Temper Tantrum? Buh-bye!

On yesterday’s Today Show, I watched a segment about the family who was thrown off of a JetBlue flight because their two year-old daughter was throwing a tantrum.  Apparently, shortly before takeoff, their two year-old daughter threw a humdinger of a fit because she didn’t want to be buckled into her seat. Crew members reported to the pilot that the family could not get their child seated, and the pilot made the decision to turn the plane around and have the family removed. However, in the time it took for the pilot to make that decision (about five minutes) the tantrum was over and the little girl was seated and buckled properly.

But the family was still thrown off the plane–even though the situation had been resolved – the crew telling this family that “the decision has been made.” Since the flight was the last of the day from Turks & Caicos to Boston, the family had to spend the night in a hotel and were re-routed, costing them over $2,000. That’s a pretty expensive tantrum.

As I watched this Today Show story, (and ignored my own daughter’s Where is my hairbrush? tantrum) I was stunned. Kicked off of a flight because your kid threw a fit? Does this seem reasonable? Apparently, to 71% of people who fill out surveys on the Today Show’s website, it does. Yes, that’s right. Seven out of 10 people who responded to a poll online, said they sided with Jet Blue. Of course, if you have time to respond to online polls at 7 o’clock in the morning, chances are you don’t have young kids and are perhaps a bit less sympathetic than those of us who do.

But still, I was shocked that so many people thought this was a reasonable course of action for the airline to take. JetBlue airline said in a statement, “Flight 850 had customers that did not comply with crew member instructions for a prolonged time period. The Captain elected to remove the customers involved for the safety of all customers and crew members on board.” As a fairly nervous flier, I am the first person to stand up for airline safety. I happily wait in mile long security lines, I put my lip gloss and hand sanitizer in little plastic bags without being prompted, and don’t even mind walking through those x-ray vision scanner that can tell what brand of underwear I have on. If it makes flying safer – I’m all for it.

But a tantrum from a twenty-five pound little girl hardly seems a safety risk to me. Annoying? Yes. Loud and unpleasant? You bet. But a threat to customers and crew members safety? I don’t think so. The little girl in question wasn’t smuggling a shiv in her tiny little Stride Rites, nor was she hiding hazardous chemicals in her sippy cup. She was tired. She was hungry. She was hot. She was irritated because she didn’t want to be strapped down into a seat. Basically, she was two. If the airlines want to be certain to avoid tantrums all together then might I suggest they don’t sell tickets to kids under the age of five. Or rock stars. Or certain Emmy award-winning actors.

The little girl’s mom, Dr. Colette Vieau, a pediatrician, said on the Today Show, “We weren’t belligerent, drunk, angry, screaming … We’re having a hard time struggling with our children. A little bit of humanity in the situation was really all I was looking for and apparently that doesn’t exist.”

I sympathize with the parents on this one. I’d love to know what you think…


11 Comments on “Temper Tantrum? Buh-bye!”

  1. Holly says:

    I love it the part about rock stars and Emmy winners….so true!

  2. As the mother of two 3 year old’s…I so feel for these parents. I also completely agree with your statement…”Of course, if you have time to respond to online polls at 7 o’clock in the morning, chances are you don’t have young kids and are perhaps a bit less sympathetic than those of us who do.”

  3. Beth says:

    That’s what ear plugs are for! I always travel with them.

  4. Shauna Henson says:

    You hit this one out of the park! Couldn’t agree more.

  5. Lee Middendorf says:

    I’m just glad this sort of thing happens to pediatricians too.

  6. Rockitalian says:

    I disagree with the decision of Jet Blue.

  7. Stacia says:

    I saw this family on The Today Show….of course I couldn’t actually HEAR what they were saying because it was 7:30 AM and I do have small children. But I agree with you. I’ve only had one full blown tantrum on a flight, courtesy of a 20 month old, and I guess I am happy we were already in flight.

  8. T Odom says:

    You are so right, Jill! If a 2 year old is throwing a tantrum, give it 5-10 minutes and it’s all over, just as it was in this case. Crazy the mom happens to be a pediatrician…I bet she is beyond angry.

  9. […] Temper Tantrum? Buh-bye! (jillsorr.com) Share the love:EmailDigg Pin ItLike this:LikeBe the first to like this post. […]

  10. Melissa Buie says:

    You are absolutely right. Good post!

  11. gou says:

    I watched this family on TV and it amused me to see how the kids were acting up even though they weren’t on plane! The credibility of the parents was wearing thin during this interview!

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