19 month old baby kicked off plane for threatening words “bye bye plane”

I didn’t like it when an annoyed couple got booted off a cruise. I didn’t like it when a coughing girl got kicked off a plane.

I really don’t like it when babies get kicked off planes.

Did you hear about the passenger who was kicked off an airplane for repeatedly saying “Bye-bye, airplane” while the flight attendant was giving the safety demonstration?

According to an AP wire service story, the toddler (19 months old) was looking out the window and waving goodbye to a taxiing aircraft. The flight attendant became so agitated over the child’s words, she had the plane return to the gate and the mother and child removed from the aircraft.

Now I love safety. I don’t complain about taking my shoes off, having my bags searched a few times, waiting on long security lines, I don’t even complain too much about not being allowed to bring water or other drinks on board.

But isn’t kicking a 1 and a half year old off the plane a bit much?

According to this news story, the flight attendant was on some kind of crazy power trip. The flight attendant suggested baby benadryl and lied saying that the mother was threatening. All Kate Penland did was refuse to drug her toddler.

If you ask me, Continental Express and Express Jet Airlines have a flight attendant that needs firing and owe the mother, Kate Penland, and her baby, a very sincere apology. I mean their flight gets delayed 11 hours and then their flight attendant goes nuts on a baby?

I have much less sympathy for the mother who was kicked off a Freedom Airlines / Delta flight for not covering up her breastfeeding with a blanket. I don’t care if you’re in the second to last row, I don’t want to see any breast feeding.

Filed Under: Travel discussion

Comments (84)

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  1. Renee says:

    Yes, the situation with the FA is ridiculous, but what is almost as ridiculous is the people posting comments about children not being on planes at all. May I remind all of you. Adults can be just as obnoxious as kids. Try flying a four hour flight with two very loud,obnoxious and drunk passengers right in front of you. Try sitting next to a passenger who won’t stop talking even when your trying to sleep. I’d take a baby over them anytime. Sorry to all of you out there that don’t seem to be in the real world. Families have every right to fly and you have every right to get a good set of headphones.

  2. Renee says:

    I would like to add to my earlier post. I said families have a right to fly, but they also have a responsibiliy to keep their children from being loud and unruly. As an earlier post stated, if you can’t discipline them at home don’t fly with them. I have two girls with whom I have traveled with since they were small. I’ve never had a problem. Bring a lot of (quiet) things to keep them in their seats and occupied. Before your board the plane make it clear that they need to behave or suffer the consequences and stick to it.

  3. Kyle says:

    There have been a couple of people post comments asking how neither of these issues effect security, and they shouldn’t be an issue as a result. I know we all have security on the brain, but there are issues in this world that have nothing to do with security that still need to be addressed, and no, not every policy put in place by an airline is for security reasons. So yes, disruptive, abusive, trouble making fit throwers that won’t settle down should be removed from planes, regardless of their age, young or old. The whole point is to make something as uncomfortable as air travel as comfortable as possible for your fellow travelers, it’s just plain old courtesy and respect. So do everything you can to teach your children to respect others when traveling, rather than letting them run amuck and ignoring the effect it is having on others. And if you need to fart, burp, have sex, have a bowel movement, take off your shirt, pick your nose, or breast feed, try to be as discreet as possible about it because not everyone finds those acceptable behaviors to “flaunt” in public, and you don’t need to use your plane trip to make a “social statement” to the rest of us, we’re all well aware that you feel you are more important than we are. Basically just stop and ask if what you are doing may be offensive to others and act accordingly.

  4. kelly says:

    I agree that maybe we don’t have the full story.

    It would be interesting to see a video of the whole incident.

    As a mother and grandmother, I find it difficult to understand how people can think that you can make an 18 month old child behave perfectly. My children had different temperaments. Two were very active and one was quiet and easy.

    I just wonder what “an attitude adjustment” for a two year old entailed.

    I’ve come to the conclusion that some children are more of a challenge to raise and to not judge parents rashly. I also think some things work with some children and do not work with others. Even our infants. Mine displayed differences even in the womb. I have found that

    confidence, consistancy, love, and patience are the necessary ingredients to successfully raising well adjusted children and a society that is supportive would be a great asset.

  5. Lori says:

    WOW!!!! I’ve read every post here and can’t believe how far off the subject everyone has gotten with their opinions. I’ve just come back from a long trip out of the country, where we did by the way, fly with our 2 young children and all I would like to know is what the real story is all about.

