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TODDLERS: Tantrums on a plane

By asoglin
Friday, July 20th, 2007 at 9:28 am in Babies & Tots, Family Travel.

When did toddlers become the terrorists of the skies? There’s been a rash of recent tyke flight incidents in which planes returned to the terminal to eject young passengers or, in one instance, actually made an emergency landing because of a tantrum. We’ve got the family thrown off a flight for breastfeeding last fall, the family thrown off for a 3-year-old’s tantrum in January, an emergency landing caused by a 4-year-old’s tantrum last month, and last week, the mother and child who were ejected because the tot wouldn’t stop saying “Bye-bye, plane.”

According to mom Kate Penfield, a Continental ExpressJet flight attendant became so angry over 19-month-old Garren’s repeated bye-byes, she told Kate to drug him. When mom refused, the plane returned to the terminal — where passengers had already been delayed 11 hours before boarding the flight in the first place — and mother and child were escorted off by police. The pair were on “Good Morning America” earlier this week (scroll down the “video player” list for the taped interview with the mother and several passengers from the flight). Continental has issued its normal “customer service is important to us” speech and referred the matter to its partner ExpressJet.

Now, we’ll be the first to admit that crying babies and raging 2-year-olds can make a flight pretty miserable, temporarily at least. But zero tolerance for tyke misbehavior? For tyke misbehavior after an 11-hour flight delay? And where does
“Bye bye, plane … bye bye plane … bye bye plane” fit on the misbehavior spectrum? Let’s hear your thoughts.
— Jackie Burrell

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One Response to “TODDLERS: Tantrums on a plane”

  1. Kara Says:

    My two-year old cried nonstop for 2 and half hours on a plane ride back from Hawaii. It was miserable for everyone– but mostly for me! I’m not sure why other people think the mom COULD do something and chooses not to. I would’ve given anything to stop her crying but all she wanted to do was howl. It wasn’t my fault she started, and I couldn’t “make” her stop. I just thank God most flight attendents are nice, and sometimes are even sympathetic moms themselves. But to kicked off of a plane? Last time I checked, commercial flights are public transporatation. If you don’t want to hear a baby cry or talk, rent a private jet.

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