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Old Jul 26, 13, 1:50 am   #1
 
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Thumbs down Kicked off flight due to toddler crying caused by US Airways

I was kicked of a US Airways flight because my child was having a tantrum. He had been seated in his carseat in the bulkhead row for 30 minutes while the plane was boarded. Minutes before takeoff- we were told that carseats could not be in the bulkhead. I made the reservation on the phone with an agent that put my in the bulkhead, knowing that I was traveling with 2 children in carseats.

We were surrounded by flight attendants, who grabbed at my child and at his personal belongsings in an attempt to quickly move us. This caused him to tantrum as now he was moved from his window seat to an aisle seat the row behind. I was kicked off and told that I could fly with my 2 children on a flight that left 6 hours later if I wanted to wait around for it. When we were kicked off, my son immediately stopped his tantrum but we were told it was too late.

Despite being disrupted and the fact that he stopped making noise, we were unapologetically denied travel. The next day when I tried to rebook the price of the tickets had almost doubled and US Airways did nothing to accommodate us.
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Old Jul 26, 13, 3:54 am   #2
 
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Too much information is missing. What's a tantrum? Was he loud, kicking and screaming or refused to remain seated?

As for changing seats US airways are a bit unclear as to that on their website even, so I'd complain about that. Who booked the seat is therefor not that important since you can't know that it won't be allowed.

Also they told you you could fly with a flight in 6 hours (presumably their next flight), declined, left the airport and arrived next day trying to book a ticket for the same day? Yeah, that'll cost you. Also if they offered you a flight in 6 hours they did try to accommodate you, travelling with kids I may have preferred not to spend 6 hours in an airport, either, but I don't think US airways will pay for that.
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Old Jul 26, 13, 5:37 am   #3
 
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More info

The 3 year old was buckled into his carseat (5 point harness) which was buckled into the plane. The tantrum was yelling and crying. I guess my frustration is that the whole disruption was a result of them making an error in booking our tickets - by assigning us the bulkhead row, and then waiting until moments before takeoff to make us move. I pre-boarded in order to get settled with the children and to avoid a tantrum. As most people also know- toddler tantrums are generally fast and furious. This one was over by the time we were kicked off but it was too late according to the flight attendant.

Yes, 6 hours later was the next flight. I was not about to wait around the airport all day and then take a 5 hour flight.

Last edited by crosscountrytravlr; Jul 26, 13 at 5:39 am. Reason: Typo
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Old Jul 26, 13, 6:00 am   #4
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Did you make it clear when booking you were going to be using a carseat? Did you specifically request a bulkhead row?

Also why did you not take the next flight and instead turn up at the airport the next day? Did you agree this arragement with US Airways as an alternative to waiting for the next flight, and get new tickets issued?

My guess is there is more to the story, perhaps arguing with crew when they required you to be re-seated which led to you being removed from the flight, then being told they would put you on the next flight 6 hours later, but instead you chose to leave the airport, then later decided to try the next day.
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Old Jul 26, 13, 6:09 am   #5
 
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I made it clear when booking that I wanted the bulkhead for that exact reason. I had my husband get a gate pass so that he could watch my son while I set up his carseat in the bulkhead row.
To clarify, I did not "show up" at the airport the next day looking to rebook, I called reservations. I did not argue at all at the airport, I just left crying after a very humiliating experience.
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Old Jul 26, 13, 6:23 am   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crosscountrytravlr View Post
I made it clear when booking that I wanted the bulkhead for that exact reason. I had my husband get a gate pass so that he could watch my son while I set up his carseat in the bulkhead row.
To clarify, I did not "show up" at the airport the next day looking to rebook, I called reservations. I did not argue at all at the airport, I just left crying after a very humiliating experience.
I am sorry you had such a bad experience. It is always best to sort out a new ticket at the airport if you are offloaded, rather than leave the airport. If they were going to put you on the next flight, they most likely would have put you on the flight the next day.
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Old Jul 26, 13, 8:06 am   #7
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crosscountrytravlr View Post
The 3 year old was buckled into his carseat (5 point harness) which was buckled into the plane. The tantrum was yelling and crying. I guess my frustration is that the whole disruption was a result of them making an error in booking our tickets - by assigning us the bulkhead row, and then waiting until moments before takeoff to make us move. I pre-boarded in order to get settled with the children and to avoid a tantrum. As most people also know- toddler tantrums are generally fast and furious. This one was over by the time we were kicked off but it was too late according to the flight attendant.

Yes, 6 hours later was the next flight. I was not about to wait around the airport all day and then take a 5 hour flight.
I can't really see why someone would be offloaded simply for crying or screaming (even if I sometimes secretly hope that they will be). Perhaps the FA got the situation wrong, had a bad day or something is lacking. My personal preference is as long as I don't threaten, assault or interfere with anything I may be grumpy.

If the decision to offload you has been made I'm guessing that's not going to change and I've never heard of anyone getting a "Off" followed by a "sorry, just kidding".

As have been stated above it would have been easier to get tickets for a flight that suited you immediately, as I'm guessing the flight the next day wasn't full and the flight in six hours was empty. It may be uncomfortable at the time to stay and fix those things but it leads to a lot less work in the long run. Since your husband was there I'm also assuming this was on the outward trip on a round trip ticket? If you travelled you should make sure the other leg isn't cancelled.

You can ask for a refund of the ticket(s) you and your family bought, and write what you wrote here. I've never had anything to do with US Airways customer relations team so I don't know how they are to work with.
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Old Jul 26, 13, 8:57 am   #8
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US has clear policies about off-loading and they are made after consultations between the cabin crew witnessesing the incident and then by the Captain. The incident will have been fully documented by the FA's and then by the Captain.

