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dom

Hi, I came over here from Huffington Post, and I have to say that I think you're misinterpreting the original AirTran story. Listen, I have extreme sympathy for any parent who's trying to deal with a screaming toddler on a plane flight. But this family was not removed because the little girl was loud, they were removed because she was in direct violation of FAA rules that require all passengers to be buckled up on takeoff.

Unfortunately, there was no ideal resolution to the situation. To delay the plane further would have meant inconveniencing hundreds of other passengers - if not thousands, because once you delay one plane you are basicially delaying the entire queue of planes at the airport. I don't blame the family for the behavior of their child - she's a toddler, after all - but I'm not sure why an appropriate resolution was to was some unspecified amount of time while they got her into her seat. How long would the plane have to be delayed before you would accept their removal as the right solution?

AirTran says their emails about the incident are running 92% in favor of their decision....do you really think all these people just hate children?

ann adams

I still think that flight attendant was way out of line and far too impatient.

I didn't go read the comments. I don't need to to know what they said because they never change and many of them are illiterate. Some people have far too much time on their hands and far too few brains.

ann adams

Oh and Air Trans apologized to the parents and offered restitution. The parents told them what they could do with it.

They must have felt, along with me, that their employees could have done a better job.

Bea

What were the employees supposed to do, exactly? Physically wrestle the child into a seat and belt her in?
FAA regulations require everyone to be sitting down with a seatbelt on before the plane can take off. The airline attendents waited for the parents to make an effort to control the child and then the airline made a decision to remove them from the plane when the parents were unable to gain control of their child. They're not being "discriminatory" towards parents with children, or towards children - they're behaving responsibly towards the other 100 people on that flight. All of whom, I assume, were sitting down with their seatbelts fastened, ready to go.
I have kids. I have flown with kids. I've had kids with tantrums on airplanes. And I can't say that I would insist that an entire plane full of people be inconvenienced, miss connecting flights, etc. because of my child.
I'm sorry for the parents. But I'm not going to say the airline did the wrong thing, because they were forced to make a judgement call - permitting parents an open-ended period of time to get their child under control, or calling a halt to the delay. 15 minutes is a fairly long time, when a plane has been cleared for takeoff and is waiting to taxi down the runway. It may have been that if they didn't leave then, they'd lose their spot on the runway. I don't know. But I do know that it's not fair to ask air traffic control, flight crew, and a plane full of passengers to sit there and wait indefinitely while a child throws a tantrum.

dom

Ann, why would you assume that AirTran's offer of compensation indicates that they thought their employees were doing a bad job?

Perhaps they offered the compensation for PR value. Or perhaps it's just an example of excellent customer service, where despite the fact that AirTran was forced to make a decision that inconvenienced the family, they wanted to compensate them for their troubles. This is just a situation where a decision had to be made where there would be no "perfect" outcome for all the parties.

The family wasn't "wrong" because their child refused to get in her seat - she's a toddler, and it happens. But AirTran wasn't "wrong" to make the call that inconvenienced 3 passengers instead of several hundred. We can all testify to the fact that screaming kids are allowed on flights all the time without being removed from the plane - that just wasn't the situation here. The child had been in violation of FAA regulations for at least 15 minutes, and there was no guarantee that the parents were going to be able to get her under control anytime soon. Again, how much longer do you think the flight should have been delayed waiting for the child to be strapped into her seat? It's a tough call, but unfortunately the flight crew had to make it.

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