I have yet to fly with kids but I feel so bad for this mom (seems like she was flying solo), I was almost in tears just watching the video.
Thoughts on this or any of your own horror stories involving flying with kids?
wonderful kiwi / 23653 posts
I didn't watch it since I'm at work and might start crying too. Ugh, how awful! If I was solo flying with TWO kids, I would be like bawling at that point. I'm glad someone stood up for her, even though it was clearly to no avail. I understand that there are stroller rules, but that flight attendant was clearly WAY out of line. Hitting the woman and almost the baby?!
apricot / 461 posts
Ugh. I'm so excited and also dreading my trip to the beach in June. I'm flying with just me and my 4 year old and 1 year old. It is 3 days after their birthdays that we leave, so the baby will be just barely 1 year old. I will have two boys, both of their carseats, and my carry on bag to lug around everywhere with me. On top of that, I have to worry about crap like this!
I've heard horror stories of people having bought tickets for their under two child so they can place them in their carseat on the plane (which is what I do). When the plane is oversold, they sometimes automatically pull the child's ticket (often without refund/compensation) and try to make the child a lap infant. The whole point of having the carseat on the plane is safety of the child and not to damage the carseat from having it checked and handled by the baggage people.
It shouldn't be that hard. If you pay for a ticket, you should get a seat. If you follow the rules (ie- have an FAA approved car seat), you should be able to have your child ride in it. If you don't know the rule and accidentally mess up, you should be kindly informed of the rule and not be hit and almost have your child hit by a flight attendant. It is outrageous how poorly our commercial airline system in the US is run.
pear / 1548 posts
I haven't watched the video and don't plan to, but I originally saw this video and story posted on the Dallas subreddit before it went viral. The first comment is from another passenger on the flight that had a first hand account to what transpired.
wonderful pea / 17279 posts
I would really like to know what happened before the video started rolling. Are airlines just being d-bags about how they enforce their rules?
Edit: @boopers: your link was helpful.
squash / 13208 posts
@Boopers: thanks for this - I was wondering why the stroller was even on the plane since they aren't allowed - seems like someone should have told her this at the gate - could have prevented the whole situation
eggplant / 11716 posts
@Boopers: I can't access reddit at work--what does it say?
eggplant / 11716 posts
@Mamaof2: I haven't read the link, but I always gate check my stroller and no one has ever asked where I'm going with the stroller when I wheel it up the gangway. I always go to the counter and ask for the gate check tag, and sometimes a FA has asked me to go get a gate check tag but other times the FA hasn't approached me so I go ask. So I guess it's plausible that the FA scanning tickets assumed she was gate checking the stroller and then she tried to board.
My other thought was that maybe it's a babyzen yoyo or mountain buggy nano stroller that folds small enough to go in an overhead bin, but the FA saw it and didn't understand that it folds and tried to take it....
wonderful pear / 26210 posts
I have never had a horrible experience flying with my son, I don't understand what's going on lately in the world of air travel.
It shouldn't be this difficult, something isn't right, but I don't think we'll all agree on what problem we're trying to fix!
squash / 13208 posts
@Anagram: good point - then I change my answer to :
the flight attendant greeting you as you enter the plane should have stopped her. She was not American so maybe she wasn't aware of the rule
The Argentinian lady and her two children were in the mid to back of the plane, she was somehow able to get her stroller on board and back to near her seat. Since I was near the front, I cannot know what happened. If she tried to put the stroller in the overhead bin or what. The flight attendant told her she could not have the stroller on the plane and he needs to take it. She refused to let him take it and was to the near point of shouting. The flight attendant shouted up for security very soon on, escalating the situation more (he should have been working on deescalating)
The flight attendant and the woman started making their way to the front of the plane (I forgot who had the stroller at this point). She had her two kids. She shouted something about being an Argentinian woman and yada yada.
It was this point where things escalated a bit more. The flight attendant and Argentinian woman were at the front of the plane in the crew area / next to the front door of the plane. She was hanging onto the stroller and refusing to let go. The flight attendant was trying to remove it from the plane. Both were at fault here in my opinion. The flight attendant's tone was overly aggressive. The woman was refusing to let it go and made an aggressive move grabbing the flight attendant (which she should not have done) This angered him and he responded by jerking the stroller harder knocking the Argentinian woman in the head and nearly missing her kids. The flight attendant should not have been so aggressive and should have been aware of the kids.
eggplant / 11716 posts
I've had one bed experience traveling with a kiddo, but it wasn't assault bad. I flew with my 3 month old solo from nyc-Dallas for a baby shower. I'd flown with my oldest several times, so I wasn't stressed flying with LO2 for the first time.
