Story Of Child Forced To Pee In Their Seat Has A (Sort Of) Happy Ending

I was hiding under a bit of a rock, so I missed the initial story about the girl who was ordered back to her seat on an airplane and ended up wetting herself in the seat.

I started reading the story when Mommy Points reported on it.  She covers all the salient points as well as some solid tips on how to prevent the same situation from happening with your kids.

And, finally, my wife turns me on to the happy ending in the story:

Shortly after speaking with the airline representative, Jennifer tweeted, “Happy tears,” adding a “really nice lady apologized to me!” The mom of two didn’t want a voucher from JetBlue (though she got a $50 credit, along with the promise of the airline donating $5,000 to the charity of her choice). She told reporters that she didn’t care about being reimbursed, all she wanted was a heartfelt apology for being treated “like animals.”

Jennifer is absolutely right, the apology goes a long way here.  JetBlue offering to donate $5,000 to the charity of her choice is a nice bit, too.

But, it’s a harsh reminder of how different the world of travel is today.  I don’t know what Jennifer’s reaction was when the flight attendant told her to sit down, essentially setting her daughter up for this truly unfortunate incident.  I like to think I would have been calm and rational, trying to work out the situation with the flight attendant.  But, there’s no guarantee I would have been, and I can imagine most parents would have trouble handling the situation.

I understand flight attendants have a tough job, and there are plenty of angry, rude, disrespectful passengers that make their lives difficult.  But, it really seems like this situation escalated to a level it didn’t need to (and probably wouldn’t have 20 years ago).  Just because you have the authority to make someone sit in their seat or to throw them off the plane doesn’t always make that the right choice.

I’m sure I’m guilty of overreacting to situations with airline employees.  And, I think I try to give them the benefit of the doubt nowadays when stressful situations arise, understanding their job is a difficult one.  That’s a two-way street.  I’m not saying that this is the flight attendant’s fault, nor that I think the mom in the situation handled it perfectly.  I wasn’t there.

But, it’s certainly worth considering that there could have been a better outcome here.  In the face of an unruly passenger, I would hope any airline crew member’s instinct would be to diffuse the situation as long as there was no imminent threat of harm.

Maybe there would have been a better outcome, like a little girl with no tears, happy to be flying somewhere with mom.


About the Author

My goal in life is to fill my family’s passports with stamps, creating buckets of memories along the way. You’ll find me writing about realistic ways for normal people to travel the world, whether you’re on a budget or enjoy luxury. I also enjoy taking us on the occasional detour to explore the inner workings of the travel industry.

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  1. it’s not just about the flight attendant’s “authority” to make people sit down. It is a federal regulation that they are required to enforce. I agree that a judgement decision can probably be made, and perhaps this escalated too quickly for that. There are quite a few taxi injuries each year from people who dont follow the rules, who aren’t buckled up, etc. And if a 3 year old got injured because the plane stopped quickly, the story would read even worse. The FA followed the law, it’s not about overreacting.

    1. Noah, Ross’s point is a good one. But, leaving that aside, I think the overreacting part is declaring the passenger “non-compliant” and attempting to throw them off the airplane.

      1. Thanks, BlackHill. I felt like there were some requirements for when you’re on a delay/not on an active taxi way. Informative document!

  2. @Noah, all it takes is a quick call to the pilot, he then works it out with the tower and the plane doesnt move for 2 mins while this kid goes. THAT’S IT.. (total time expended 5-8 mins) Whats worse was it was JetBlue who in my opinion is supposed to excel at being family friendly.

  3. I don’t see how $5k to charity and a $50 gift card are sufficient compensation for an experience that will psychologically effect this child for life. I don’t think most people would voluntarily choose being forced to pee in an airline seat for $5050 in 2014 dollars. It’s just not that much money.

    1. Oh god. It’s only pee. How many times did u wet urself as a kid and how many times were u traumatized by it? The kid will get over it. This nation is a bunch of sissy girls who love to complain about the littlest things. It sucks what this kid went through but an apology is all that is needed. I mean what happens when everyone else says I have to pee real quick, do we let them all go and wait another half hour? This is so moronic. Something similar happened to my wife where she was told to sit down. She did and everything turned out OK. She could have made.a scene but instead followed the rules. People rules are in place for a reason stop thinking u deserve this and that u entitled little children

  4. the sad fact is at sometime, somewhere, the inflight staff got into a position of policing instead of serving. I am kind of tired about reading how FA’s are sick and tired of passengers.. oh.. the very ones who pay their salaries and per diems and everything else. I would love to see articles on how sick and tired passengers are of getting bad service, lack of service, FA’s who feel entitled cause they have dinosaur seniority. I have personally helped out FA’s who couldnt even get their bags in the overhead space cause they were too weak or asked cause they didnt want to break nails.

    Its sad to hear what happened to the girl. sometime, somewhere, FA’s have to understand no one gives a damn that they are waitresses in the sky but to also exercise common sense. They do have a boss on the plane. Call the pilot and ask for judgement. cause obviously the FA’s recently certainly lack it.

    1. Oh yes let’s bug the pilot since he has nothing better to do than tell bratty kids to hold it. Y didn’t the mom take care of this before boarding or when it was OK to do so? People need to take some accountability for their actions. Also u don’t pay their salary,or do you own an airline? Yeah didn’t think so. That’s like me telling a cop I pay his salary. You paid for a ticket ur not employee ingredients this person. You pay for a service and they provide it plain and simple. He’ll I shop at the mall but I don’t think I pay everyone’s paycheck right. Ur logic is moronic at best

      1. Flight attendants aren’t cops. We need to look at both sides of the issue and realize that everyone probably could have worked together a little better on this one. Kids have significantly less control over the bladder than adults do.

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