Toddler Tantrum Gets Family Booted from Plane. Is Flying Still Kid-Friendly?

Kids don't necessarily need special treatment aboard planes-but are the skies becoming downright unfriendly to them?

Toddler Tantrum Gets Family Booted from Plane. Is Flying Still Kid-Friendly?

Kids don’t necessarily need special treatment aboard planes—but are the skies becoming downright unfriendly to them?

-Piper Weiss, Yahoo! Shine

Kid-friendly planes

Is a 2-year-old girl really a flight risk? Of course not, unless she’s having a temper tantrum.

Colette Vieau and her family were heading home from vacation, when their toddler had a code red melt-down after boarding the plane.

Refusing to stay seated and buckled up, and possibly agitating her 3-year-old sister, Vieau’s youngest daughter, Natalie, became public enemy number one as the plane crew waited for takeoff.

“We were holding them down with all of our might, seat belt on. And I said, ‘We have them seated. Can we go now?” Colette, a pediatrician, told Rhode Island’s NBC 10. “[The flight attendant] said the pilot’s made a decision to turn the plane around.”

Things got worse from there, according to the New England-based mom. The plane turned around on the tarmac and promptly booted the family of four from the flight.

A representative for JetBlue backed the pilot’s decision, stating the flight 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.”

Scrambling to find four seats on another Turks and Caicos flight bound for Boston, the Vieau family were forced to spent $2000 on overnight accommodations. Needless to say, their vacation ended on a bad note, but rules are rules.

Read Wisconsin Bill Claims Single Moms Cause Child Abuse By Not Being Married

Federal aviation regulations require all passengers over 2-years-old to be buckled up in their seats, seated upright, with cell phones turned off before take-off. With passenger safety and airline security under more scrutiny than ever, nobody is an exception. Not a 2-year-old, not a 102-year-old. Not even Alec Baldwin.

“I don’t know that I could blame JetBlue, to be totally fair,” Colette told the local news affiliate. “I just feel like it’s airplane travel today in general.”

While celebrities and kids alike are subjected to the same federal aviation rules, moms and dads are baring the brunt of the backlash.

Between heightened, kid-startling TSA security, and a growing screaming baby-phobia amongst passengers, parents are in the crosshairs. If kids are more revved up and anxious by the time they get on a flight, childless passengers are less tolerant and more ticked-off. In 2010, a mom claimed her son was assaulted by a passenger because he wouldn’t stop kicking the seat in front of him. In 2011, a Virgin Atlantic flight attendant stuck a 1-year old in an overhead storage compartment as a bizarre joke that other passengers found hysterical. The parents weren’t laughing.

Airlines, meanwhile, have their own desperate financial and security concerns that don’t factor in the unique needs of two-year olds. In 2009, a mom and her 2-year-old son were reportedly removed from a Southwest Airlines flight after the child’s relentless screams for the plane to take off became unbearable. Earlier this year, a family of six complained of being kicked off a flight for having too many kids. And last year, babies were banned outright from some first class flights on Malaysia Airlines.

Gone are the days of the Pan Am pins and cockpit visits, and that’s just fine. But are the days of kid-friendly skies gone with them?

More from Yahoo! Shine:

Flight attendant sticks baby in overhead storage

The no-kids-allowed movement

Tips for flying solo with kids


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3 thoughts on “Toddler Tantrum Gets Family Booted from Plane. Is Flying Still Kid-Friendly?

  1. carbonware says:

    As the father of four kids, who were four under four for a time. I can both sympathize with the family but also the airline and other passengers.

    The news treats stories like this as if everyone is suddenly hating on families with kids. The truth is more and more people choose to travel with kids in selfish ways over great distances where in the past they would have stayed home until the kids were old enough and well trained enough to be seen in public.

    We no longer discipline our kids, we don’t teach them how to sit still, how to respect others space. We don’t require self control at home and should not be surprised when they have none out in public.

    My wife and I made a choice when our kids were born, we do not take them to fancy restaurants, we get a babysitter, when they kids go with us it’s to appropriate kid friendly places. We value a nice evening out with adults without hearing screaming unruly kids as much as you don’t need to hear ours. When we travel the kids stayed with friends or grandparents, or we drove.

    There is little worse than a long trip home in front of a screaming kicking child with a parent who puts on headphones and ignores them. I’ve had it happen far too many times to count.

    When my kids were older and able to sit still for long periods and be able to entertain themselves more we started traveling with them.

    I can’t feel too bad for this family, the $2000.00 a night stay is an example of then over indulgence when I had no problems finding a room online for $300.00 a few minutes ago.

    People don’t need to travel with kids to adult destinations like this one. It was selfish of the parents to make this choice and unfair to the kids as much as everyone else around them.

    Next time try Disneyland where you’ll be surrounded by other families with small kids, choose places you can drive to, or leave the kids with trusted family so you can have your getaway at an adult destination.

    I was on a flight to Japan next to a woman who was traveling to see her husband who was in the military, she was traveling on that long flight alone with 4 small kids, a disaster for her and the kids. I and a few others spent the flight playing with her kids, changing diapers and giving her breaks so she could get up and walk the plane for a minute to herself. This was completely deferent and most people (but not all) were understanding.

    She was not out on a luxury vacation to an adult destination with kids untrained to behave, yes even two year olds, otherwise they should stick to home, driving, and family destinations.

    It’s not my fault they selfishly imposed their family on everyone else. I think about all the people whose meals and vacation were disrupted but this family not considering the people they were imposing themselves on.

  2. lddcw says:

    It goes both ways. Parents should be in control of the kids, but the younger the kids are, the more variables there are for kids acting out and they shouldn’t be blamed for it. Parents should be able to take kids where they want, but good judgment is lacking many times. Many adults these days are very intolerant of children, too. And to be fair, plenty of adults are jerks and douches in public. I’d rather have kids on a plane acting up a bit then have a drunken idiot or a letch, or a demanding, entitled jerk messing things up. The world isn’t only populated with adults. Compassion and empathy are sorely lacking in society today.

  3. annalena says:

    What a amazing story. :O

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