The Short of It
A trip that was supposed to take 5 1/2 hours turned into 13 hours, according to Walk Off the Earth Singer Sarah Blackwood, who happens to be seven months pregnant. She says she and her almost 2-year-old were asked to get off the plane because of the child's crying.
Sarah says when she boarded the SkyWest Airlines flight, her son started crying loudly and squirming in her arms. (I feel you Sarah—I've been there!) But then she was able to calm him down.
"Then we were taxiing, and my son had fallen asleep, as I'd predicted. But then the pilot went over the intercom and said he was turning around to go refuel, which I thought was so strange," she told ABC News. "When we got back to the gate, a lady from the airport came inside and told me I had to leave the plane."
Of course, there are two sides of the story, and SkyWest says it wasn't crying that was the problem. "Despite numerous requests, the child was not seated, as required by federal regulation to ensure passenger safety, and was repeatedly in the aisle of the aircraft before departure and during taxi," the airline said.
Sarah fired back saying there was no way her son was in the aisle, as they were seated in a window seat, and there was another passenger sitting in the aisle seat, which would prevent the tot from getting through.
There's a YouTube video where a United Airlines employee tells Sarah she's "never heard anything like this" before. But we have! Recent similar stories include a mom with cancer and a teenager with autism who were asked to get off planes.
I have an almost 2-year-old, so I know exactly what Sarah is going through. This is the age where they don't want to sit still for a second, and if you force them to, you'll hear about it! But you have to get from point A to point B, and sometimes that means hopping a flight without knowing how your kid is going to behave.
I don't know whether Sarah's toddler was actually in the aisle or not, so I can't say she did anything wrong. But, I do recommend to my friends with older babies or toddlers that they splurge on the extra airplane seat and bring along a car seat or CARES harness (which is awesome because it fits in the diaper bag) to strap the child into. They're much less likely to wriggle and fight if they've got their own, secure space.
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