"We were just trying to control a 2-year-old child who was scared and wanted to be held by her mother," Collette Vieau told WJAR, a television station in Providence, R.I., of the incident that got them kicked off a JetBlue flight last month.
The Rhode Island family's Feb. 18 flight from Turks and Caicos to Boston didn't happen because Natalie, the aforementioned child, wouldn't sit in her seat with her seatbelt fastened. The station reported that when the family finally got Natalie to sit, security appeared with a JetBlue representative. Although Vieau said passengers around them and security were sympathetic to the situation, the pilot was not. A flight attendant told them the plane would be pulling back to the gate.
In a statement to the station, JetBlue said, "Flight 850 … had customers that did not comply with crew member instructions for a prolonged time period. The Captain elected to remove the customers involved for the safety of all customers and crew members on board."
With no more flights that day, the family spent another day in the Caribbean. Vieau told the station the whole ordeal cost them at least $2,000. "It's just airplane travel today. You know, it's like there's no humanity in it," she said. "There's no decency. I really think that this could have gone a different way."
Natalie isn't the first toddler to be kicked off a plane.
Kate Penland claimed she was taken off an Express Jet flight in 2997 after refusing to give her child Benadryl to quiet him down.
Two-year-old Jarret Farrel, an autistic boy traveling with his mom, was kicked off an American Eagle flight in 2008. American Airline's said the "child had been crying and screaming uncontrollably, to the point where the child's well being was in question."
Pamela Root and her toddler son were kicked off a Southwest flight in 2009 because passengers could not hear pre-flight safety announcements. The airline did apologize to Root and sent her a $300 voucher for future travel.
Would an in-flight nanny have helped in these situations?