Regular readers will know I'm obsessed with travel. I traveled as late as I could while pregnant, and planned to continue making it a top priority after my twins were born last summer. So far, I have traveled by car with my twins, and by plane without them for both business and leisure. But I'm still struggling to get my mind around taking two 10-month-old babies on an airplane. I'll work up my nerve eventually, but for now it gives me the shivers.
Any parent who's flown with kids—or even really thought about what that entails—knows it's not an easy proposition. For one thing, babies (and toddlers) can start crying at any moment, which can make things uncomfortable for everyone within earshot—most of all the parents, who will be more stressed than anyone.
What a parent isn't likely to expect is to be kicked off the plane as a result of such an episode! But apparently, it happened to Walk Off the Earth's Sarah Blackwood. The Canadaian singer and mom was reportedly kicked off her flight after her 23-month-old son had a crying fit.
Blackwood—who is also currently seven months pregnant—was kicked off her SkyWest Airlines flight (that's United's regional partner) between San Francisco and Vancouver on Wednesday when her son got very fussy.
"I was holding him in my lap and he was getting upset and crying really loud," she told People. "It was just one of those days where I was trying my best to calm him down, but there's only so much you can do."
She reported that flight attendants told her to "control her child," and that as his parent, she should know how to calm him. She said that he fell asleep just about 10 minutes later—but it was too late to redeem the experience, because the plane stopped taxiing, came back to the gate, and Blackwood was asked to get off.
United responded to the incident in a statement to People, saying: "The crew made the difficult decision to remove Ms. Blackwood and her child from the flight based solely on safety concerns. Despite numerous requests, the child was not seated, as required by federal regulation to ensure passenger safety, and was repeatedly in the aisle of the aircraft before departure and during taxi. While our crews work to make traveling safe and comfortable for all travelers, particularly families, the crew made the appropriate decision to return to the gate in the interest of safety."
Blackwood told People the response angered her even more: She said she's "appalled" by the suggestion her son behaved like a "wild animal," stating that he wasn't even close to the aisle.
What do you think of United's action?
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