    As far as flying with children, yes, children can be unruly but they do need to be disciplined. I’ve flown all over the world with my children since they were tiny infants and I would not allow my kids to behave in a way that would be so obnoxious that we would be asked to get off the plane. I’ve done my fair share of swatting a bottom here and there in my travels with the kids and would never choose to “ignore” their behavior. My kids are 8 & 5 now and they have been on flights as long as 12 hours and believe me they definitely have learned that they will have consequences if they behave in a manner that is offensive, agitating, irritating, etc… whether it affects the family or other passengers. As for the mother and child that were kicked off of a plane because the child was repeatedly saying bye bye airplane, well…if that was the only reason then Continental has serious issues they need to address. However, since I don’t know the whole story and apparently nobody does either, then I don’t have the right to make a judgment call on who was in the right in this situation.

    As for breastfeeding on a plane… I did it all the time when my kids were infants. However, cramped space or not, although I was not ashamed or embarrassed in any way, I always had the common courtesy to cover up. Yes, breastfeeding Moms, it may take an extra effort to do it on a plane but it can be done even in coach class seating. There are nursing blankets, baby blankets, and even special nursing clothing that is made so that you can breast feed in public without offending those people that apparently find something as natural as breastfeeding offensive and revolting. Covering up when breastfeeding in public is not about morals and values. It’s just about being considerate.

    Come on people!!! There are much more serious issues in this world that need to be addressed and I don’t think public breastfeeding or traveling with children on public transportation are among them.

  6. Chrissycrunch says:

    I am so sick of parents. Your kids aren’t cute. They are annoying. Leave them at home and stop expecting the world to fall in love with your little one. I don’t care if you breast feed in public- hell, I don’t care if you breast feed twins, naked, while playing a banjo on national television. In fact, I’ll watch. But please just shut the kid up, stop letting it push the grocery store carriage, and if you can’t control him or her on a plane then stay the hell home (and bring zip lock bags for it’s shitty diapers while you are at it).

  7. James Trotta says:

    Like a few other commenters, I find it funny that this blog entry has gotten way more comments than any previous entry on this blog. I would have thought we had more important things to discuss but I’ve certainly been wrong before…

    Anyway, to address the ridiculous “argument” that goes somthing like “we were all kids once so let mothers breastfeed their kids on planes”, I just don’t get it. I’m all for breast feeding but that lazy husband could hold a blanket up or something, no?

  8. feedwatcher says:

    I love when women breastfeed near me. I pleasure myself thinking about it.

  9. mdls says:

    I agree with Mr Trotta… We are all entitled to our own opinions. I read this blog a few times a month and enjoy reading users comments wether pleasant or not and that’s not going to keep me away from this website.

  10. jimbo says:

    if u don’t like a woman breastfeeding a baby….look away…you bunch of fu^&ing idiots!!

    just look away!!

    the idiot FA should be grounded for 30 days..no pay!!

  11. blanca says:

    I was apalled when I first heard of the story…. I also caught the follow up stories too …There was a passernger on the plane that gave an interview and the attested to the flight attendant being rude and short & w/ this mother & child and actually asked to her to drug her child ,That alone is against the law first of all and i just think people dont have the common sense god blessed us with , to say that breast feeding is disgusting or to say a woman should cover up is ridiculous… my body was not only made for a mans pleasure … give me a break … the only reason we should cover up because “other people r not in thier right minds”… god has blessed us with the tools to nurture and care for our children… fact did you know breast feed children r smarter ,, sound like someone didnt breast feed you!

  12. Leesa says:

    When my husband and I drop a grand to fly somewhere, we prefer not to be kicked, or to have our eardrums blown out and we really don’t want to watch a public and UNNECESSARY display of breast feeding. I’ve seen many kids behave on planes. If yours don’t or won’t; DON’T BRING THEM! They deserve to get booted off with no refund.

  13. john says:

    I personally don’t like to be stared at while I am eating so I would like to reserve that same right for my child so putting myself in that babys position i would say “mom…cover us up”!!!

  14. buddy says:

    Let the Taliban run the airlines. They can provide women with nifty cover-ups and we won’t have to worry about them blowing up their own planes. Would the service be any worse than that offered by this flight attendent?

  15. Franz says:

    To SARAH…you are the IDIOT,not the president..got it?

  16. Mandy Beutler says:

    If breastfeeding in public offends you, please free to cover your head with a blanket.

  17. Sharon says:

    I agree that the ne’er-do-well (husband) should have assumed some sort of responsibility. It seems doubtful, however, that the question…to cover or not to cover…will ever be resolved. However, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed reading the comments in this ongoing saga!

