Mei Rui a Houston mother is kicked off Spirit Airlines while breastfeeding her two year old baby son. Did an airliner go too far, enforcing taxing protocol?
Rui, a pianist and cancer researcher said she was flying to New York, Friday morning to participate in a cancer research study, also accompanied by her parents. As the plane began taxiing down the run-way with the cabin doors shut, the mother continued breastfeeding, despite having earlier said she would stop once the cabin doors were closed along with buckling her son in his seat before the plane took off.
Flight attendants told her to stop and put the child into his seat, but Mei said she asked for a few minutes to finish to prevent her son from waking up as the boy continued crying.
Cellphone footage showed Rui’s son in his seat crying when another flight attendant instructs them to leave the plane.
‘He was making very loud noises, but that’s not criminal. I asked her, ‘My child is already buckled in his seat. What do you want me to do? At this point, I’m complying with what you’re asking me to do.’
It wasn’t immediately clear when the boy had been put into his seat and after how many requests by flight staff.
Mei Ru Houston mom, ‘it was humiliating being chased off a plane’.
In a statement, Spirit Airlines stood by its flight attendants’ decision to remove the family from the flight.
‘Our records indicate a passenger was removed from Flight 712 after refusing to comply with crew instructions several times during taxi to runway and safety briefing,’ the statement said. ‘To protect the safety of our guests and crew, FAA regulations and airline policies require all passengers to stay seated and buckled during takeoff and landing.’
Mei received a full refund but while now saying she won’t be flying with Spirit Airlines again.
‘It was humiliating to be chased off a plane in front of hundreds of people. We had never been through anything close to this,’ Mei said. ‘We’re not lawbreakers or trouble seekers. We’re the elderly, a baby and his mother, why did they have to treat us this way?’
What do you think? Did Spirit Airlines go overboard, or should Ru have known better and breastfeed her son prior to boarding the flight and heeded safety protocol demands even if they didn’t fully make sense to her or fit in with her schedule? Or could have Spirit Airways attempted to bend over backwards and accommodated a young child dealing with its own fears and unaccustomed to the rigors of flying protocol….
A Houston pianist and clinical researcher kicked off @SpiritAirlines flight Friday morning.. she was on her way to conduct cancer research in NYC. Wants answers from airline. Live @iah at 10 #KHOU11 pic.twitter.com/mDPQmC5AOC
— Marcelino Benito (@MarcelinoKHOU) December 10, 2017