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View Full Version : If you are flying with young children, avoid Southwest


vinotinto
11-02-2009, 07:41 PM
A mom and her 2-year old were kicked off the flight because the child was crying:

http://www.mercurynews.com/breaking-news/ci_13671032?source=rss&nclick_check=1

Personally, I find crying children as annoying as the next person. When we travel, I bring an arsenal of new toys, DVDs, snacks and comfort items to keep them entertained and soothed. But as a parent of two young children, I have learned that you cannot have 100% control over your children's emotions, especially in today's flying environment. We've had to endure long lines at airport security, long waits for delayed planes (4 out of our last 6 flights have been delayed more than 3 hours!), cramped quarters, and enough unpleasantness that even adults need a lot of patience to be able to endure. I'm sure the kid would have eventually calmed down, if they would have been given the chance. To have been escorted out in such a humiliating fashion clearly indicates to me that this is one airline I will rather not fly in the future.

LilyWDW
11-02-2009, 08:11 PM
So far, you only have the mother's version of the story as to what was done and said. I'm willing to wait for the airlines version before drawing conclusion. Of course the mother is gonna think her child did nothing wrong, but I would bet there is more to the story then she is letting on.

dburg30
11-02-2009, 08:18 PM
Then why let the child cry, from what it sounds like a little more then a normal cry? If feeding him would have calmed him, why the heck not feed him a little early? I understand her 'timing' but sometimes timing doesnt really work. I dont know, we dont have the 'whole' story. Was she even trying to comfort him and calm him or just waiting to take off to kick the whole plan into motion??

And the part about having to buy a crib to stay at her parents another night.. For a 2 year old? You cant put them in a bed and sleep with them or put a couch against something to keep them from rolling out???

I just think there is more to this story then just 'SW kicked a mom and kid off the plane'. Maybe not, but something just doesnt feel right.

neonurse
11-02-2009, 08:19 PM
I hate to hear crying kids and babies but it can't be helped especially when flying. I can't believe SW would do that!!!:sad2:

DebbieB
11-02-2009, 10:23 PM
Is it possible the child would not stay strapped in his seatbelt? If not, it would be a safety hazard to takeoff.

Hannathy
11-02-2009, 10:30 PM
I applaud Southwest and most definitely believe there is a lot more to the story because I have been on enough SW flights with screaming kids that I know they don't routinely do this.

I'm sure the mother was completely uncooperative and obnoxious! Good for southwest.

I think this probably raised the opinion of many people for Southwest!

bumbershoot
11-02-2009, 11:02 PM
I will continue to fly them.

Here's a more recent article (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/33555007/ns/travel-news/).

They explained (other passengers could not hear the safety announcements), apologized publicly (and I assume privately) to her, refunded her, and gave her a $300 travel voucher.

bumbershoot
11-02-2009, 11:08 PM
OK...she "said she thought she had a foolproof flying routine with her son. Wait until takeoff to feed Adam so his ears wouldn't hurt"...??????

One, kids change all the time, and routines that worked the day before might not work. Two, poor kid, he must have been hungry!

"The routine always made him a bit cranky but never out of control, she said." What works before won't always work.

If she reads...Earplanes are brilliant, at least for my son, for painful ears. Not waiting until the plane is taking off to feed the kidlet...


That said, I've always been glad that DS has his moments towards descent (hard to kick us off then), because he just does NOT understand that his excitement for landing translates to a statement that most people (including superstitious ME) just don't like...he will say "are we going down yet?" :headache:

Though, it turns out, kids throwing up just before landing disturbs people a whole lot more...not that we know anything about that from our last, worst-ever, trip or anything....:rolleyes1 (sorry to all you sweet Virgin America fellow travelers, and thank you to the kind women with the gum that distracted him)

aubriee
11-03-2009, 01:31 AM
I applaud Southwest and most definitely believe there is a lot more to the story because I have been on enough SW flights with screaming kids that I know they don't routinely do this.

I'm sure the mother was completely uncooperative and obnoxious! Good for southwest.

I think this probably raised the opinion of many people for Southwest!



Here's a more recent article (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/33555007/ns/travel-news/).



I agree! If you look at the poll that goes along with the above article, it shows that 76.6% of the readers agree with Southwest. Crying babies are on alot of flights. They are never thrown off. So this kid and mom must have done something worse.

kaytieeldr
11-03-2009, 10:48 AM
I will continue to fly them.

Here's a more recent article (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/33555007/ns/travel-news/).

They explained (other passengers could not hear the safety announcements), apologized publicly (and I assume privately) to her, refunded her, and gave her a $300 travel voucher.
I was especially impressed by the response from another passenger on that plane, agreeing with the crew's version and disputing the mom's.

Lewisc
11-03-2009, 11:02 AM
The topic heading should be changed to suggest avoiding SW if you're flying with out of control kids.

The mother thought the kid would calm down after takeoff but at that time it would be too late to do anything. A 2 year old is probably too young for the duct tape solution.