  18. mike says:

    airline staff no longer any pride in thier job witch is to serve the passager.we have out of fear given power to people who have no skill in enforcing flight safty rules,and now act as if they are there to controll us,not just to safty rules but also to thier own personal rules witch are usally outragaous.the airlines needs to place a trained customer serves person on each plane to monitor both passanger and flight staff.

  19. PJ says:

    Wow – what a variety of comments, so let me put my 2 cents in. I am a grandmother of two great kids who were taught my my children to behave in public. I also am a frequent flier, and have experienced badly behaved children and their parents who are afraid to ruin their personalities by a swat on the behind once in a while. I wear headphones when I fly, so after a 3 hr flight of hearing screaming and crying, I can be at ease. Im one of those people who would like to see 3 different sections in restaurants, non-smoking, smoking and child-free. I love kids, but when I go out and spend a good deal of cash for a nice dinner, I dont want to hear screaming and crying. Not the kids fault – but the parent who hasnt a clue on parenting. No kid comes with a training guide. But come on people, use your common sense.

  20. Kyle says:

    In regards to blanca’s statement “…There was a passernger on the plane that gave an interview and the attested to the flight attendant being rude and short & w/ this mother & child and actually asked to her to drug her child”

    Uh, Nope. A “passenger” on the plane? No name, date, news source? nothing? I’ve searched every news source and find no such interview, only the lady’s statements referencing the support of other passengers, or comments like yours where someone says a passenger made a comment to that effect. Who is this “passenger” and to whom, and when, did they give the interview? You can’t make statements like that unless you can support them with evidence. Post a link to the interview, something, if there is such an interview I would be more than glad to read and consider it.

    Next your lovely statement;

    “… god has blessed us with the tools to nurture and care for our children… fact did you know breast feed children r smarter ,, sound like someone didnt breast feed you!”

    So what does Breast-fead children being smarter have to do with politely covering up so as not to offend someone, really, that was a silly argument. Just grasping at straws now are we?

    I think some people believe a free country means they are free to do whatever they want whenever they want, regardless of how it effects anyone else, in other words they are free to say, believe, and act however they want, and the rest of us are only free to agree with them and allow them to behave that way. You know we don’t have to agree that your opinion is correct, we can agree that you are allowed to your opinion, but we don’t have to agree with it, and no, your not always right! You know, it was your CHOICE, to have the children, it was your CHOICE to take the plane flight, It was your CHOICE breast-feed your child, no one FORCED you to do any of those things, so you seriously find it so offensive that you are politely asked to put a blanket over your shoulder so you don’t offend someone while exercising your freedom of choice, What a bunch of scmucks!

  21. Idun says:

    So, everytime I perform something that is well within my rights, I have to ask if it offends someone? That would be a terrible world to live in. As we can see by these comments, there are many varying opinions. If I ask someone that is from a particular walk of life about my rights, they may say that I must cover my hair and face so as not to offend them. Should I go around pleasing everyone or just follow the law? I think I should follow the safety and federal laws first.

    I do agree that some children are unruly but you will find them in any point in history and the older generations always complains about “kids today”. As far as the child in the article, if the article is accurate, the women and child should not have been taken from the plane. That child was not unruly or bratty. Even if she were, is it the end of the world? Must such a drastic action have taken place?

  22. Dianne says:

    “I have much less sympathy for the mother who was kicked off a Freedom Airlines / Delta flight for not covering up her breastfeeding with a blanket. I don’t care if you’re in the second to last row, I don’t want to see any breast feeding.”

    You DO realize that breast milk is how babies get their nutrients to grow up healthy and that breast milk comes from breasts, right? And that babies need to eat every three hours or so, and most flights are that long? I’m not even a mom, but at least I know that expecting mothers to “cover up” a perfectly healthy, biologically natural process is ignorant, misogynistic, and extremely irritating. Grow up. They’re breasts. You drank from them, too.

  23. Cindy says:

    well, great opinions and comments everyone!! im glad that when i flight w my 3yr old she behaves or she will be discipline, i agree with having our children nicely discipline as much as we can without exageration! As well as the adults, because there are some people that dont have consideration w others. As for the baby in the plane that said bye bye plane, I think that it is right to try to keep the best security possible for everyone but dont exagerrate that was only a baby, now if that was the mother saying that, then obviously there is gonna be action taken because everyone is paranoid w the whole 911 situation and im sure all of us in this page would not want to have any more terrorist attacks!!! Now if we want a better world we should stop worrying about little things and start acting toguether not arguing like enemies, to make a peaceful place. Also, about the breast feeding, lets just have common sense and try to RESPECT everyone and that means starting w covering ourselfs when breast feeding in public even though sometimes is hard cause i did it too, but we have to think that we all have different opinions and that every person is a different world, but if we start to learn to listen more to each other and understanding us and respecting us, well my goodness we would all then be more happy when we go out in public. I agree w alot of your comments because all you have a point somewhere but lets try not to offend anyone, this way we can read them and learn something good about everyone, without offending each other, let’s just try to read and get the best thing out of it. Smile God loves you, life is too short to live it arguing about small things, that we could all fix TOGUETHER! let’s have more fun!!

