Woman and 4 kids kicked off plane

United States
July 9, 2008 8:39am CST
Have you heard about this? A woman traveling from Detroit to Seattle got kicked off their Southwest Airline plane during a changeover because of her 4 kids. One has autism and the another had cerebral palsy. Apparently, her kids were running around the plane when the seat belt was on, screaming, yelling, and causing a danger to themselves. Here is the video: http://www.truveo.com/Woman-4-Kids-Booted-Off-Plane-For-Being-Unruly/id/2056587655
7 people like this
24 responses
@maximax8 (27333)
• United Kingdom
9 Jul 08
The lady just wanted to get to Seattle and was really upset about not being allowed on carry on the journey there. The airline felt that two of her children had challenging behavior. They thought that it wasn't safe for them to be running up and down the aisle. I think that the lady should have been given a warning then the children might have been better at sitting still. I have taught a boy with autism and he was difficult quite often. A new situation like the fire bell going off really upset him. The airline should refund the money for the flight to the family.
4 people like this
• United States
9 Jul 08
It's possible that they were given warnings, but I haven't heard if they did. Apparently, they were totally out of control and running around the plane screaming and bothering other passengers even with the seatbelt light on.
3 people like this
@dix19on (118)
• United States
10 Jul 08
first of all. kids are kids and all kids are not good kids.these kids have specail needs and to put them of the plan stuck.i rather have that them somone holding the plan hijack.and sorry mylot freinds some of these comments are really upseting to me .some of you must not have kids.
@deebomb (15323)
• United States
10 Jul 08
In the video it said that she was ask twice to control the children.
• United States
10 Jul 08
You people must be sooo cruel! If you work with kids you would know that a child with autism and cerebral is not their fault and they cannot help how they act on a plane! gosh people look this stuff up would you? I hope you are not parents because if you are I would be appalled! Kids have a lot of energy and they do not enjoy being cooped up for long periods of time! Its not about how well behaved they are or arent. Its not entirely a parents fault. I hope I do not encounter any of you when I take my daughter to disney in a few months because I will not hesitate to speak my mind. She is 3 yrs old and I hope she will behave on the plane but if she cries because she is scared then that is okay and others should be understanding and compassionate not cruel!
2 people like this
• United States
10 Jul 08
Well, it's nice to hear a different opinion, but I don't like it when people use a disability for an excuse to have their kids engage in behavior that is a danger to others. According to the article, these kids were really out of control from what a lot of people said, not just kids who are fidgeting or crying. One person mentioned them trying to pull open the emergency handles, but I don't know if that's true. They were refusing to remain seated while the seatbelt lights are on and were disrupting services. I've seen lots of children fly that never did any of that stuff. I've met a lot of kids with disabilities and while it is more difficult for some of them to behave, many can be controlled reasonably well. Helen Keller's parents used to think that their child couldn't be responsible for her behavior, but her teacher thought otherwise and she was made into a respectable women with lots of accomplishments. Perhaps you should take a flight that has several stops on the way so that your kids aren't cooped up for hours and can get out to a larger area to burn off their energy.
2 people like this
• United States
10 Jul 08
I also don't think it was the children who had the disabilities who had the problem, but most likely the other kids.
2 people like this
• United States
10 Jul 08
Also, before anyone says anything about not knowing what it's like having a child with a disability, an emotional, or behavior problem, just ask my mom about it.
2 people like this
• United States
10 Jul 08
I do not know what other think of this but I for one think the airlines did the right thing. My sister and her husband work for an airline and they have to put up with so much garbage from passengers it is not funny. It is time the airlines think of the safety of themselves and others. If the passengers cannot obey the rules then they do not deserve to fly. I do think the airlines should give some of the peoples money back, the cost from cost of the ticket from Arizona to Seattle. They do not deserve all their money back.
2 people like this
• United States
10 Jul 08
I read in a later report that she was given a full refund, not a partial refund as I heard before. But, she is complaining about how she had to pay $2000 for tickets on another airline at such a short notice. I don't know how much her original plane fair was. I don't know how the rest of her trip went, but it was probably shorter, so it might not have been as bad.
3 people like this
• United States
10 Jul 08
oops, I meant "fare" not "fair".
3 people like this
• United States
11 Jul 08
I understood what you meant. I think she will be getting a lawyer and file a discrimination case you watch and see. Heck some lawyer may be doing that probono as we speak.
