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Misbehaving Child on a Flight? Alaska Airlines Ain't Having That

June 4, 2012 at 5:53 PM | by | ()

As we have repeatedly confirmed and often mention, and with the exception of the "overweight passengers in seats" screaming match, there is absolutely nothing that gets travelers riled up like the "kids on airplanes" debate.

Of the many reasons we have an entire travel with children category, there's the plain fact that everyone has an opinion—and almost always a strong one—about the controversy. Either you have to do it and you don't understand why people won't make allowances for you and your children, or you loathe traveler parents and can't stand the little crotch flowers they drag along with them. There are enough people in the latter group that Malaysia Airlines has evaluated the market and started banning children from huge sections of their airplanes.

Which brings us to the the Yanchak family. They were traveling last week on an Alaska Airlines flight leaving Seattle. Mom and grandmother were sitting in first class with an infant, and dad was sitting in coach 3 year old Daniel. We're not going to talk about how this family decided it was OK to bring a baby into the first class cabin. It's an obvious violation of the "if you have children keep them in the back of the plane" peace treaty that's supposed to make air travel bearable for parents and non-parents alike. But we don't have that kind of time.

Instead let's focus on Daniel, who apparently just refused to shut the eff up after dad turned off his iPad: "He was crying, being cranky... I started putting him in his seat. I put his seat belt on. But he was being cranky, trying to be close to me, so he wasn't fully fastened yet."

Eventually the wife calmed the child down by bringing him a pacifier and some water (because dad didn't have those things?). Deciding that these parents had no control over their child, and that even buckling him up presented a choking hazard, the pilot declared that he didn't want to deal with a repeat temper tantrum in the air. He had the family removed from the plane, and Alaska Airlines offered them a flight the next day. Offer declined, incidentally.

Airline blog Mommy Points has a catalog of everything that the family did wrong when it comes to traveling with children. It's quite extensive. So while it sounds like a bad situation all around, and while usually we'd try a little on-the-one-hand-on-the-other, no sympathy.

[Photo: Ma1974 / Flickr]

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