How many of you saw the segment on The TODAY Show yesterday about the family who got kicked off the plane in Turks & Caicos? Apparently, Colette Vieau’s daughter, Natalie, was having a bit of a meltdown when the Jet Blue captain decided he wasn’t flying with these folks on the plane. They were headed to Boston–which is a 4 hour flight from Turks & Caicos–but the Vieau family had to wait until the next day to get home. Here’s the clip:
Now as much as it sucks to have to pay to switch flights and secure another night’s accommodations, I kind of think the pilot made the right decision here. If Mrs. Vieau had to physically restrain her child in the seat, little Natalie was totally not ready for take off.
That being said, tantrums typically don’t last 4 hours. So the nice thing for the pilot to have done would have been to let Mrs. Vieau take her daughter back into the terminal to calm down for a few minutes. The flight was already delayed, so 10 minutes more wouldn’t have killed anyone. Instead, he sent them packing, took off without them and now JetBlue kind of looks like the bad guy.
As a mom who has an airplane trip with a toddler coming up this month, this makes me incredibly anxious. My daughter doesn’t usually throw tantrums, but then again she doesn’t get on a giant flying machine with tons of strangers every day either. I understand Mrs. Vieau’s frustration with being booted from a flight she paid for–I’d be pissed, too–but I also kind of understand the captain taking the comfort of the other passenger’s into consideration, as well.
I was initially kind of irked by the idea of child-free flights, but maybe it’s not such a bad idea. Not that I’d want to be on a plane with crazy screaming children when traveling with my own, but I think making some accommodations for parents traveling with children would be nice. Say, giving them an extra few minutes to let their kid calm down before kicking them out of the seats they paid for.
What about you? Do you think the pilot did the right thing by kicking the Vieau family off the plane? What do you think of the idea of child-free flights? Share your thoughts on the Jet Blue kicks a family off the plane story in the comments.
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