1 person likes this
@suspenseful (40316)
• Canada
10 Jul 08
I hope the lady told the flight attendant that her children have disabilities and then the flight attendant would have made compensations. I do think that the children should have been put in seats and told to stay unless they had to go to the washroom. If she did not inform them, then the airplane is not to blame for kicking them off the plane. If she did tell them and the flight attendant did not bring books or games to keep the children happy, it was the fault of the attendant and thereby the plane. If something had happened while the children were running around like an accident, she would have sued the airplane. So if one has children with disabilities be it autism, or whatever, one has to inform the plane authorities prior to boarding so they can make special arrangements and if one has already told the plane, then it is up to the attendants and their mother to make sure that these children are kept otherwise occupied.
• United States
10 Jul 08
I know that they talked to the family twice, but beyond that, I don't know. It's hard for any child to be on a long flight and I can understand them fidgeting and crying, but it had to have been really bad if they got kicked off.
3 people like this
@suspenseful (40316)
• Canada
10 Jul 08
I think the mother was making excuses. She probably thinks her children are darling little angels. She should have known how to handle them. I used to watch Nanny 911 and they had a game called "going to a restaurant" and the children pretended to go to a restaurant and practiced asking nicely. She could have played a similar game but called it "going to on the plane to visit ---" and get them a feel of what a flight is like.
2 people like this
• United States
10 Jul 08
I think that some families are so used to their behavior that they don't realize that they might be causing a hardship somewhere.
2 people like this
• Canada
16 Jul 08
Wow!! Another crazy news story. I feel eough for the woman with all o the stu that he aleady had on her plae, and now to be kicked off the plane? Yikes!! They can do this, when kids with no problems are running amok in cafes, and no one does anyhing?
2 people like this
• United States
16 Jul 08
I wonder if there's some kind of legal issues regarding having people moving about the plane with the seatbelt lights on. Even though there has been airline de-regulation for the last 30 years, there are still laws and rules. It's entirely possible that the airline was looking at possible liability issues, too.
2 people like this
• Canada
16 Jul 08
I just watced the video. Phoenix? I spend a lot of time in that airport lying between Phoenix and Toronto quie often.
1 person likes this
@teison2 (5924)
• Norway
10 Jul 08
I feel I have a high tolerance for kids on planes. Sure they are going to be exited and make some noice. Sure they should be able to move a bit during long flight. Adults do too. But there has to be a line somewhere. For me the line needs to be drawn when safety is jeopardized. I believe it was right to refuse this family back on the plane. I unerstand it might be hard to travel with four kids - especially these kids, but still the adults need to be able to controle them. Otherwise they just cannot fly. When given two warnings you'll have to expect the two adults can kep four kids in their seats. I think families are given a lot of space and freedom on flights. Sometime too much. I do not mind a kid screaming much - as long as the parents try to calm them. I do not mind kids walking in the aisle - as long as the parents company them and watch them. I really do mind when small kids are allowed to run around, pulling emergency handles, trying to get into the cocpit, do not follow safety regulations, and it is apparent that the parents cannot control them. I feel unsafe. I understand this mother has a hard time with her kids, but unless she's able to keep them and others safe she has to stay off planes and other dangerous situations. If you do not behave you cannot participate. Autists and kids with cerebral pareses can behave.
• United States
10 Jul 08
I agree. I don't know if she knew that they were going to behave this way before they got on the plane as I don't know if they've flown before. It makes me wonder how the kids would behave on a train where people move around a lot more.
3 people like this
• United States
10 Jul 08
Darline it makes me wonder how they act at home.
@Hatley (164755)
• Garden Grove, California
9 Jul 08
I feel sorry for her with an autistic child and a child with cerebral palsy, but I doubt very much that a child with palsy is goingto be running up and down theaisles at all,so the other two must have been a hand full. she has to keepthem seatbealted however for safety of all concerned. she should have got another adult to come along as care taker. what a burden for her.
2 people like this
• United States
9 Jul 08
She had her sister with her - apparently two adults weren't enough. I agree, the child with cerebral palsy probably wasn't one of the troublemakers. I doubt it was the autistic child either. My nephew is autistic. He has 3 brothers. If someone is in trouble, it's never him. Autistic children don't normally like to interact much with others, so I can't imagine he would have been the one running up and down the isles. My nephew can be difficult to calm down if something upsets him, but he cries or calls out - it's not a physical reaction. If he has a book or a video he is occupied for hours. I imagine if you interviewed the teachers for the two that were running up and down the isles you'd find out they are a problem there also.