I booked my ticket and reserved an aisle seat, so I could easily get up to change diapers or whatever. But when I checked in, I suddenly had a middle seat. I asked at the check in gate what happened, they had no clue but said now the flight was full and I couldn't change. I was sat between two large business travelers who immediately put their tray tables down and put their laptops on, and I was nursing LO at the time and there was no space for her to lie sideways, plus it was just awkward with two dudes on either side of me. LO predictably had a big blowout and was a little fussy before, so businessman B kept sneering in our direction and kep dramatically sighing loudly when I asked him to let us out to go to the bathroom.
So, just awkward and sucky. I was mainly angry because I booked early specifically to get an aisle seat and then they switched the reservation. ugh.
eggplant / 11716 posts
OH and one other time, also when I had a lap baby, I paid for the extra space seats but they put the lady with the baby next to the lady that reserved the seat because she was quite literally *at least* 400 lbs. And I am not a fat shamer at all, but she literally did not fit in her seat. I felt awful for her, but with a baby in my lap, I couldn't scoot over to give her more space. We were kind of just stuck. I'm sure she was in pain, because her body was several inches into my space above and below the armrest, so the armrest was cutting into her quite a bit. Meanwhile, I couldn't get around her body to reach my diaper bag stowed under the seat in front of me. I would have to use my foot to scoot it into the aisle, and then bend into the aisle to get my stuff out...all with a baby in my lap.
I kind of felt like both times, the FAs were effing with the mom who also booked a lap child.
pomelo / 5257 posts
If you're not allowed on planes with a stroller, I don't understand how she made it on there still holding it. With this incident and the United one, it seems like there's a disconnect with the boarding process. Both issues could have been avoided if they had been dealt with prior to getting on the plane. It's not like it's easy to hide a stroller while you board, kind of seems like someone should have said something sooner...
I'm also annoyed that a lot of people are saying, "Well, she should have KNOWN you can't take strollers onto the plane, everyone knows that!" No, everyone does not know that. Not everyone flies all that often. Maybe she hadn't flown with kids before. Or maybe she just plain forgot. I used to forget to take my shoes off sometimes, even though I knew I was supposed to. Regardless, I'm irritated that our society seems to have this opinion that if you break a rule, you deserve whatever degree of punishment you get. I don't care what the story was, if it's true that the flight attendant grabbed the stroller and almost hit the child, that is NOT okay.
nectarine / 2813 posts
@Anagram: Did she not have to pay for an extra seat?? That's the stuff that drives me crazy about flying.
eggplant / 11824 posts
This is another where, similar to the United incident, things could have and should have been handled prior to boarding – as long as there was a gate agent checking in ticketed passengers (I know on some flights you self-service board) the situation could have been resolved before boarding when tensions are higher. Assuming there was a gate agent (since that’s the majority situation) why didn’t the gate agent tell her that strollers can’t be brought aboard and had her gate check it? Problem solved. If it was an FAA-approved stroller, then she could have said that. Problem solved. It’s unclear from the reddit account whether the FA explained why and where the stroller would go; if he didn’t that likely would have deescalated the situation considerably.
wonderful pear / 26210 posts
I have a stroller that I could fold and put in the overhead bin, but my understanding is that the stroller needs to be folded and in the bag...but it brings up a good point, I don't know at which point it needs to be in the bag.
cherry / 148 posts
Two alternative view points:
As far as those saying stroller issue should have been handled at the gate or at the entrance of the plane when the mom first stepped on board -
The gate agent could have told the momto gate check the stroller at the bottom of the jet bridge. Mom could have said yes without any intention to do so.
Once she got to the plane where a flight attendant is standing and greeting passengers, there could have been a multitude of scenarios on how she got past the FA -
FA tells mom that the stroller won't fit and/or not allowed but mom insisted and went past anyway or, FA acquiesced and said ok fine, try it (knowing it won't fit) so it won't turn into an argument and the passenger can find out for themselves.
Literally on every single plane I've boarded, regardless of the plane and overhead size, there are ALWAYS passengers who insist that their extremely obviously oversized bags will fit. I witnessed one man saying once "I'll make it fit" as he dismissed the FA and continued his way to his first class seat. Ended up breaking the overhead bin door and delaying the flight. What do you do in that case, physically grab the man from walking down the aisle? People have to listen and comply.
