Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Tantrums on a Plane

I saw this news article yesterday about a family that was kicked off an airplane because their 3-year-old daughter was having a tantrum and would not stay in her seat thus delaying departure time. The airline refunded their money and also offered them free travel vouchers.

I have a toddler and a preschooler, so I am very familiar with tantrums. Take a three-year-old, maybe missed her nap, and put Mom and Dad in a high stress situation and a tantrum tends to ensue. The plane was delayed for 15 minutes trying to get the girl to stay in her seat. I feel for the airline because this is going to look bad for them, but in all fairness what could they do? FAA regulations require 3-year-olds to have their own seats and be seatbelted. Some preschoolers can have 2 hour tantrums especially if they have an audience. I don't think it would be fair to ask the other passengers to wait it out. No one thinks very clearly when a child is screaming bloody murder. What I don't understand is why the mom and dad didn't put the daughter between them in a middle seat, belt her in, and physically hold her down. (I haven't tried this personally on a plane, maybe they tried and it didn't work, but I know I can get my kids in full tantrum into their car seats eventually(defined as under 15 minutes).) Yes, she would scream, but that wouldn't prevent the plane from taking off (although it might earn you the undying hatred of all other passengers.) On most flights you only need to have your seat belt on until the plane reaches cruising altitude the girl could go sit on Mom's lap like I assume she wanted to.

I feel bad for the family because they were forced to take a later flight, become a national news item for something embarrassing, and have clueless bloggers like me comment on them.

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