  24. Vanessa Ann says:

    Seriously, who was acting like a 1 and half year old. “The little baby wouldn’t let me do my safety talk, (while grunting), i was talking first.” At least that is I think how it went. Ok, c’mon grow up, kids are going to be kids. At least the baby was saying that and paying attention somewhere else, and not kicking and screaming.

    Yeah, breastfeeding may be a natural thing, however, not many people enjoy looking at a baby sucking on a boob, just a little too much TMI.

  25. Vanessa Ann says:

    Seriously, who was acting like a 1 and half year old. “The little baby wouldn’t let me do my safety talk, (while grunting), i was talking first.” At least that is I think how it went. Ok, c’mon grow up, kids are going to be kids. At least the baby was saying that and paying attention somewhere else, and not kicking and screaming.

    Yeah, breastfeeding may be a natural thing, however, not many people enjoy looking at a baby sucking on a boob, just a little too much TMI.

  26. ray anderson says:

    Not so fast on condemning the stewardess. What if the 19 month toddler was not really what she appeared and was a cleverly disguised terrorist with WMD’s ??!

    We should have Bush’s experts investigate first and create a new department on baby counter terrorism.

  27. Teri says:

    I was onced kicked off a flight for following the inside FA suggestions for asking a passenger to switch seats with me, so my husband, me and our 18 month old could all sit across the row from each other. The psycho FA onboard snapped at me for doing this before the whole plane was full (we were blocking no one) and when I called her on her RUDE comments, we were de-boarded even when the nice inside FAs vouched for telling me to ask the guy to switch seats-he happily agreed-and I was told that the FA has the final call!!! The pilot stood there like a neutered dog! The airline was Midwest Express by the way!

  28. Kyle says:

    In reply to idun’s comment;

    “So, everytime I perform something that is well within my rights, I have to ask if it offends someone?”

    No you don’t, not at all, but we do live in a civilized world where we should be considerate of others, and there are certain things that are commonly accepted as possibly being offensive to others. For example, using foul language in public, especially around small children would be considered inapropriate, and most responsible polite people wouldn’t do it. No you don’t have to cover your face if it’s too ugly, that would be unrealistic, but it is known by just about everyone, that just like cursing in public, a vast number of people are uncomfortable watching public breast-feeding, whether you agree with them or not. No, you are right, you are free to do it, but just because you can do something doesn’t mean you have to. It’s not like we are asking you to stop flying, or leave the kid home, or hide in the bathroom, it’s just a simple little blanket to make the flight happy for everyone. Sheesh.

  29. Yvette says:

    Yes, I would like to hear the other side of the story. If, this is a true story, then the flight attendant and the pilot should both be fired. How can you tell a person to drug their child. The flight attendant sounds like she might have been on drug for suggesting it. Please find out the real story or the other side and let us hear it also.

  30. Sharon says:

    Don’t judge parents by what you see in their child’s behavior. Not all children can be as perfect as yours. Not all children behave normally in a new and strange situation such as riding in an airplane. A well behaved child can turn into a horrid little monster when they are tired, nervous or excited. Airplanes are exciting to children (and many adults, look at the attendance at air shows, model airplane events).

    We don’t have the facts in this situation. We will never get facts, only the spin the media puts on the report and the spin the company puts on its press release.

    As for breastfeeding, generally it’s the right wing righteous who judge women because they breastfeed. Correct breastfeeding doesn’t expose any more breast than a swimsuit, or some fashion clothing. Smart moms are usually wearing a nursing bra to keep them comfortable and support their breasts. Babies cry when hungry, and breastfeeding is the fastest and most efficient method of feeding. Also, the security restrictions can’t stop a mom from bringing her breasts with her aboard the airplane. They can stop bottles. A breastfeed baby is a happy and healthy baby.

    We may not think of using babies to cover up weapons or other terrorist tools, but a terrorist is who willing to die for his or her cause, is willing to sacrifice a baby for their own purposes.

