facing” sticker, but had to leave it forwards. We wrote Jet Blue a letter and received an apology and a promise for retraining…

  22. Elphaba says:

    We had this problem to some extent on United with a car seat which in that week alone had been on 3 separate planes. On the last leg home the flight attendant made me unhook it after I had already installed it because she didn’t think it was FAA approved and we’d have to sit our daughter on our laps, even though we’d bought her a seat as she is 4. Much eyerolling ensued from my family as well as everyone around us as we bumped and crashed into everyone. After she saw the sticker to prove that YES this car seat is FAA approved, she then tried to tell us we couldn’t use it because the flight was full. I replied “You mean to tell me that we were allowed to board without a seat available for a ticked passenger?” I guess she thinks that talking 4 year olds are lap children. (Lap children aren’t allowed past age 2.) She seemed suprised that we had bought a seat.

  23. quagmire0 says:

    Well, there’s the safety issue and then there’s the fact that holding a baby in your lap for most flights these days is a royal pain in the ass. :) Besides, I think where the story gets stupid is when they located the sticker that said it was approved for aircraft and the flight attendant still refused to allow it.

    Seriously folks, I know those without kids would rather not have a kid on the plane with them, but I know from experience than bringing kids on planes is no cakewalk and things like being able to board the plane quickly and as planned go a long way to keeping that kid happy and, in effect, everyone else happy.

  24. Intheknow says:

    That sure looks like an INFANT seat though, and not for a larger 1 year old.

  25. stevied says:

    Baby safer sitting in mommy’s lap than a car seat that might or might not be acceptable?

    Oh get real. Even the worst, most recalled car seat in the world semi-properly strapped down with a seatbelt would be 100x better than a mommy trying to hold the 150mph projectile from crashing into something/someone.

  26. Kibit says:

    If you have to stow your belongings because they can become dangerous during take-off and landings, then why is it okay to have a child on your lap?