Flying with the children, especially babies, is challenging enough without having to deal with nasty flight attendants and airport security. Don't get me wrong, there are plenty of flight attendants who are more than willing to help a mother out, but there are also some who despise children, going so far as to exert their power to kick then off planes for crying.
We all heard about the man being dragged off the overbooked American Airlines flight recently. But how about the mom travelling on the American Airlines flight where a flight attendant violently took the woman's stroller, hitting her in the process and narrowly missing the baby in her arms?
The classy flight attendant then tried to fight a passenger who stood up for her. Both of these incidents made the news because they were recorded by other passengers and shared on social media. It makes us wonder how many other times moms have been victimized by airlines. From kids being put on the wrong flight, to dream vacations ruined due to delays, these are the types of things that can cause even the most level-headed mama to have a meltdown.
Read on for 15 times airlines wronged mothers and see how these mama bears fought back.
15 The Threat Of The Crying Baby
Canadian mother and musician Sarah Blackwood was 7 months pregnant when she was kicked off a United Airlines flight because her 23 month old was crying as the flight was about to take off. The flight attendants told the mother she and her child would have to leave if he couldn't be controlled. As any parent knows, departing and landing are the worst part of a flight for little ones, many freak out during those times and then happily go to sleep or play for the rest of the flight.
Her son crying while the plane takes off is totally normal. In fact, the little boy fell asleep after the plane took off as expected, however the flight attendants turned the plane around and made them leave. Sarah took to Twitter to share the incident with others using the hashtag #momhate. The flight attendants sound like the crybabies in this case.
14 Boy Ends Up In Wrong City
You know how frustrating it is when an airline looses your luggage or sends it to the wrong city. Imagine how you would feel if your child was put on the wrong plane and sent to another city.
How does an airline put a five year old child on the wrong plane? It all started when the child old was on a trip to the Dominican Republic with his mother. She flew home one week earlier and left him in the care of relatives who then brought him to the airport to board his flight home to New York.
Despite paying a fee for a JetBlue employee to look after the boy on the plane, the boy ended up in Boston. His mother was beside herself and thought he had been kidnapped. After the boy was located hours later, and sent back to New York, the mother got a lawyer.
13 The Stroller Incident
When a video of a mother holding a baby in one arm sobbing aboard a plane surfaced, it upset parents everywhere. The woman was recorded by a fellow passenger after having her stroller wrestled away from her by a flight attendant aboard an American Airlines flight, hitting her and narrowly missing her baby while the other twin sat close by.
The video ends with the male flight attendant provoking another passenger to fight when he calls him out on his disgusting behavior. How did this happen? The woman was told she could take the collapsible stroller on the flight, only to have it taken by the angry flight attendant. The airline ended up suspending the employee. What a traumatic event for a mother to experience, as if travelling with twins isn't challenging enough, right?
12 Special Needs Situation
What is worse, when United Airlines humiliated a family with a special need child aboard a flight, or when they defended their actions on Twitter when reporters called them out?
The mother of a 3 year old special needs child broke down after a flight attendant told her that her child couldn't sit on her lap for take off and landing. The mother had purchased a seat for the child, however, she was unable to sit in it due to her condition.
The flight attendant lectured the upset mother on seat belt policies and then got the entire crew and pilot involved, leaving the family in tears. Ultimately the two were kicked off the plane.
So what's the rule? It turns out children over two have to sit in their own seat, unless they are unable to do so. The mom was technically right, but after the ordeal she won't be flying United any time soon.
11 Bye Bye Airplane
One mother encountered a snooty flight attendant aboard her plane ride from Houston to Oklahoma on a Continental Express flight. Her 19 month old son was saying "bye bye" to the other planes as they were about to take flight. It was repetitive as toddlers are.
Well the irked flight attendant wasn't having it. She told the mother her son wasn't cute anymore and to shut him up. When the mother asked how she was supposed to do that the flight attendant said "It's called medicine". Seriously. Obviously the mother said that wasn't going to happen, and ended up being kicked off the plane with her little one without any food or drinks for him.
10 Security Pat Down
A Texas mama vented her frustration on social media after her 13 year old son faced a pat down and was interrogated by the TSA while going through security before boarding their flight.
What could the boy have possibly done in order to warrant this treatment? He forgot to take his laptop out of his carry on. The worst part about this story is the boy suffers from a sensory disorder that makes him more sensitive to touch than others.
The mother alerted agents about this, however, it was completely ignored and the search proceeded. The woman told reporters her family was treated like dogs at the airport. While I am all for security, there is a more sensitive way to treat a child.
9 The Pump Ban
When a travelling business woman tried to take her breast pump aboard a Delta plane she was shocked to hear it had to be checked in her luggage. It wasn't allowed in her carry-on bag. As any pumping mama knows, it is urgent to pump every few hours to avoid not only leakage but the pain and inflammation.
The pump was taken away by security as if it was a bomb, despite the woman arguing that she needed the medical device onboard her flight to pump for her baby. After the incident the mama created a Facebook page called Boobs on Board to unite other mothers and raise awareness about the discrimination.
