United Boots Singer Off Plane Because of Crying Son
Photo via YouTube
United Airlines is facing scrutiny this morning after it booted Canadian indie singer-songwriter Sarah Blackwood off a flight from San Francisco to Vancouver, allegedly because her one-year old son was crying.
Blackwood, who fronts the band Walk Off The Earth, is also pregnant.
That turned what should have been a five-hour day into a 13-hour ordeal.
Blackwood said she was asked by a flight attendant aboard SkyWest Airlines, a regional partner of United, to “control your child.”
"When everyone was boarded, my son got very fussy," Blackwood told ABC News. "He started to cry really loud, he was squirming in my arms and I was doing everything I could to hold onto him. Then we were taxiing and my son had fallen asleep, as I'd predicted. But then the pilot went over the intercom and said he was turning around to go refuel, which I thought was so strange. When we got back to the gate, a lady from the airport came inside and told me to I had to leave the plane."
The singer said the incident brought her to tears knowing the plane taxied back to the gate, delaying the flight. She said other passengers were sympathetic, but in a statement provided to ABC, SkyWest said it wasn’t because the baby was crying.
"Despite numerous requests, the child was not seated, as required by federal regulation to ensure passenger safety, and was repeatedly in the aisle of the aircraft before departure and during taxi," the airline said.
The airline apparently asked Blackwood to put a seatbelt on the infant; most major airlines, United included, allow parents to hold children under two on their lap.
She made an audio recording of an exchange with a gate agent.
Blackwood also made a video of her speaking with a United Airlines representative who seemed incredulous that the singer would be removed from a flight because of a crying baby.
More by Rich Thomaselli
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