Crying Child and Parents Removed From Flight

ByABC News via logo
January 23, 2007, 8:39 AM

Jan. 23, 2007 — -- Every parent has dealt with a child having a tantrum and causing embarrassment at the worst times -- in a grocery store, in a restaurant, and at weddings.

For a Massachusetts mom and dad, however, their toddler's tantrum cost them their flight home.

On Jan. 14, 3-year-old Elly Kulesza and her parents, Julie and Gerald, were kicked off an AirTran Airways flight from Florida to their Worcester, Mass., home because Elly would not stop crying.

Elly, who had been a model passenger on the flight to Florida four days earlier, began to cry uncontrollably once she got on the plane, throwing a temper tantrum on the floor.

AirTran employees demanded that the Kuleszas calm down their child. When Elly didn't stop crying, the crew banned the Kuleszas from flying for 24 hours. Later, AirTran offered an apology to the family along with a refund on their tickets.

"As we have an obligation to the 112 other passengers onboard the flight to operate the flight on time," AirTran said in a statement, "we had to make an operational decision to ask the Kulesza party to deplane so the flight could depart."

On "Good Morning America," the Kuleszas insisted that their toddler wasn't doing anything out of the ordinary.

"I don't know what happened. No one can tell when something like this is going to happen. She had a great morning, but then she got on the plane and she started to cry," Julie Kulesza said.

"She's like the typical 3-year-old. She has her moments, but overall she's a very, very good child."

The Kuleszas said that unlike the AirTran crew, the passengers on the flight were sympathetic to their situation.

"I jokingly turned around and asked the three gentlemen behind me, 'Aren't you glad you got these seats?" Julie said. "Another passenger offered up a lollipop to try and calm her down."

Despite AirTran's apology and offer of a complimentary flight, the Kuleszas don't plan to fly with the airline anytime soon.

"We'll pass on that," Gerald Kulesza said. "After that, I told them I'd never fly with them again."