After reading through most of the threads on this incident, I think what made this worse than any other crying-child-on-a-plane was the fact the family could not get 3 seats together so the mother and father sat together and put the kid in a row by herself!!!Bingo!
They were not only INCOMPETENT parents, they were CLUELESS!From:
Posted on 01/23/2007 7:35:25 PM PST by don'tspeak4me
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) -- Flight attendants often deal with obnoxious passengers who won't listen to instructions by kicking them off the plane. But a Massachusetts couple think AirTran Airways went overboard by treating their crying 3-year-old daughter in much the same way.
Julie and Gerry Kulesza and daughter Elly were removed from the flight when the girl refused to take her seat before takeoff, airline officials said Tuesday. But her parents said they just needed a little more time to calm her down.
The Kuleszas planned to fly home to Boston on Jan. 14 from Fort Myers after a four-day visit with the girl's paternal grandparents. She was removed because "she was climbing under the seat and hitting the parents and wouldn't get in her seat" during boarding, AirTran spokeswoman Judy Graham-Weaver said.
AirTran officials say they were only following Federal Aviation Administration rules that children age 2 and above must have their own seat and be wearing a seatbelt upon takeoff.
"The flight was already delayed 15 minutes and in fairness to the other 112 passengers on the plane, the crew made an operational decision to remove the family," Graham-Weaver said.
But Julie Kulesza said: "We weren't giving an opportunity to hold her, console her or anything."
"Elly was sitting in front of our seat crying," she said in a phone interview...
...You know, sometimes kids cry and scream. Sometimes you're the poor schmuck on the plane fielding death glares from everyone else because you simply cannot get your baby to stop crying.
But I finally figured out what bothers me most about this story: I believe the Kuleszas might not have been able to get their daughter to stop crying, but that shouldn't have anything to do with whether or not she was in her seat, per FAA regulations.
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.
They checked the car seat? If they'd brought it on the plane with them---which is the safest option for a toddler, anyway---they could've buckled Elly in and that would've been the end of it. Maybe she would've screamed, maybe the other passengers would've been annoyed, but they would've flown home as planned...