The page has over 2,000 followers to date.
8 Twin Troubles
A mother felt victimized by a Delta flight from JFK to Boston when she was told she had to leave the plane because she wasn't allowed to hold both of her twin babies on her lap during the flight. This story would have a sad ending except for the fact that a complete stranger jumped in to help.
Another mother on the plane who was travelling with her young child offered to hold one of the babies for the entire flight. She rocked, fed and sang to the baby and kept them entertained the entire time. She was overheard telling her child it was their job to help other people when they needed it. This story wouldn't have made the news except that a fellow passenger took to social media to share how the incident restored her faith in humanity.
7 A Hot Meal Request
In another terrible incident aboard a United Airlines flight, a mother and her daughter with special needs were escorted off a plane by police. The child doesn't do well with cold food, so the mother purchased her a warm sandwich. When it arrived, it wasn't warm at all. Instead of reheating it, the flight attendant gave her a hard time. She had to put up a fight to get something warm, saying if her daughter didn't eat she might have a melt down and throw a tantrum.
That should have been the end of it. Instead the pilot announced they were making an emergency landing due to the behavior of a passenger. Upon landing the police boarded the plane to find the girl calmly watching a video. Despite other passengers defending the child and her mother, the police escorted them off the plane.
6 Mom Down
A son flew his mother to visit him for a three week vacation. Sounds good right? It was a great trip up until his mother, in her 80’s, was injured when Air Canada allegedly failed to give her a wheelchair to help her board the plane.
The airline claims they were out of chairs and left the woman to board the plane without help, which resulted in her taking a tumble. Needless to say her son was livid that his mother was injured when the fall could have been prevented with a wheelchair or assistance from a flight attendant. Instead the woman was left to fend for herself. The son has flown Air Canada his entire life and never had any problems, but now he won’t use the airline again.
5 No Babies Allowed In First Class
If you are paying for a first class ticket on an international flight you are probably doing so in order to arrive at your destination well rested, that means without a screaming baby as your seat-mate. If you are a mother who is also travelling first class with her baby your goal is the same.
Should or shouldn’t babies be allowed in first class? This is a controversial topic that people have strong opinions on. Malaysian airlines is the first to announce the baby ban in first class.
I was recently on a United Airlines flight and overheard a gentleman saying he wasn’t allowed to fly first class with his baby, so it sounds like other airlines are following this trend. This bothered mothers who were previously willing to pay the extra 10% to take their baby in first class.
4 Broken Baby Gear
Imagine you spend months researching what stroller and car seat to purchase for your baby, save up for it, then go on a flight and have it broken. What's a mama to do when an airline damages your baby gear?
One mother was livid after her stroller was damaged on a SouthWest flight. When she raised the issue with the airline, they told her when she purchased her ticket she had checked a box with small print waiving liability for damages and she was on her own.
This story is far too common. The best things mothers can do is put their stroller in a protective bag and gate check it. Some companies like UPPAbaby will replace the stroller if it gets damaged while in their travel bag, as long as it's registered before flying. When it comes to car seats, the best policy is to take them on the plane with you. It's safer for your child to sit in and then you don't have to stress about an airline damaging your precious cargo.
3 Refusing A Blanket
When you are travelling with a baby you know they are going to be irritable if they get hungry mid-flight. The key to a happy baby while you are up in the air is a full baby. If you formula-feed, it is smart to be sure to take more than enough formula and bottles in case of delays or cancellations.
If you breastfeed it should be much more convenient to travel with a baby right? Not always. A mother named Emily Gillette claims she was kicked off her Delta flight from Vermont to New York City for refusing a blanket to use while she nursed her baby. The airline defends their decision and asks that mothers use modesty. That didn't stop pro-breastfeeding protests from happening post flight.
2 Switched Seating
There was a family who purchased a seat for their teenager from Hawaii to Los Angeles, but when their son took another flight, they used it for their baby. It seems logical, right? After all they did pay for the ticket and the seat.
Delta was not OK with their baby using the seat and went so far as to threaten the family that they would end up in jail with their kids taken away from them if they didn't comply with the rule.
The family was ultimately kicked off the plane and told they were on their own from this point forward. They had to pay for a hotel and another flight home the next day. Delta defended their actions saying the seat wasn't in the babies name and provided further compensation.
1 Disney Cruise Disaster
Imaging a mom planning a trip on a Disney cruise. From saving up for the trip of a lifetime to surprising her child, it was all rainbows and fairy dust. But then when she arrived at the airport, her flight was delayed 12 hours, causing her to miss the Disney Cruise and leaving her child in tears.
It’s no wonder this mama snapped when the airline offered her a $12 food voucher for her troubles. In a video posted to YouTube, she uses a choice of words to call the airline out on their lack of communication.
“We’re waiting all our lives for this! I have been waiting for this Disney cruise for a year already!”
Eventually the police were called to restore order and settle down the irate passengers. This is the stuff nightmares, not dreams, are made of.