This is getting so out of hand. Cell phone video vigilantes recording the situation in the aftermath and media blowing them out of proportion without any explanation of what had had happened prior to the recording. There's always a few bad apples but airline workers aren't asking or demanding passengers to do something crazy or illegal... all this rage and aggression is only making it harder for everyone to do their jobs and for the rest of the passengers to get to their destination safely on time. Obviously this latest situation has been making the rounds in aviation circles and allegedly many of the other passengers who witnessed the situation PRIOR to the recording have written letters in support of the FA to the airline.
coconut / 8430 posts
According to the reddit discussion another user has chimed in and said that the lady's stroller was one that folded up really small and the lady had been told at a previous gate that she could stow it onboard and didn't need to check it.
I can see why she was getting upset if the FA was directly contradicting what she had been told earlier.
eggplant / 11716 posts
I don't know if we can even trust these Reddit accounts--have their details been confirmed by mods (like a scanned ticket or itinerary....or are those things easily faked online?)?
eggplant / 11716 posts
My dad was a pilot for AA and so usually I naturally side with employees, because I've heard such crazy stories. However, I was once on a flight that had a super aggressive and rude FA, and I've never forgotten it. One example, a woman was trying to stow her wheelie bag in the overhead compartment, but it was 3/4 full already, so she was rearranging. The FA came and said her bag was too large, and she needed to go to the front and have it checked. The passenger very politely said she flies all the time and it fits, but she is just moving some of the other passenger's small bags and jackets first. Then the FA blew up and demanded she go to the front and check her bag immediately and then shouted at several random passengers in various rows to stow their small "personal items" under the seats in front of them "IMMEDIATELY" and continued on aggressively ordering everyone around.
It wasn't what she was saying--it was how she was saying it. It was totally bizarre, but of course there are bad people in every profession so it's hard in these situations when we're hearing 3rd hand information who actually said/did what.
Could the mother have been imbalanced? Or just rude? maybe. Could the FA on board have been really aggressive for no reason? Maybe.
Only cameras with audio would tell the full story.
grapefruit / 4321 posts
@MrsSCB: I agree with you that if the flight attendant truly did hit her or was physically aggressive with her that's absolutely not OK regardless of the context. However, I take issue with your position that not everyone should be expected to know the rules. If you don't fly all the time, and you're going to be solo traveling with two kids and their gear, do some research before leaving to find out where your things need to go. Anyone who has even been on a plane before and has eyes knows that outside of something like the nano, a stroller won't fit anywhere on the plane. And when you check in, there are always those displays that say "if it fits here, it's a carry on" and it's quite obvious a stroller doesn't fit there. I just think lately our society has moved towards people taking so little personal responsibility. If you want to fly, doing a little research in advance seems a reasonable expectation. I fly with my kids all the time. I've flown solo with two of them (when they were 3 and 3 months) and I've never had an issue of any sort. I'm also a little cranky on this subject at the moment since we flew home from FL last week and there was a couple with three young boys (I would say the oldest was 5) they were all extremely ill behaved and the parents made no effort to control them. The parents sat in one row with their 18 month old who screamed the entire flight and they put their 5 and 3 year old alone in the row behind us and paid no attention to them. Their 3 year old was chewing gum and was climbing up my daughters seat from behind and dropped his gum out of his mouth onto her. Of course his parents had no clue any of this was happening so I had to parent him since no one else was doing so. Yes, flying with kids is hard, but if you can't handle it, don't do it.
grapefruit / 4800 posts
From a little further down on Reddit:
I was also on this flight, the lady had been told at a previous gate(her statement when he was telling her she needed to check it) she could bring on as carry on. She demonstrated to the attendant how small it got, and boy it got small I want one of these myself now(looks like it was some sort of magic quad fold thing that made it look almost like a briefcase). She was afraid the stroller would not be returned at the stop and be forced to walk around with all her stuff and the baby. In fact at one point another flight attendant came back with the stroller and put it in over head storage.
I'm pretty sure they didn't have spare crew for the flight and in order to keep the flight from getting further delayed they let him stay and set her up with a new flight. It's not the best outcome as he should have been removed the second he got all riled up but I can understand doing this rather than making the other people on the plane wait 1-2 hours for a backup to come. This is just my thought on it though. I really would like to make sure they made it home as the babies were playing with me and a couple of other people in the boarding gate before the flight.
Edit: Found the stroller in question here : https://www.amazon.com/Baby-Jogger-City-Tour-stroller/dp/B01J258IBQ?th=1
14lbs weight and i you look at their site they have a bag cover that if used you'd wouldn't think it was a stroller.