Toddler Forced to Pee Her Pants After Flight Attendant Blocks Her From Bathroom

little girl pee airplane
CBC News

These days, flying with kids seems like a parent's worst nightmare. There are enough WTF incidents happening miles in the sky to make you wonder if a Griswold-style family road trip is the better way to travel. Stacey Osmond is opening up about the nightmare of a flight she had on Air Canada with her almost-3-year-old granddaughter after a flight attendant refused to let the toddler use the bathroom -- causing the poor girl to pee herself and sit in her own urine for almost three hours.


While on a 5½-hour flight to Calgary from Nova Scotia with her granddaughter Ruby last month, Osmond tells CBC News her sweet girl had to take frequent impromptu potty trips. The grandmother hoped the booking agent's decision to seat the duo closer to the business class -- and thus, a much-needed bathroom -- would make the potty breaks no big deal. But instead Osmond ended up in a showdown with a seemingly merciless flight attendant.

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"The second or third time I tried to take Ruby to the bathroom, the flight attendant told me, 'I can't have you coming up here anymore,'" Osmond recounts to CBC News. "I said, 'She's a baby. I was given those seats by a booking agent for that reason, so that she would be close to the bathroom.' She [the flight attendant] said, 'That doesn't matter, you are not to come up here.'"

Osmond says they couldn't get to the bathroom at the back of the plane, thanks to a serving cart blocking their path. So little Ruby was forced to "hold it" until she eventually just peed her pants. Without pull-ups or a change of clothes packed -- as the grandmother admits it's been close to 20 years since she's flown with a child, and she simply forgot -- Osmond says the tot spent close to three hours sitting in her own urine.

"I was enraged," Osmond tells CBC News.

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She continues:

"I sat there, still having to play with Ruby with a smile on my face, while I was just full of anger because of this woman, especially after she peed in her pants. I got some napkins off the flight attendant and I put them underneath her so she could sit on them."

A spokesperson for Air Canada told CBC News the company is in contact with Stacey about the "regrettable incident" and offered the grandmother a 25 percent discount on her next flight, some toys for Ruby, and a $200 voucher. But that's not enough for this grandmother, as Stacey tells CBC News she wants a full refund and a personal apology from the flight attendant who refused to let her granddaughter use the bathroom.

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But the Internet is divided on who's at fault. Some feel for the grandmother and think the flight attendant needs a lesson on compassion, while others feel Stacey was ill-prepared for a lengthy flight with a toddler and should've known better.

"... The parents should have been prepared and had a diaper on the child or a spare pare [sic] of clothes just in case," one Facebook commenter wrote on the CBC News page. "When kids gotta go, they gotta go.... what if the washroom was being used at the time, the child would be in the same situation."

"I am a father of a 3yo," another adds. "To go on a long flight like that and not be prepared for the worst is just ...crazy. The flight attendant could have and should have been more accommodating. But the result of this is ... she should have been better prepared."

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Whether you're ready to hand in your frequent flyer card or shout at this grandmother for failing to pack essentials, you have to feel sorry for poor Ruby, who had to fly hours -- and likely ride home -- in soiled clothes. As parents and caregivers, we try our best to prepare for every what-if scenario, but incidents like this one make you wonder if airlines should enact special policies for families traveling with little ones, who will likely need to go potty whether there's a toilet available or not.

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