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Coping with a child's tantrum on a plane (3 Year Old's Temper Delays Plane)
Yahoo ^ | 1/28/06

Posted on 01/28/2007 1:31:45 PM PST by Mr. Brightside

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The Worcester Telegram piece includes this line, which is where I stopped feeling that the Kuleszas had been unfairly called out:

They got off the plane, while their luggage and car seat flew on to Boston.

That would be THIS article, from
Jan 21, 2007

3-year-old unnerves airline
Girl taken off flight for crying too much

Dianne Williamson

Meet Elly Kulesza, Terror Toddler.

In her finer moments—mainly when she’s on land — 3-year-old Elly is an adorable and sweet-mannered child, a blue-eyed charmer who likes to dance and harbors a particular fondness for Thomas the Tank Engine.

“She’s a typical 3-year-old,” said her mother, Julie Kulesza of 7 Primrose St. in Worcester. “She has her moments like all 3-year-olds, but she’s not like one of those ‘Nanny 911’ children you see on TV.”

Elly’s dad, Gerald Kulesza, is a full-time EMT in Boston who also attends nursing school full time, and he did so well last semester that Elly’s mom surprised her husband with a trip to Florida to visit his parents, who live in Bonita Springs. So on Jan. 11, the family flew from Logan Airport to Fort Meyers on AirTran Airways, and even though it was Elly’s first plane trip she behaved like a dream and spent most of the flight coloring in her coloring book and watching movies on a portable DVD player.

“She was great,” her mom remembered. “When we made our descent into Florida we could see the water and she shouted, ‘Look, mommy, there’s the beach where we go swimming,’ and everyone laughed.”

Yes, it was a heartwarming moment for all concerned, and the trip was great, too. The family swam and went sightseeing, and on Jan 14 they drove back to the airport for the return trip home. They checked their luggage — a suitcase and a car seat. As they waited for their flight to be called, Elly contentedly munched on a bag of Cheetos and watched out the window as the planes took off and landed.

Then came … The Boarding. Suddenly and without warning, angelic little Elly morphed into every parents’ nightmare.

Her mom thinks it may have been because of the ear surgery Elly underwent earlier this month, and perhaps her memory of the discomfort and ear pressure she endured during the plane’s descent into Florida. For whatever reason, when they got on the plane, Elly started to cry and wouldn’t stop. Nor would she sit down — she plopped herself down on the floor in front of her seat and proceeded to throw a temper tantrum.

“I was trying to console her and the stewardess came over and said, ‘Did you buy that seat for her?’ remembers Ms. Kulesza, 31, who is four months pregnant. “I said yes, and she told me my daughter needs to sit in it. I told her I was trying.”

Moments later, an AirTran Airways employee armed with a walkie-talkie addressed Mr. Kulesza.

“Sir, you need to get her under control,” she said.

“We’re trying,” Mr. Kulesza noted.

The passengers, meanwhile, were quite understanding and one of them offered the toddler a lollipop, which she rejected. Then the walkie-talkie woman returned to the Kuleszas’ aisle and displayed the raw tact and diplomacy of Donald Trump.

“Sir, you need to get off the plane,” she announced.

“What?” a stunned Mr. Kulesza asked. “Are you serious?”

“Sir, you need to get off the plane now.”

They got off the plane, while their luggage and car seat flew on to Boston. In the terminal they were directed to an AirTran supervisor, who told the couple that the stewardess was uncomfortable “because you have an unruly child who struck a woman on board.”

Mr. Kulesza was incredulous. “That was her mother,” he explained. “She hit her on the arm. Lady, this is a 3-year-old child we’re talking about.”

“Sir, we don’t differentiate between 3 and 33,” the AirTran supervisor replied. Mr. Kulesza said the woman proceeded to lecture him about child discipline, and how she would never tolerate her children behaving in such a manner, at which point Mr. Kulesza said, “You really need to stop talking now.”

