Was A Mom Kicked Off A Plane Because Her Baby Spit Up?

It’s tough to travel with kids.  There’s lots of gear to bring along and kids seem to pick the darndest times to be sick/upset/cranky.  In many cases, the airlines don’t make it any easier.

I missed this story when it came out last week, but my wife was nice enough to bring it to my attention.  It seems Spirit Airlines kicked a mom off a flight because she told a flight attendant her baby had spit up:

“I asked one of the flight attendants, if possible, if I could have an aisle seat because he had spit up,” she said. “It’s just more convenient to be on the outside with a baby.”

Circeo said another flight attendant told her she needed to exit the aircraft as her baby was too sick to fly.

“I said, ‘What are you talking about?'” Circeo said. “Somebody said that ‘your baby is too sick to fly?’ I said, ‘What is wrong with my baby? Nothing’s wrong with my baby. He spit up. He’s a baby being a baby.'”

The Final Two Pennies

News flash, babies spit up.  If we got kicked off a flight every time one of our kids spit up as a baby, I’m not sure we would have ever been able to fly anywhere.  I’ve flown Spirit Airlines before, and I didn’t die.  I actually found the flight attendants bright and cheerful.

But, I think this goes back to the dog that died after a United flight attendant ordered it be shoved in the overhead bin.  There’s not a whole lot of accountability for airline crews.  It’s not like a typical customer service business where employees are routinely supervised by the same people.  That leads to very little feedback and on-the-j0b improvement.  The culture on airplanes is that the crew are in charge.  They have tremendous leeway to make decisions as they see fit.  It’s justified if applied properly.  When it’s not…..

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7 Comments

  1. I flew with my baby 20 years ago, before all this craziness that is happening now. I didn’t know she was sick until we were on the plane but she had it coming out both ends and the flight attendants were more than helpful with towels and trying to help me……to think today I would be kicked off….crazy……I miss the days of true customer service/experience.

  2. This reflects in my mind how the culture in airlines has deteriorated over the last few years.
    My now adult son is seriously handicapped, and we had a series of mishaps, but despite the hurdles, we traveled all over the world. Many of the attendants who took care of us should have been nominated for sainthood. I would be afraid to travel with a handicapped child nowadays. The only attendants and employees that have some remnant of humanity tend to be the legacy employees for whom working for an airline was a source of pride.

  3. I would say flight attendants are still helpful and understanding for the most part, but in this era bad news travel real fast so we hear about it more… I have had my fair share of babies-being-babies on flights (I have 3 kids younger than 6 years old, and they have had plenty of intercontinental travel) and FAs have been invariably supportive. Unfortunately, for the same reason mentioned in the post, positive reinforcement is hard to achieve.

    1. Ben, I know bad news travels faster now, but it has for a while. These stories seem to happen more often, not less. I try to recognize great service in person and via e-mail when I see it on airplanes. But, it does feel a bit like spitting into the wind.

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