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> Uncategorized > Blog

When a 2-year-old girl had a meltdown on a recent JetBlue flight from the Caribbean to Boston, the pilot made a command decision. He turned the plane around on the Tarmac and kicked the whole family of four off the plane.

Was he justified in his actions?

The little girl, who is the daughter of pediatrician Collette Vieau, refused to put on her belt and apparently started agitating other passengers. The pilot and crew determined that booting the family would be the best course of action for the other passengers’ safety and comfort.

JetBlue’s issued statement, which supports the pilot’s decision, said the flight had, “customers who did not comply with crew members instructions for a prolonged period of time. The captain elected to remove the customers involved for the safety of all [sic] aboard.” Federal Aviation requirements say that all passengers two and above must be belted and sitting upright at take-off.

The Vieau family paid $2,000 that night in a Turks & Caicos hotel. Colette says that she doesn’t know if she could blame JetBlue. “I just feel like it’s airplane travel in general today.”

Lately, parents have been taken to task for poorly behaved kids on planes. Some airlines even offer child-free flights or sections.

What do you think? Was the pilot right? And how should tantruming kids be dealt with on flights?


If you find any comments that are rude or inappropriate, please contact us immediately.

  • tj7933 Says:

    This is a difficult discussion.

    I have tried to use the total transformation program on my younger children and I have learned (through lots of research outside this website) that children in this age range (o to about 4 years old) do not have the mental capacity to be accountable for their actions. They are unable to link action to consequence AND they are unable to recognize they are heading into the meltdown to use alternative solutions for the problem.

    Like everyone else on the planet, once they going into crisis mode their brain goes into primary mode and they cannot think clearly. There are very few details how the parents recommended to resolve the situation. The article stated they just sat there holding their two kids down in their seats, in the end.

    At two years old, if the child is scared (which is a great reason for her to be anxious), you would think the airline could allow mommy or daddy to hold the child until they calmed down and then return her to the seat and place the belt on. There are always other options.

    Overall, yes I think that if the child was a threat to the safety of the other passengers then they should have been expelled from the plane, BUT since this is something outside the control of the parents, the airline should have refunded the money or paid some inconvenience costs.

    If everyone had taken the time to LISTEN to what set off the two year old, consider what would be needed to calm her down and whether or not the safety of the passengers (safety outcome) could still be achieved while enabling the child to calm down and become cognitively aware and in control, this entire situation could have been prevented.

    Young children (4 and under) do not have the cognitive ability to be held accountable for their actions.

    And as mentioned in the calm parent, NO HUMAN BEING CAN MAKE ANOTHER HUMAN BEING DO ANYTHING.

    With these two thoughts in mind, there were other tools available to everyone present and/or everyone present should take partial responsibility for the situation.

  • Lisajo Says:

    I believe the captain made the right decision. At least he took them back from where they started! I feel embarrassed for the parents. Life is going to be pretty darn hard in that house if a 2 yr old is running the show!

  • Lee Says:

    Did they try a lollypop?

  • Arwen Says:

    I don’t think the captain was justified. I think he was having a hard time controlling his irritation due to some customer complaining about it. The kid is 2 and learned nothing from the incident. It didn’t change the fact that a 2 year old will or will not have a meltdown. Do people think of maybe bringing earplugs knowing there may be kids on the flight? My daughter (at the time 1 year old) was fine until the last half our as we decended. She was in pain and therefore had a meltdown. Maybe this 2 year old had that problem? Sick maybe? Tired? Look, it’s just a fact that toddlers exist and at times will take a flight. Bring earplugs :-) .

  • Arwen Says:

    Oh I forgot. tj7933, I very much agree. Maybe they should have been allowed to hold their child and stand up or something. I really just think the captain needs to have children. Haha!

  • Tpags Says:

    Perhaps the child was on a previous flight a few days earlier and has associated planes to a feeling of pain, if she was uncomfortable in the takeoff or landing of the last flight. Many toddlers resist getting into car-seats, and strollers but you force it upon them for safety. Next time the airline should require that the parents have a car-seat to strap the child into and that be affixed to the seat on the plane. Having 3 kids and traveled with them from the ages of 2 months to 13yrs, many times I have taken my kids seat or booster for familiarity and comfort. What was the child like before getting onto the craft? The pilot should have assessed the situation before even departing the gate.