Some kids are too young to fly.

edited to add a lot of DIS fly with young kids. Many young kids can fly. Parents have to know their own kids. Some parents shouldn't fly with their kids and other parents need to talk to the GA and see if they can be accomodated on a later flight.

jctwizzer
11-03-2009, 11:07 AM
Amen, Lewis.
Eh!

DVC Sadie
11-03-2009, 11:26 AM
The topic heading should be changed to suggest avoiding SW if you're flying with out of control kids.

The mother thought the kid would calm down after takeoff but at that time it would be too late to do anything. A 2 year old is probably too young for the duct tape solution.

Some kids are too young to fly.

I agree and would like to include that, Some adults are still too young to fly.:thumbsup2

TrustedTraveler
11-03-2009, 11:53 AM
I fly Southwest often by choice and find them to be the most reasonable and accommodating airline. If Mom had no control over a screaming (not crying according to the article) child, then SWA did the right thing.

rie'smom
11-03-2009, 12:14 PM
Please, the mom wants SW to pay for a crib at her parent's house. Did the boy sleep on the floor before? She wanted to wait until tale off to feed him but if he was cutting up, she should have fed him then and there.

DonnaL
11-03-2009, 12:19 PM
I have to believe there is more to this story. I've been on both sides of the fence while flying SWA........as a grandparent with a crying 18 month old who had the beginnings of an ear infection on the flight home from WDW (which we didn't know at the time.....fever began after we got home) and also, as a passenger listening to someone else's child crying. And, in most cases I've witnessed, the SWA flight crew is more than accommodating when they have a cranky child onboard. I do remember one instance, however, a little boy throwing a tantrum and kept unhooking his seat belt. The mom was told she would have to keep him in his seat belt or by law, the flight could not depart........so, just maybe......something similar happened in this case........don't know.........

kaseyandkaleigh
11-03-2009, 12:34 PM
I travel frequently with a 2 and 5 year old. We love southwest and they always have been very helpful...maybe there is more to the story we don't know about, still a unfortunate story for everyone involved, lets wait and see what else comes out about it in the next few days....

TDC Nala
11-03-2009, 01:38 PM
Nobody gets kicked off planes because a child is crying. There's more to this story. That kid had to have been shrieking uncontrollably. The mother states she was putting off feeding him until after takeoff.

crashbb
11-03-2009, 01:50 PM
Nobody gets kicked off planes because a child is crying. There's more to this story. That kid had to have been shrieking uncontrollably. The mother states she was putting off feeding him until after takeoff.

Especially since (as I read it) the plane had left the gate and had to return to it. Not something a pilot is going to do without a good reason (messes up the schedule of subsequent flights and can lead to trouble).

Kennywife
11-03-2009, 02:08 PM
I applaud SW. I can't handle loud noises..I get seizures and have literally had one after hearing a child screaming. :scared1: Which is why I wear noise cancelling headsets on the plane and in the airport. And no, I can't stay home...I work as a travel writer. It's my job to travel.

Anna

bumbershoot
11-03-2009, 02:30 PM
Please, the mom wants SW to pay for a crib at her parent's house. Did the boy sleep on the floor before?

I don't understand having to rely on cribs, but it seemed the article was saying that they were "separated from their luggage", meaning that the supplies they had were in their luggage, and their luggage didn't get to them until their destination. So maybe they had a travel crib in luggage?

If she stayed with her parents after the bad flight, why did she need compensation for a hotel?


Kennywife, that's awful, seizures? Wow. Sometimes when DS cries I feel like my head is squishing in, which is bad enough...

dburg30
11-03-2009, 03:32 PM
I don't understand having to rely on cribs, but it seemed the article was saying that they were "separated from their luggage", meaning that the supplies they had were in their luggage, and their luggage didn't get to them until their destination. So maybe they had a travel crib in luggage?

.

Yea, but as I stated, I would think you could use a bed or couch or something for them to sleep on and 'block' it so he wouldnt roll off. I'm sure maybe they did have a travel crib, but IMO makes no sense to buy a crib just for a night..

dzorn
11-03-2009, 07:21 PM
Please, the mom wants SW to pay for a crib at her parent's house. Did the boy sleep on the floor before? She wanted to wait until tale off to feed him but if he was cutting up, she should have fed him then and there.

It may be that she had a pack and play port a crib in her checked luggage along with the diapers.

I also did not see in the second article where a fellow passenger confirmed SW version.

Denise in MI

DisneyWalker44
11-03-2009, 07:22 PM
Hmmm.

Here at Southwest, we understand that kids can get cranky. After all, we flew a million of them last year. But every now and then, a child will get so out of control and be screaming so loud, that we feel it best to remove that child from them plane.

Avoid SW? Heck, that sounds like my kind of airline! :thumbsup2

dzorn
11-03-2009, 07:23 PM
I was especially impressed by the response from another passenger on that plane, agreeing with the crew's version and disputing the mom's.

They must have edited the article because I did not see this anywhere.