  31. Lisa says:

    If the story is true, I would agree that the FA should be fired for his/her misjudgment on this case. I doubt that a 1 1/2 yr old would find a demonstration of safety rules interesting. In a child’s eye, seeing an airplane to land or take off would be much more exhiliarating, especially when he/she can see upclose. When a young toddler is in this excited state, it would be hard for a parent to control their behavior, even if they are normally a well-behaved child. Saying “bye-bye” to an airplane is perfectly normal for a young toddler. They are still learning the cause and effect. The toddler saw the airplane leaves, he just say “bye bye, airplane”. He just got a little bit excited and say ” bye bye” a couple more times. How is that intolerable? There is no way that he meant any harm to the plane or passengers. Suggesting to drug the child is plainly wrong. That just prove that the FA is just annoyed that the child interrupted her Safety talk and wanted the child to quiet down. It has nothing to do with prevention against with Terrorist attack. It may be just her excuse. The FA’s intolerance to such a small thing has caused all the passengers 11 hours of delay and gave the company a bad reputation for poor customer service. Many people may have missed their meeting, family reunion, honeymoon cruise, a wedding, or whatever their purpose of the flight. That caused much more harm than an innocent “bye bye, plane” comment. I hope the company will be smart enough to fire her as she will cause more harm to the company than the benefit that he/she will bring. Those who are still not parents may not know much about raising a child and their behaviors, and hence make some ruthless comments. That may be acceptable, but in general more tolerance to things/people around you would make this world a more harmonious place to live in. I think it will make you a happier person too.

    Same thing goes to breastfeeding, I hope there will be more tolerance from those people who are against breastfeeding in an airplane. If you don’t like to see a mother breastfeeding a baby, just don’t look; look somewhere else where you find more interesting. Also, a breastfeeding mother may not be able to cover up when she needs to latch the child on as she needs to see in order to do that. From my experiences of breastfeeding three children, my coverup sometimes fell down while I was latching the baby on. It is hard to get it back on with a child in your hands, who is very hungry. However, I agree that if someone is nice enough to give me the coverup, I would be very grateful, as I don’t want to show myself to strangers too. I felt embarrassed whenever that happens but I have to accept that kind of discomfort for the good of my child. What I’m saying is that a breastfeeding mother might have their own difficulties, they might not meant to offend you in anyway. So a bit of understanding from you would be extremely helpful.

    Anyway, after reading all these posts, I’m extremely grateful to those FAs who were so kind and accommodating to our needs during our past flights. I’m also grateful to those kind strangers who played peek-a-boo with my children and made it a more interesting ride for them. It is comforting that most people who posted have a good and understanding heart toward children. For those few extremists who wanted to ban children from airplane, I hope you will change your mind after reading all these posts and understand our side of the story.

  32. pam says:

    I work with breast feeding mothers. Breast feeding can take up to 30 – 45 minutes. I would like any person to try to sit on the toilet for that long with an infant attached to them. Also those bathrooms are very SMALL and not always the most sanitary. Not condusive to breast feeding. Think about this, how many bathrooms does a plane have? 2-4 usually. Would you like to have 1 or 2 of them tied up for the whole trip with breast feeding moms. A women should be able to breast feed in public. Breast feeding can be done descretely with or with out a blanket. The FA might have told the woman nicely that someone had complained and would she please just cover up when someone comes up the aisle. The mother should comply with this out of respect for the other passengers.

  33. Marcette says:

    why r u saying such things on breastfeeding? Would it be the same if there was some kind of handsome, elegant, tall lady with most of her breasts exposed just for the sake of showing her figure? I bet you wouldn’t……so please shut up!!!

  34. Joey says:

    It is disturbing how many people believe that when you have a child you should become a social misfit and hole up in your house in seclusion and not be allowed to go or do anything. Do these same people understand that when your child is but two years of age you have to purchase them an airline ticket at full price-but when taking off and landing they are not allowed to sit in the seat but on your lap.

    If I have to pay for a ticket for a seat my child is not going to even sit in then they should be considered a passenger and should be afforded the same rights – no matter how few those are – as any adult passenger. If she happens to cry a little, too bad, I’ve seen adults cry on flights. I’ve sat next to people who passed terrible gas or got up and down 12 times on a flight to use the rest room. I’ve had to endure the stupidity of teenagers without parental supervision. And I’ve had grown-ups kick the back of my seat or dig their knees into it through whole flights. Or how nice is it when an adult leans their chair back as far as they can so they can sleep while you lose all available leg room.

    When you are in a public setting you must deal with the public as a whole. It would be nice if everyone was considerate and well behaved but this does not always happen. You cannot expect the world to cater to your ideas and opinions, or things to always be perfect. Perhaps the world would be a better place if we all learned to practice a little patience.

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