Giving OP the boot meant that the entire pax count had to be revised, weight & balance recalculated and all of the attendant operational changes made. US certainly has no reason to want to do this.

If OP believes that she was wronged, she can write in to US and if she doesn't obtain what she thinks is satisfaction, she can complaint to DOT. US will have its written reports and, like most carriers, tends to back its crews.
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Old Jul 26, 13, 9:23 am   #9
 
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They asked you to put your carseat in an aisle? I thought that was prohibited.

Regarding the bulkhead issue, my experience on another airline (AA) was that the reservation agents did not know that car seats wouldn't work in the bulkhead, and they would recommend the bulkhead for space, etc. It's not surprising that this is also an issue at other airlines. I can't imagine that a flight crew would take someone off the flight solely because his or her child was throwing a tantrum, though.
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Old Jul 26, 13, 10:11 am   #10
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I'm a former Flight Attendant and confused.

1. You can't get kicked off a flight just because your child is crying. Trust me, I've been there. Families have been kicked off flights because their children wouldn't stay seated (either in their laps or in a seat). This IS a FAA violation. Crying is not.

2. Why couldn't you sit in the bulkhead? If the seat fit, it should be good to go. Was it an exit row? Exit row seating guidelines apply and no children, car seat or not, are allowed. But I've never heard of car seats not being allowed in the bulkhead. If that's true, it's US Airways rule, NOT a FAA reg.

3. They put a car seat on the aisle? Both airlines I worked for didn't allow this. I've heard some airlines allow certain car seats on the aisle so perhaps this applies??

4. Families who are booted off are usually re-accommodated quickly. Heck, they do this when the passenger is totally at fault! There was a school group removed from a flight and they split them up and got them to their destination (abeit, some kind of creatively) and they weren't cooperating with crew instructions (wouldn't take their seats for take-off).

Did you leave the airport before getting a re-assignment? Not a sin in itself but did the revs agent you spoke with know about the situation?

Something went very wrong. Sorry to hear about this but pursue it. You may also want to contact a lawyer if necessary. Crying is NOT a reason to off-load a family.
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Old Jul 26, 13, 10:44 am   #11
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eclipsepearl View Post

2. Why couldn't you sit in the bulkhead? If the seat fit, it should be good to go. Was it an exit row? Exit row seating guidelines apply and no children, car seat or not, are allowed. But I've never heard of car seats not being allowed in the bulkhead. If that's true, it's US Airways rule, NOT a FAA reg.
I'm assuming it is airbag related, since the recent installation of airbags in many bulkheads is making it difficult or impossible to use car seats in bulkheads.
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Old Jul 26, 13, 11:33 am   #12
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Old Jul 26, 13, 12:31 pm   #13
 
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US Airways does not care

After speaking with a customer relations specialist- I found out that the reason for the move was airbags in the bulkhead. They said that the crying child (although securely buckled in his seat) was a danger to the other passengers. Their justification was that you might not be able to hear crew instructions. It does seem rediculous to me as I have been on MANY flights with loud children. The FA said "He can't scream for 5 hours." And I said, "Of course he won't. He with either sleep or watch movies on the iPad." I think that they rushed to kick us off because they didn't want to delay the flight.

I did leave the airport before being reassigned. I confess, I was pretty distraught! The offer was take the flight 6 hours later or get refunded. THe gate agents were very cold and unsympathetic and didn't give many options. When I called reservations the next day I told them the whole story and they said that their department had nothing to do with customer relations and all they could do was book at the current rate.

Everyone that I have told the story to is in disbelief (as am I) that this happened. People are suggesting that I go to the media (which I would really prefer not to do). Does anyone know of an attorney or advocacy group that could assist?
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Old Jul 26, 13, 1:38 pm   #14
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crosscountrytravlr View Post
.. flight attendants, who grabbed at my child...
I do not believe for a moment that FA "grabbed" your child - this claim alone makes me very suspicious about how much exaggeration you have in your post.

Quote:
Everyone that I have told the story to is in disbelief (as am I) that this happened
I am in disbelief too but probably for different reasons.
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Old Jul 26, 13, 1:59 pm   #15
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eclipsepearl View Post
I'm a former Flight Attendant and confused.

1. You can't get kicked off a flight just because your child is crying. Trust me, I've been there. Families have been kicked off flights because their children wouldn't stay seated (either in their laps or in a seat). This IS a FAA violation. Crying is not.

2. Why couldn't you sit in the bulkhead? If the seat fit, it should be good to go. Was it an exit row? Exit row seating guidelines apply and no children, car seat or not, are allowed. But I've never heard of car seats not being allowed in the bulkhead. If that's true, it's US Airways rule, NOT a FAA reg.

3. They put a car seat on the aisle? Both airlines I worked for didn't allow this. I've heard some airlines allow certain car seats on the aisle so perhaps this applies??

4. Families who are booted off are usually re-accommodated quickly. Heck, they do this when the passenger is totally at fault! There was a school group removed from a flight and they split them up and got them to their destination (abeit, some kind of creatively) and they weren't cooperating with crew instructions (wouldn't take their seats for take-off).

Did you leave the airport before getting a re-assignment? Not a sin in itself but did the revs agent you spoke with know about the situation?

Something went very wrong. Sorry to hear about this but pursue it. You may also want to contact a lawyer if necessary. Crying is NOT a reason to off-load a family.
1. Wouldn't there be a limit? I mean, at some point it is extremely disruptive to everyone.

2. Airbags

3. I read the OP as saying the child was relocated to an aisle seat, not to the aisle. Is there a reg against aisle seats?

4. Sounds like US offered a different flight but the OP declined and left the airport.
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