Entire Family Kicked Off Airplane for Toddler's Bad Behavior

airplaneFlying with kids isn't easy. There are tricks we have to do, sometimes even bribes, to get our kids to sit still for the duration of the flight and not kick the seat in front of them. Or cry the whole time. It's tough stuff. Which is why I feel for the parents who got kicked off a flight when their 3-year-old refused to put on his seatbelt


This happened on-board a Cathay Pacific flight from Bangkok, Thailand, to Hong Kong. Mother and father were with their 3-year-old son who didn't want to sit down. Do you know many 3-year-olds who do? It seems that as mom and dad were trying to convince their son to buckle up, the flight attendants maybe tried to help speedy up the process. And you know what happened next? Stress. Emotions. Patience lost.

Things got heated and it was reported that the parents tried to convince the flight attendants to just let the child sit on mom's lap, but that's not allowed. There was yelling. Another passenger shouted to "call police" and the child's father yelled that they were being bullied. You think the kid was going to sit in his seat now?

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I really feel for the parents. I know there are rules and kids over 2 must sit in their own seat with their seatbelt fastened. When the child refused, I imagine that the parents did all they could to keep the child calm and not disturb the whole plane. Sadly, it appears things escalated fast and an argument broke out. A little kindness and patience could have helped this situation. But the plane has to take off on time and the flight attendants were just doing their job in the name of safety. A plane just can't wait for a toddler to settle in. And parents of toddlers know how long it takes sometimes to get a toddler to do anything. The family ended up being kicked off the flight.

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How could this have been avoided?

Prepping your child prior to your flight is a great idea. You can make the whole experience like an adventure where the child needs to buckle up like the pilot to soar high in the sky. Maybe you can practice sitting in a seat and working the seatbelt in your car (without it running and not while driving anywhere). It's possible the parents did as much as they could to prepare, but as we know, kids can be unpredictable.

Once the arguing began, there was little hope for the child to keep calm and sit in his seat. A child will feed off his parents' stress, and sadly that's why this situation spiraled out of control. We all have to remember to keep calm as much as possible -- this goes for the parents and the flight attendants and the fellow passengers. That would have helped this child sit in his seat.

What do you think of this story? Should the family been kicked off the flight? What tips would you share on how to help your child sit in his seat with the seatbelt on an airplane?


Image via Michael Rehfeldt/Flickr

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