I am not a parent. Let me state that up front. Never has any spawn issued forth from my womb. I do, however, know quite a few parents. In my twenty-five years on this planet, I have cared for children as young as infants to as old as fifteen in various capacities. Also, I have a mother who didn't let me get away with much. So these are my qualifications to judge the people in this story. Judge me judging these people accordingly.
The Kulesza family was flying from Fort Meyers to Boston last week when their three-year-old daughter got upset and threw a fit. Fifteen minutes after the plane was supposed to take off, the girl still wasn't in her seat and the airline employees booted the family from the plane. While the parents were upset, I'm pretty sure the rest of the passengers stood up and applauded.
Listen, I understand that having a kid isn't easy. They're messy, they don't have much self-control at three, they don't understand terrorism or airplane safety. Just like an adult, they find flying to be a largely uncomfortable and annoying experience but have slightly less capacity to deal with the stress. I get that. However, as a parent, you've got to lay down the law with an unruly kid. I don't mean deploying spanking by any means. Let's imagine this as me at age three being unruly on an airplane with my mother.
Me: WAAAAAH! NOOOO! WAAAAH! I'M NOT GONNA SIT DOWN!
Mom: You sit down right this minute.
Mom: You sit down and buckle your belt before I do it for you and you never again know birthday parties or Christmas gifts.
Mom: Thank you.
And, perhaps the most telling bit of evidence that these people weren't victims of a cruel airline policy is at the end of the article.
Julie Kulesza says she was angry when she found out they'd have to wait 24 hours for another flight. AirTran says connections were available, but the family wanted non-stop only.
That's why the kid is an entitled brat; her mother is a brat too. The airline genuinely tried to make the Kulesza family's trouble worth it (they were refunded their money AND offered free tickets for another flight AND another connection the same day) but it wasn't exactly what they wanted to they passed up a very diplomatic solution. Be an adult and realize that you made the choice not to leave the same day. The airline tried to help you out after you created an unsafe situation and a delay for everybody else and you kept on being miserable spoiled brats about it. I'd wager money that Mrs. Kulesza called the media to complain, expecting an outpouring of support for her horrific experience and instead showed herself to be an entitled brat.
I know having a three year old isn't easy. But it is also not easy to be on a plane with a screaming three year old who is delaying your trip and creating a safety hazard, which is clearly lost on the Kuleszas. Just because you've got the future of America having a tantrum doesn't put you above the rules. I think the next time I fly, I'll be looking to fly AirTran.