Armed Guards Remove Crying Toddler From Airplane Because She Is a 'Security Threat'

toddler plane

Flying with kids is never fun. Whether you're a parent who has to deal with other passengers' annoyed stares when your kid won't settle down, or you're the person seated next to a wailing youngster on a flight, I think we're all in agreement that it's really not a pleasure for anyone. That said, there are occasions when families need to get from Point A to Point B. A family was recently flying with their 1-year-old daughter, Sarina Aziz, from Tel Aviv to London, when the girl started getting worked up during a long delay. When the parents weren't able to calm the girl down, the pilot turned the plane around and had armed counter-terrorism police remove the family from the plane. From the sounds of things, the girl was certainly being a distraction to everyone, but the counter-terrorism unit? Really?


Apparently, when it was finally time for take-off after a lengthy delay on the tarmac, the flight crew asked that Sarina be placed on one of her parent's laps instead of in her own seat. The girl grew increasingly distressed (being that she's one and all), and reportedly began screaming, crying, and hitting herself, despite her parents' efforts to calm her down. "She got herself so worked up she was sick. The stewards were so aggressive, they weren’t helping at all," Sarina's mother said. She added, "It was like a terrorist incident, I couldn’t believe it. The next thing you know we’re all in squad cars heading back to Ben Gurion."

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The main issue for Transavia, the Dutch airline who had the family removed, was that Sarina wasn't sitting on her mother or father's lap in one of the seat belts the airline has for children 2 and under. A spokesperson for the airline said, "It was unfortunate that the child was ill, but even then the flight safety rules must be followed. Safety of our passengers and crew is our first and most important priority."

While it's completely understandable that crew members wanted to be sure that the child was properly strapped in, it seems like there wasn't much compassion used in this situation. There are no reports of anyone trying to help the parents soothe their daughter, instead only stories of how they were removed from the plane by armed guards.

Even for those of us who are parents, it's pretty likely that we would get annoyed if our flight was delayed (even more) because a rowdy child wouldn't buckle into their seat belt. But, if we saw that the parents were doing everything in their power to make that happen, how could you not feel bad and want to help?

It's really unfortunate that this is how this family's plane ride ended up. Sarina's parents were probably stressed out and embarrassed enough at the way their daughter was behaving on the flight. It had to have been such an awful cherry on top to be removed from the plane like that in front of other people. 

Again, kids on planes are rarely a fun time, but maybe we should all start acting a little bit differently when kids act out. A little compassion in these situations can go a long way.

What do you think of how this situation was handled?


Stock photo © vsurkov

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