Southwest Says Sorry For Kicking Off Screaming Child

Locations in this article:  London, England

Crying kid stock photoSouthwest Airlines has apologized for removing a mother and her boisterous 2-year-old boy from a flight last week.

The boy’s piercing shrieks of “Go! Plane! Go!” and “I want Daddy!” were allegedly so loud that other passengers could not hear safety instructions.

Airline officials have said they do not regret pulling the uncontrollable kid and his mother from the flight, but they did apologize for any problems it may have caused the family.

Did the disruptive duo deserve dismissal, or was Southwest in the wrong?

Pamela Root and her son Adam were heading home to San Jose after visiting her parents in Amarillo, Texas, when Adam began acting up shortly before takeoff. The flight attendants reportedly gave him juice and coloring books to help calm him, but Adam was inexorable.

Learn more about traveling with kids in our Family Travel section.

The captain then told the passengers that they were returning to the gate to take care of a passenger issue, according to reports. Root was allegedly shocked to find out that she and her son were the issue. She said that flight attendants never warned her that she was in danger of being kicked off the flight.

Waiting at the airportThe crew escorted the pair off the plane and set them up with a later flight. Root then had to buy more diapers and a portable crib as she prepared to stay another night with her parents.

Southwest officials have reiterated that it is not their policy to remove crying children from planes, but they do give their crews the right to make a judgment call if the situation escalates.

The airline has complied with Root’s demand for an apology and compensation for the portable crib and diapers. Southwest officials say Root will receive a full refund and a $300 travel voucher to cover her expenses.

But is Southwest the one that should be apologizing? Root did not want to leave the plane and insisted that she thought Adam would calm down after take off, but what if he didn’t? Is it really fair to subject the other passengers to that kind of nuisance?

If you’re an adult traveler who prefers avoiding these types of scenarios, check out How To Avoid Kids When Traveling

Every kid in their “terrible twos” can have a bad day, but if that’s the case, Root should have volunteered to leave the plane, especially if he was so uncontrollable that it was becoming a safety issue.

What do you think? Should Root have volunteered to leave the plane? Was she treated fairly? Did the crew overreact? Leave some comments below and let us know what you think.

By Dan Bence for

Related Links: Associated Press, MSNBC, San Jose Mercury News

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