So, a kid pitches a fit on an airplane and the family is asked to get off the flight (story here). At first, I felt bad for the parents, who were banned from flying for 24 hours just because their daughter couldn't stop crying. Then I saw this sentence: "Elly, who had been a model passenger on the flight to Florida four days earlier, began to cry uncontrollably once she got on the plane, throwing a temper tantrum on the floor."
Aha. If she's beating her fists against the floor instead of being strapped into her seat, the plane can't take off whether she's crying or not. That she wasn't in her seat, I'm guessing, was the real issue—after all, I've never heard of a plane making an emergency landing to eject a screaming kid (yup, this article in the Boston Globe makes it explicit that it wasn't the crying that got her ousted, but her refusal to sit in her seat). And the airline did try to make good with an apology and a refund. So I'm siding with the airline on this one. As the rep said in the article:
- "As we have an obligation to the 112 other passengers onboard the flight to operate the flight on time," AirTran said in a statement, "we had to make an operational decision to ask the Kulesza party to deplane so the flight could depart."
Plus, it's hard to be sympathetic about screaming kids on planes