Flying with a toddler can be stressful enough but just imagine what it must be like if cabin crew won’t let your desperate-to-go toddler use the toilet and she ends up weeing in her seat.
That’s what happened to US mum Jennifer Devereaux. She’d just boarded a JetBlue flight from New York to Boston with her daughter Summers, 3, when the plane was temporarily halted on the tarmac.
After half-an-hour of waiting in their seats, Summers began to cry and say she really needed the toilet.
Jennifer started to stand up but “the flight attendant snapped at me, ‘No sit down’.”
At that point, Summers couldn’t hold on any longer and weed in her seat. Jennifer stood up to try to clear up the mess – and was again told to sit down by a crew member.
“I said, ‘Please give me a break,” Jennifer told US TV station WBZ-TV. “My daughter had an accident because you wouldn’t let me take her to the bathroom. After I clean it up, I will sit down.’ But she turned around and reported me to the pilot!”
And then, astonishingly, the pilot then turned the plane around and headed back to the gate, announcing to all the passengers that they were going back because of a “disobedient passenger”.
“It wasn’t about bad customer service at that point,” Jennifer said. “It was about bad human decency. My daughter was sitting in a pool of urine and I couldn’t do anything about it. And, as a mum, it just broke my heart.”
Seeing how upset Jennifer was, fellow passengers leapt to her defence. And an off-duty pilot who was seated nearly helped to persuade the crew to let the mum and child stay on the flight.
The budget US airline JetBlue has since apologised, offering Jennifer $50 off her next flight and saying they’ll give $5,000 to a charity of her choice. They’ve also said they will retrain their staff in how to deal with sensitive issues.
“I am so happy this all turned around for the good,” Jennifer said.
What do you think of how the airline handled the situation? Has anything like this ever happened to you when you’ve taken a child on a plane? Do please tell us by posting a comment.