We all know that a crying baby or child on a plane is one of the most difficult things to cope with when you’re flying (both as a parent and as a tired fellow passenger). When Leo Khalfin and his wife Regina took their toddler on his first plane trip, things went from bad… to very bad.
Sam, 2, (pictured above in the family’s interview with TV station KSDK) started to have a meltdown just before take-off. and so Leo did what most parents would do; he sat his toddler on his lap and tried to calm him down.
However, airlines require children over 2 to sit in their own seat for take-off. So a flight attendant insisted that Sam had to be buckled in his seat.
“I did what she told me to,” explained Leo. “I put him in the seat. I buckled him in and he was of course screaming and yelling and you know, I held him with force.”
But Sam continued to cry and the flight attendant came back. “She said well your son is too loud, you know, if you’re not going to keep him calm in the next three minutes, you guys are going to have to leave the plane,” he said.
Sam finally calmed down and the plane took off, but during the 4-hour flight, Sam got scared and had another meltdown following some turbulence. Tempers then flared between the Khalfins and the flight crew.
When the plane landed at Lambert, airport police were waiting. “They basically get us out of the plane like criminals. They escorted us from the plane,” Leo said.
A spokesman for the airline claimed that the Khalfins had refused to comply with instructions to use a seatbelt on their son. The captain of the plane had decided to involve police because, it’s alleged, the Khalfin’s were verbally and physically abusive to the flight staff. The airline also claimed that Sam’s mum, Regina, tried to incite other passengers around her.
But the mum says she was only gathering names and numbers of other passengers as witnesses. “I don’t understand why we were treated this way,” Leo added.
The family have now filed a complaint with Frontier Airlines and the Missouri Attorney General’s Office.
Has your toddler ever had a meltdown that you just couldn’t control? Let us know in the comments.