I think they did the right thing
Otherwise, I think it bites when people get on soap boxes and say what they would have done in a particular situation. Conveniently, we'll never know, now, will we?
So I'm thrilled - not in a ghoulish sort of way - when something interesting (good or bad) happens and gives us a real incident to comment on.
For the past few weeks I've been thinking about this story. Thanks to my guy Drew for posting the link on his blog back when this first went down. But if you don't want to click the link here's the abbreviated version:
Mom, dad, and 3-year-old daughter board an AirTran plane in Orlando, Fla., to fly home to Boston. But the 3-year-old loses it on the plane. It depends on who you ask, but it sounds as though the 3-year-old didn't just cry and squirm. According to the article, she refused to take her seat, she was climbing under the seats, and she was hitting her parents.
There is a federal aviation rule that says children 2 and older must be strapped in before takeoff. Then again, I'm sure there's a rule that says everyone on a plane, adults and crew included, must be strapped in before takeoff.
Still, the flight had already been delayed 15 minutes at this point. So the flight crew made the decision to kick the family off the plane for the disruption.
The parents complained that they weren't even given time to console and calm their daughter, and get her into her seat belt.
The airline's position was how much longer should the other passengers have had to wait for the girl to get calm or for her parents to gain control?
The family was reimbursed the full cost of their tickets and given vouchers for free fare anywhere (that airline flies) on a later trip. And they were put on a flight home the next day. But they said they'd never fly AirTran again.
My first reaction was good riddance. Planes are uncomfortable enough and often late enough without an uncontrollable child holding them up even more.
My second reaction was it really didn't seem like the flight crew gave these parents much time to get their child in check.
So give a little credence to both sides, and I'm going to give the airline a slight edge.
I know the kid was a toddler, and I know we all have stories about how we would never have acted up like that 'cause our parents would've beaten us like orphans. But I'm not so sure it's that black and white when you're dealing with kids that age. I imagine no matter how well trained a kid is, when they're that young sometimes they're just gonna misbehave.
Still, I side - just barely - with the airline.
What do you think?