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Allegiant Air Bounces Mom and Unruly Kids Off Flight

November 16, 2009 at 4:39 PM | by | ()

If there's a faster way to generate angry comments than travel etiquette-related "airline penalizes individual to protect other passengers" posts, we certainly haven't heard of it. And while we don't expect this story to generate the kind of heat we get on our discussions of overweight seatmates, there is something a little disquieting about the cheering that goes on when unruly children get thrown off flights.

Don't get us wrong. Had we been in the cabin when Allegiant Air removed this mom, her screaming toddler, and her kicking 4 year old—we probably would have felt relieved and satisfied. Misbehaved kids are a capital-T Thing on long flights. We've got a whole Travel With Children category. We just don't know what the alternative is.

On one hand you want to say something like "other people also paid for the flight, and they're entitled to a decent amount of comfort and quiet." On the other hand you've got "well do you just expect every parent of every toddler to not travel any more?" There's definitely an argument that most travelers in most circumstances should just put on their noise-canceling headphones and deal.

In any case, Allegiant removed the family, refused to provide a refund, and offered to rebook them for an extra $900. Those last two parts are probably over the line. Boarding and removing children should be part of the cost of playing for airlines. If they don't want to assume the foreseeable risks then they should explicitly ban children. Otherwise they should expect crying and pooping—that's what babies do—and they should deal with angry passengers the same way they would in any other situation. Fully compensate everyone and hope it all goes away.

Disagree? Here's a local news report to get you ready for sounding off in the comments:

[Photo: schleifnet / Flickr]

Related Stories:
· Family Kicked Off Flight For Misbehaving Kids, No Refund [Consumerist]
· Allegiant Air Coverage [Jaunted]
· Travel With Children [Jaunted]

Archived Comments:

They deserved it

Why don't our airlines offer adult-only flights? I can imagine most regular business travelers would welcome the option, even if the flight cost more. Southwest, where are you? Are you listening? I'll take your cattle call boarding for a kid-free flight!

I'm with the lady on this one

The airline could have been more patient and helpful in getting the family situated for takeoff. Kids are kids. What would they do with a special needs child? And if it insisted on kicking them off the flight, it definitely should compensate her. I know what it's like. The people who roll their eyes when I come down the aisle with my two-year-old can bite me. Put in your earbuds and suffer in silence. We're all doing our best.