The couple were also told that, since they had been ejected from the plane, they were banned from flying with AirTran for 24 hours. So they were forced to return to Bonita Springs for the night, and Mr. Kulesza missed a 16-hour work shift, and the next day they returned to the airport and can surely be forgiven if they fed their daughter enough Children’s Benadryl to fell a stallion. I exaggerate, perhaps, but it’s certainly what I would have done. In any case, Elly slept through the return flight home.

The incident has sparked varied responses from those who heard the story. While many people — mostly parents — sympathize with the Kuleszas, others are less inclined. For example, when I related the tale to an unnamed colleague and asked if he had ever heard of an airline bouncing a child from a flight he said, “No, but I’m all for it. Couldn’t they have checked her with the baggage?”

This colleague, as it happens, has no kids.

AirTran, meanwhile, has apparently had a change of heart. After the airline received a phone call Thursday from yours truly, an AirTran customer service rep called the Kuleszas, apologized profusely for the incident and refunded them the $595 cost of their tickets.

“We do believe the situation could have been handled differently,” said AirTran spokeswoman Judy Graham-Weaver. “We will use this case as a means to train our agents on dealing with this type of situation on our flights … While there are FAA regulations that mandate all passengers have to be securely fastened in their seat belts before a plane can depart, we need to work with our customers in situations like this to help them — and that is what we will focus on.”

Ms. Kulesza is appreciative of the response, but believes she could have calmed her daughter down, if given the chance.

“It wasn’t like she had a bomb strapped to her waist,” she noted.

AirTran also extended another offer to the Kuleszas — free airline tickets to the destination of their choosing. The offer has been declined.

“I said I appreciated it, but I told them not to bother,” Ms. Kulesza said. “We won’t ever be flying with that airline again.”

Contact Dianne Williamson by e-mail at

51 posted on 01/28/2007 3:04:13 PM PST by RonDog
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To: Trajan88

Funny you should say that - the mother claimed that she had given the child a Benadryl just before boarding.

52 posted on 01/28/2007 3:22:48 PM PST by Rte66
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To: Paved Paradise
"uncontrollable kid"

I have heard that, and that the kid was out of control.

IMHO - it was the parents who were out of control...

53 posted on 01/28/2007 3:55:32 PM PST by Dacus943
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To: RonDog

The Worcester Telegram was once a good paper (so was its alter ego, the Evening Gazette; they merged about 1970, IIRC). It's sad what's happened to it. It's like the Dominican Republic minor league team for the Boston Globe, which is the AAA minor league team for the NY Times, which is itself a shadow of a newspaper.

But they sure have their narrative down. Big, mean corporation picking on poor mom and "an adorable and sweet-mannered child, a blue-eyed charmer" -- just because Mom's lackadaisical parenting skills nearly screwed up 100+ people's travel plans (not to mention, the 100+ people sitting in ANOTHER 737 waiting for that one to clear the gate so they could get OFF).

God almighty, what a sense of narcissistic entitlement. And she's pregnant again, oh no. Don't do it lady! It's a choice, not a child. Planned Parenthood can help.


Criminal Number 18F

54 posted on 01/28/2007 5:42:37 PM PST by Criminal Number 18F (Kitchener faced a 'Mahdi Army' too... how'd that work out?)
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To: Mr. Brightside

Here's my simple solution: (1)teach the child that bad behavior has painful consequences, (2) gag the child with a wash cloth, (3) one parent on each side of the child restrains the child in the seat and buckles the seatbelt, (4) when you get the child home you explain the painful consequences again and wear the childs @$$ out.

55 posted on 01/28/2007 5:58:22 PM PST by evangmlw
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To: BlazingArizona

Those b@stards.

56 posted on 01/28/2007 6:00:16 PM PST by Richard Kimball
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To: Mr. Brightside
if you want the kid to stop screaming grab him/her by the back of the upper arm with your thumb and index finger.....trapping about 1/32 of an inch of skin. when you tell the little tyke to please be quiet and he screams then apply pressure.....when the little precious stops screaming at the top of its lungs and quiets down.... release pressure.

tell them how proud you are that they're acting "nice" and sit right down. Start screaming, pinch away.... no permanent damage, but a nice action/reaction/consequence type of activity.