• United States
10 Jul 08
I agree with you and Beaniecat about the child with cerebral palsey, it would be very hard to move around. I agree with Beaniecat regarding autistic children. I read on another site that the women were warned twice about their children.
1 person likes this
@PearlGrace (3172)
• United States
15 Jul 08
Hello desertdarlene. I did actually hear about this situation. And I must say that I am not surprised the family was asked to de-plane if the kids were not remaining in their seat belts. That is, of course, a huge safety violation on a plane and I can't imagine that any airline would overlook that. I get the feeling there was more going on here than the typically crying baby or loud kids.
• United States
15 Jul 08
Yeah, I don't think that it was just being loud or crying that did it. I know that if I were a stewardess on that plane, I would be pretty scared about having kids running around while the seatbelt sign was on. You never know if they might hit an "air pocket" or something that would throw these kids all around the plane. There might even be laws about that, too.
2 people like this
@dragon54u (31608)
• United States
10 Jul 08
Can't watch the video but having kids run rampant on a plane is dangerous for them as well as all the other people. Parents need to keep control of their kids on public transportation or stay home. I'm sorry her kids have problems but maybe another form of transportation-or a babysitter at home or on the plane-may have been more appropriate.
2 people like this
• United States
10 Jul 08
I think they were going to visit their dad, so they couldn't stay home. I don't know why their dad could go to see them. I mentioned this before, but I wonder what they would be like on a train where people move around a lot more. I don't think they would last long on a bus, either. The only thing I can think of is driving a car back.
2 people like this
@lingli_78 (12846)
• Australia
9 Jul 08
i sympathise the mother of the children... i know how hard it is to take care of children with special needs even though i don't have one yet myself... i know that they are causing a danger to themselves and i don't know what the airline can do to prevent it besides kicking them out... so i think in this situations the airline is doing the right thing and the mother should think twice before bringing them travelling on the plane if she knows that they will behave in this way... take care and have a nice day...
2 people like this
• United States
10 Jul 08
Thanks. I got the impression that this family doesn't fly all that much. A lot of parents get used to their childrens' behavior and tune it out. Sometimes, they don't realize how out of control their kids are.
1 person likes this
@metschica25 (5407)
• United States
9 Jul 08
It makes me wonder how out of hand these kids really were . I wonder if when they had a talk with the mother if she was able to calm them down some , or if she let it go in one ear and out the other. I work with all types of kids , and for the most part they can be under control . Maybe , they made a huge deal out of it . I was not on the plane so I dont know . They could of atleast gave the mom some warning about being greeted off the plane .
2 people like this
• United States
10 Jul 08
That's true, we just really don't know. I encounter a wide variety of children and I know that some really can be very energetic and easily excited. But, most of them have been able to be controlled in some fashion.
1 person likes this
@devilsangel (1817)
• United States
9 Jul 08
As a frequent flyer I understand the airlines situation. I think there should be a rule that no more than 2 children can fly per adult. So if there's only one adult then they can only fly with two kids, for any more kids there needs to be another adult. It makes me wonder though why the mother knowing the problems with her children would choose to fly them. I have children myself and I know how long the flight is from Detroit to Seattle because we live in WA and have flown cross country many times. Even for an adult that's a long flight and you get restless, so for a child I can only imagine how bored they must have been.
2 people like this
• United States
10 Jul 08
That's for sure. I used to hate flying from Detroit to San Diego when I was a kid. I think the woman had her sister with her who was an adult.
1 person likes this
@bmorehouse1 (1029)
• United States
9 Jul 08
The airline says they were taken off the plane for the safety of their passengers. What were these kids going to do to the other passengers? Kids will be kids, but of course the mother should have had better control over them. I think when airlines boot passengers off the plane for whatever reason, and the passenger is going to be stuck in the airport, the airline needs to compensate that passenger for food, etc until they can get transportation out. It seems that airlines boot people off of flights a lot anymore. They are in the transportation business and they should realize that people are not perfect. If the flight is going to be jeopardized by a passenger that could cause harm to other passengers, then by all means take them off, otherwise the flight should go on.
• United States
9 Jul 08
I think there were safety concerns that they were running around with the seatbelt light on. Also, they probably were making it hard for people to move up and down the isle and may have been inhibiting flight attendants trying to do their job.