Denise in MI

Kennywife
11-03-2009, 10:07 PM
I don't understand having to rely on cribs, but it seemed the article was saying that they were "separated from their luggage", meaning that the supplies they had were in their luggage, and their luggage didn't get to them until their destination. So maybe they had a travel crib in luggage?

If she stayed with her parents after the bad flight, why did she need compensation for a hotel?


Kennywife, that's awful, seizures? Wow. Sometimes when DS cries I feel like my head is squishing in, which is bad enough...

Well, it's not just cries from kids. I mean I don't want to sound like the big mean lady who hates kids. I love them and would like to have one myself one day, I'd just need to teach it not to scream around mommy. :eek:

For me, it's excessive loud noises and also flashing lights. Now, colored lights are fine. Space Mountain will always be out much to hubby's chagrin. The last time I rode, let's just say my ride was not as much fun as his. :headache::sad2:;)

Anna

treehugnmama
11-03-2009, 11:21 PM
we just booked our 3rd sw flight in 13 months....love sw. we fly with a 3 and 5 yr old and attendents always give them extra smiles and attention....vry family friendly. I will continue to do so.

bumbershoot
11-04-2009, 12:15 AM
Well, it's not just cries from kids. I mean I don't want to sound like the big mean lady who hates kids. I love them and would like to have one myself one day, I'd just need to teach it not to scream around mommy. :eek:

For me, it's excessive loud noises and also flashing lights. Now, colored lights are fine. Space Mountain will always be out much to hubby's chagrin. The last time I rode, let's just say my ride was not as much fun as his. :headache::sad2:;)

Anna

:hug::hug:

I do have to say...good luck with teaching the kidlet not to scream! :flower3:

Sorry you can't go on Space. It is people with your trouble that I think about when I want to wear my flashing light mickey ears, but then don't turn them on, for fear that I'll hurt someone accidentally. Guess the effects of my working for amazon.com when Pokemon episodes were causing seizures in viewers has lasted!

goofy4tink
11-04-2009, 06:40 AM
I travel frequently with a 2 and 5 year old. We love southwest and they always have been very helpful...maybe there is more to the story we don't know about, still a unfortunate story for everyone involved, lets wait and see what else comes out about it in the next few days....
Welcome to the DIS boards!!! Nice to see some new faces here.



You know....there really does have to be something else going on here. I have been on flights with crying children...some could even be accused of 'screaming'. But, for the most part, most of us just felt badly for the poor parents. The parents were trying to calm their children down. The FAs tried helping out.
I can only assume (knowing full well what happens when you do that!!) that there were some extenuating circumstances. Another poster was absolutely right...those pilots were not turning that plane around because a child was fussy!!!

kaytieeldr
11-04-2009, 08:28 AM
It may be that she had a pack and play port a crib in her checked luggage along with the diapers.

I also did not see in the second article where a fellow passenger confirmed SW version.

Denise in MI
It's not IN the article, it's one of the posts responding to the article linked by bumbershoot (and thank you again, for that :)).

I saw it on the first page, about 35% of the way down the page; someone else stated it was on page seven; and I saw it quoted on page 121 - again, simply one of the posts responding to the article. If it helps, the font is lighter than most of the responses, and it's italicized.

bgohre
11-04-2009, 10:30 AM
I'd just need to teach it not to scream around mommy.

Good luck with that :thumbsup2

Whenever you read an article like this you should be asking yourself..whats the other side of the story. Of course the mom is going to say her child wasn't out of control. IMO, the first article was really, really bad journalism. You can't tell a two sided story with only one side. Just another attempt to make the big bad airline look like a big fat meanie.

waltskids
11-04-2009, 02:15 PM
Both of our children have flown before (DS 7 times and DD 2 times, all round trip) and we love SW. Their flight attendants are great with kids, so I also think there is more to this story. We have been on some flights with terrible kids who were kicking and screaming almost the entire way and never saw one get kicked off before. Luckily, DS is a great traveler, but we have learned to feed, feed, feed! I'm not sure why she wouldn't just give him a little snack and then feed him his meal at takeoff.:confused: It sounds like she knew how he would behave since he had flown before. We are always prepared with an arsenal of things to occupy DS. DD is still a baby so I pray she travels well too. Her last 2 flights were great, but that could all change:rotfl2:

ExPirateShopGirl
11-04-2009, 02:58 PM
It never fails that any parents who's been kicked off a flight with a screaming child says they are certain/sure/confident said child would calm down the second the plane went wheels up.

:rotfl2:

Bobo912
11-04-2009, 04:18 PM
I haven't read the entire thread, but I think title of the thread is completely unfair. I have flown numerous times with my son on SWA since he was 3-years-old and never been treated with anything but complete courtesy. He's never been noisy or misbehaved, but I've seen plenty of crying kids on SWA plans, I've never seen FA's be rude or unkind to the parents and I've certainly never seen a single one asked to deplane. This kids behavior must have been far worse than his mother describes.