Family Says They Were Booted From JetBlue Flight For Holding 2-Year-Old On Lap



A family that purchased a separate seat for their 2-year-old son on a JetBlue flight say they were just trying to comfort the youngster by having him sit on his mom’s lap during takeoff, but that the flight attendants treated them like a safety risk and had them kicked off the plane.

WUSA9 was the first to report on the family’s aborted attempt at traveling from Boston to Baltimore on JetBlue.

The family — mom, dad, son, and his 3-year-old sister — had just pushed back from the airport gate in Boston on Monday morning when the boy started to squirm and cry for his mom.

“I held him for takeoff and didn’t know there was anything wrong with that,” the mother tells Yahoo Parenting.

But the flight attendants came over tell her that the child had to be in his own seat, and the parents say they didn’t put up a fight.

“We were fine with that, but I did ask some questions since our instructions were different on our first flight,” recalls the mom. “She said, ‘These are the rules. I’ve been flying for nine years and I do know what I’m talking about.’ She got very defensive very quickly, but when she said that I got him in his seat and was buckling him in.”

A second flight attendant only compounded the problem by repeating the same instructions, says the mom.

“I was a bit irritated and I said, ‘OK, I got it. I got the lecture and I’m putting him in his seat,’” she recounts to Yahoo. “She said, ‘First of all, it wasn’t a lecture, and I can turn this plane around.’ I explained that I got the message, and I was focusing on settling my son down, who was now in his seat, but crying.’”

Then, without any further incidents or warnings, the dad says he noticed the plane was headed back in the direction of the terminal. Then the pilot announced that they were indeed returning to the gate “because we have some noncompliant passengers.”

“All of a sudden the captain came and ordered us off the plane,” says the mom. “We asked questions, but he wouldn’t answer. He just kept repeating ‘get your bags, get off the plane.’ We were treated like criminals.”

JetBlue defended its flight attendants actions, telling WUSA9 that “if our crew feels there is a situation where a customer is unable to follow safety procedures, those customers may need to be accommodated on a future flight.”

But Yahoo points out that some of the family’s fellow passengers have publicly stated that JetBlue overreacted to the situation.

After being sent back to the gate, where the family says seven different JetBlue employees were waiting for them, they were ultimately able to get on another flight home.

“They had no patience for what is a normal situation for a family,” says the mom. “They had no sensitivity to it and made no effort at all to try to resolve a situation with a squirmy toddler, even though I don’t think it was a situation. The total lack of understanding or patience with our questions to me demonstrates unfair treatment of a family, and I would assume other families are treated the same way.”

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