It's a shame that the little precious wasn't made to act like he/she should in public. Parents fault actually.

57 posted on 01/28/2007 6:04:49 PM PST by Dick Vomer (liberals suck......... but it depends on what your definition of the word "suck" is.)
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To: leda
i flew with our 5 yr old from d.c. to n.m. last may.

Did you know that not only should the first word of a sentence
be capitalized, but also "I" when referring to yourself?
Sure enough. It's a new thing we have called grammar.

Months, like "May", also should be capitalized. Did you know?
"DC" and "NM" also should be capitalized, were you aware?

I guess either you are nine years old or just want to make FR look like a bunch of illiterates.

I'll go with the nine years old scenario and hope you learn something soon.

Tell mommy that you shouldn't go to adult sites until you learn to write, there's a good girl.

58 posted on 01/28/2007 6:22:08 PM PST by humblegunner (If you're gonna die, die with your boots on.)
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To: Mr. Brightside
Jeez, all my parents had to bring was their slapping hand. I behaved instantly.
59 posted on 01/29/2007 7:22:14 AM PST by Lx (Do you like it, do you like it. Scott? I call it Mr. and Mrs. Tennerman chili.)
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To: Lx
Jeez, all my parents had to bring was their slapping hand. I behaved instantly.

The same here. I inherited that philosophy of child rearing from them and succeeded raising my son. Sometimes though, you can't please everybody, no matter what disciplining method you use. We were travelling crosscountry when my son was four. We stopped at a restaurant when he decided to act up. So there I am, trying to sit a writhing, screaming child straight in his chair to eat, when a busybody walks up and scolds me for manhandling this poor child. That was one of the ruder moments of my life -- I loudly told her pretty bluntly to mind her own %&*@! business. Her husband back at her table seemed so embarrassed that he wouldn't look at me.

60 posted on 01/29/2007 11:19:40 AM PST by TexasRepublic (Afghan protest - "Death to Dog Washers!")
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To: Mr. Brightside
How do you avoid becoming the family that got kicked off an airplane after their crying 3-year-old refused to take her seat?

If I had been in that situation, I would have voluntarily exited the plane with family in tow out of sheer humiliation.

61 posted on 01/29/2007 11:20:46 AM PST by al_c
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To: humblegunner; patton

hey pat, you take this one...

62 posted on 01/29/2007 7:51:32 PM PST by leda (The quiet girl on the stairs.)
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To: humblegunner; leda

Yeah, you know, after my wife (leda) got her master's degree, she decided that post on the internet were pretty trivial.

She writes very casually on this board, ignoring caps and all that.

Who really cares, humblegunner?

Do you know, she started this year with a SpED student, who the experts said would never read or write. Now the kid reads, and writes.

The same experts comment, "The kid forms her "n"s badly.

They said she would never form an N, leda fixed that.

Now they complain, she does it badly.

Some people are never satisfied.

I once watched leda spend six months teaching a kid the difference between "rough" and "smooth."

Actually, watched is a bad choice of words - I paid her tuition at University, for the privelege of watching her do it. How nice, that I got to pay for her to work for free.

Years ago, she had another kid, everybody said he would be a vegetable for life, etc.

I think he is making his own way, now, and doing quite well at it.

Leda does what she does, and she is damn good at it.

I could care less if she uses caps on the internet, and I am ashamed that you do.

63 posted on 01/29/2007 8:19:29 PM PST by patton (Sanctimony frequently reaps its own reward.)
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To: Mr. Brightside

Let me get this right: they REWARDED parents who couldn’t control a three year old with free tickets? Oh Lord.

64 posted on 06/28/2007 7:20:40 AM PDT by greccogirl
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