Last updated: 10:05 AM ET, Tue April 28 2015

Crying Baby Gets Family Thrown Off Plane, Deemed Security Risk

Airlines & Airports | Donald Wood | April 28, 2015

Crying Baby Gets Family Thrown Off Plane, Deemed Security Risk

Traveling with small children can be a stressful situation on its own, but one airline in Tel Aviv, Israel, made the predicament even worse by treating a family poorly before having them removed from the plane due to their crying child.

According to Jewish News, husband and wife Ariella and Mark Aziz were scheduled to fly from Tel Aviv to Luton, England, on Dutch airline Transavia when their 19-month-old daughter began crying.

The Transavia crew asked the child’s parents to position their daughter on their lap before takeoff and use the connector belt provided by the airline. The plane had already been delayed an hour, and the young child became agitated before beginning to cry uncontrollably.

Ariella Aziz, the child’s mother, told the Jewish News about the incident:

“Everyone could see we were trying to calm Sarina down, but we couldn’t do anything. She was screaming, flailing around, hitting her head and injuring herself. She got herself so worked up she was sick. The stewards were so aggressive, they weren’t helping at all.”

Instead of showing sympathy after making all the passengers wait out delays, the crew became aggressive and eventually reported the family as a “security incident” to the captain. The decision was made to delay the flight once again.

Another passenger on the plane, Ben Wasserstrum, offered a third-party point of view, telling the Jewish News, “Mark’s daughter was constantly crying, she didn’t want to put the seatbelt on. The stewardess didn’t help. Mark had his daughter on his lap, he had hold of her, but she insisted. Then this male steward comes over. He was aggressive, standing over them, threatening to throw them off, even as Mark’s daughter was throwing up. Then the pilot said there’s been a security breach and we have to go back. The pilot even slammed his brakes on, throwing people through the aisles. We all wanted to get off the plane with the family. It was a disgrace, from start to finish.”

After turning the aircraft around and returning to Ben Gurion Airport, armed police officers entered the plane and removed the family. The husband, wife and child were taken by squad cars back to the airport, as if they posed a real threat to the safety of the airplane.

In response, a spokesperson for Transavia told the Jewish News, “The ill child was misbehaving and the family did not follow safety belt instructions, which is a priority for all passengers. We cannot take passengers on a flight if they do not follow the rules. We will not jeopardize the flight. It was unfortunate that the child was ill, but a sick child is not an excuse for refusing to following safety instructions.”

Regardless of exactly what happened on the plane, the airline should not be abusing the term security breach by classifying a child as a major concern. If the child wouldn’t put on its seatbelt and the parents couldn’t control her, then being removed from the plane is warranted.

What’s not acceptable is treating a family with a misbehaving daughter like terrorists.


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