A Virginia family was removed from a JetBlue flight Monday after an altercation ensued about their son’s seating arrangement.
Mona and Prishant Doshi were traveling home from Boston to Baltimore with their three-year-old daughter and two-year-old son when a flight attendant asked the family to buckle their son in his own seat, and the family complied,according to WUSA.
While the Doshi family had traveled many times with their young children, Monday’s flight was the first time their son, Milin, was required by Federal Aviation Administration regulations to sit in his own seat.
According to Mona, the toddler started squirming and crying while taxiing to the runway. She placed him in her lap for takeoff, following the instructions they had received on their flight to Boston earlier in the week.
Upon seeing that Milin was seated in his mother’s lap, a flight attendant approached and demanded that the child be in his own seat.
The Doshi family maintains that despite their compliance with her requests, the flight attendant became very defensive, saying, “These are the rules. I’ve been flying for nine years and I do know what I’m talking about.”
“As soon as they asked us to put him in his seat we put him in his seat,” said father Prishant.
As they strapped their son into his seat, the couple noticed the plane was moving back towards the gate.
“All of a sudden the captain came and ordered us off the plane. We asked questions, but he wouldn’t answer. He just kept repeating, ‘Get your bags, get off the plane.’ We were treated like criminals.”
The family was met by seven representatives of the airline upon exiting the plane.
Mark Tofig, a passenger who was seated in front of the family tweeted about the ineffectiveness of the incident.
He wrote, “The only effect it had (aside from boosting the egos of the attendants) was to make us all late and less enthusiastic about flying @JetBlue.”
In a statement, JetBlue said, “We want our customers to have a safe and comfortable experience on board. Safety is always our top priority, and if our crew feels there is a situation where a customer is unable to follow safety procedures, those customers may need to be accommodated on a future flight.”
Despite this announcement, Mona maintains that there was no issue with safety and that her family was acting in accordance with the rules, reports Yahoo! Parenting.
“I don’t think it had anything to do with safety at all. I think they thought we were being noncompliant, but if they looked they would have seen we were complying. He was in his seat and I was holding him down, and that’s why he was crying,” she says.
“I thought it was a completely unreasonable action to take. Maybe they didn’t like that Milin was crying, but he wasn’t dangerous, he wasn’t throwing things or running through the aisle.”