@valeria1 (2724)
• United States
9 Jul 08
Well I saw myself in an airplane with screaming kids many times and is really anoying. I feel no sympathy but I think the airlines should have a questionaire or something for the families and they should not allow kids under certain age to fly. Or better book planes for mothers and fathers and kids only and let them scream and scream and have the fun.
2 people like this
• United States
9 Jul 08
I agree with you on this one, unfortunately. I work in a place with a lot of children and most of them are very nice and well behaved as children their age can be. But, you get these families once in a while who have no control whatsoever over their children and their kids run around, scream, and just upset everyone. I know quite a few autistic people and people who have children with various disabilities and they are very well behaved, so I don't think that's an excuse.
2 people like this
@Rozie37 (15503)
• Turkmenistan
10 Jul 08
I have not seen the story. But from what you wrote, this is very sad indeed. I have never ridden on a plane in my life. But I would imagine that this happened because the airline would be liable if something happened to the children, but I am not sure.
1 person likes this
• United States
10 Jul 08
I've actually been hearing more and more about incidents on a plane where people are being unruly. Strange it seems to have started after they banned smoking on planes. I think that's just a co-incidence, though. I haven't flown for a long time, but other than your average jerk, nothing really noteworthy really happened on any of the planes I've flown.
2 people like this
• India
10 Jul 08
smoking is not allowed on Indian planes
• United States
10 Jul 08
It wasn't too long ago. My parents used to buy the seats just one row ahead of the smokers. That's great choice for an asthmatic, too. But, they were often the cheapest seats, too. They banned smoking on domestic flights, first, and I think they just banned smoking on international flights fairly recently. But, I'm not sure if they did or not.
1 person likes this
@Ldyjarhead (10157)
• United States
9 Jul 08
That's a tough call for sure. Personally, I don't disagree with the airline for not letting her continue, especially if she had been asked more than once to take care of her children and she did not, for whatever reason. If she couldn't handle all four of her children even with her sister there, she should not have been flying. Having said that, at the very least she should have had at least a portion of her money refunded. It's unfortunate that they were stuck there, but we are each responsible for our actions, and she didn't comply with requests from in-flight personnel, so at that point it became her problem, not the airlines. No doubt she'll sue and with all the media attention, will probably win, and that will set a precedent for everyone to just do what they want and expect everyone else to bear the responsibility.
1 person likes this
• United States
9 Jul 08
On our local news, they said that she was refunded her money for the portion that she didn't travel. Also, airport personnel apparently gave them a meal and a few other things while they were put on another airline to continue their trip.
1 person likes this
@Ldyjarhead (10157)
• United States
9 Jul 08
So she is complaining WHY? Sheesh ...
@nova1945 (1614)
• United States
9 Jul 08
The woman must have known the rules and how her children behave. I have always believed that there should be separate flights for people with children. That way an adult passenger can decide for themselves whether they want to fly on that particular plane and there can be no complaints if the children on it are ill-behaved. That being said, I don't blame the airline for putting safety first and removing the family if they can't or won't follow the rules. I do think they should be compensated for whatever portion of the flight they were unable to take. Perhaps they could take the train next time.
1 person likes this
• United States
9 Jul 08
I used to fly a lot as a kid and would see a lot of other kids on the flight. Like I said to someone else, sure they get bored and will get cranky, but I had never heard of the total lack of control this woman had. I'm sure there have been other children like hers on other flights who didn't behave that way.
1 person likes this
@nova1945 (1614)
• United States
9 Jul 08
I'm sure you're right, but a line has to be drawn and the airline needs to make that line clear to passengers who fly with children. Then they have no one to blame but themselves if their kids cross that line.
@elmiko (6640)
• United States
10 Jul 08
Airplane tickets are high enough and should the rest of the passengers have to deal with this the whole flight? I don't think so.
1 person likes this
• United States
10 Jul 08
The first times I few on an airline, prices were even higher. But, that was before the deregulation that happened during the 1980s. Before that, planes were way less crowded. Perhaps that's why we are getting more people acting up.
1 person likes this
• Japan
10 Jul 08
I am really sorry to hear that news.
1 person likes this
• United States
10 Jul 08
Thanks for responding.
1 person likes this
@rajikoshy (743)
• India
10 Jul 08
I think its not the children who were kicked off its the parents who have not brought up their children in a proper way.
• United States
10 Jul 08
Yes, perhaps.
1 person likes this